Urasoe city mayor tours Kinser
By Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr.
| Marine Corps Installations Pacific | November 08, 2012
CAMP KINSER, Okinawa, Japan --
Urasoe City Mayor Mitsuo Gima met with Brig. Gen. Niel E. Nelson and took a personal tour of Camp Kinser Nov. 5.
The day began with the leaders sitting down in Nelson’s office for a discussion. Nelson, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, wanted to ensure the mayor that Camp Kinser’s Marines, sailors and civilian employees are very dedicated to the great relationship they have with Urasoe City.
"We take it very seriously that we are good neighbors and we talk to our Marines, sailors and civilians to ensure we continue to develop and strengthen our good relationship," said Nelson.
They also discussed the future return of Camp Kinser back to the Okinawa prefecture.
"We wanted to know what tactical functions Camp Kinser has so we can plan for the future when the base gets reverted," said Gima.
The leaders of Camp Kinser also want to make sure there is an open and transparent dialogue as more is learned about the process of turning the base over to Okinawa.
"Our goal is to maintain a very clean and close camp with the city and do everything we can so when that time comes, it’s a very smooth transition," said Nelson.
Gima appreciated the opportunity to discuss the reversion with the Marines and looks forward to a continued friendship between the city and the Corps.
"We have always had a great relationship between Camp Kinser and Urasoe City," said Gima. "These meetings help keep the dialogue open and are very good for the future relationship between us."
Following the meeting, Col. John E. Kasperski, the Camp Kinser camp commander, and Paul E. Newman, the Camp Kinser deputy camp commander, conducted a tour of Camp Kinser for Gima. The tour consisted of showing Gima a few of Camp Kinser’s facilities.
The tour started at the mess hall, where the leaders ate together. After finishing the meal, the tour continued to some of Camp Kinser’s housing units.
"I was surprised to see the rooms of the Marines," said Gima. "It was different to see how the Marines live and it gave me a more human perspective of Marines."
When Gima was finished seeing the rooms, the leaders went to the Supply Management Storage Unit, which is part of 3rd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd MLG, III MEF. While there, the mayor was given a full view of the process of distributing gear to Marine units throughout Okinawa.
Gima also had the opportunity to visit Electronic Maintenance Company, which is part of 3rd Maintenance Battalion, CLR-35, 3rd MLG, III MEF. The Marines of the company showed off their capabilities, including calibration of tools and fixing field radios.
"I was very impressed with the advanced technology the Marines were working with," said Gima.
The group then visited the U.S. Army’s Humanitarian Assistance Programs warehouse and viewed supplies held there. Some of the supplies were used in relief efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck mainland Japan last year.
The last stop for the group was the Battle of Okinawa Historical Organization’s display, where Gima had the opportunity to view artifacts from the battle.
"The purpose of this visit and tour was to give the mayor some insight on the everyday life of a Marine," said Newman.
Gima thanked Nelson, Kasperski and Newman for the visit and afterwards, Nelson reflected on the importance of events like the meeting and tour and their role in maintaining a positive relationship with the local community.
"The city of Urasoe is a beautiful one and our Marines enjoy it greatly," said Nelson. "By interacting with the community through events like this, we keep building on our strong friendship."