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Col. James G. Flynn welcomes Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma March 22. Dunford came to Okinawa to view and assess Marine Corps facilities and to better understand III Marine Expeditionary Force’s operations, exercises and activities. Dunford is the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. Flynn is the commanding officer of MCAS Futenma.

Photo by Pfc. Nicholas S. Ranum

Assistant commandant visits Okinawa

30 Mar 2012 | Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, visited several Marine Corps installations on Okinawa March 21-23.

The purpose of the visit was to meet with Marines and gain insight into current issues that impact III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

“The ACMC’s visit to Okinawa is part of a broader trip that includes visits to (U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Headquarters) in Hawaii, Australia and Korea,” said Maj. Tre DelPizzo, aide-de-camp for the ACMC.

Dunford’s first day on Okinawa included a tour of the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalves.

“The ACMC’s focus is on the training, organization and equipping of all Marine Forces,” said DelPizzo. “His visit will help the commandant prioritize and allocate resources to ensure III MEF’s success.”

After receiving a brief about all the training available at JWTC, Dunford flew to Camp Hansen with Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., commanding general of III MEF, and Brig. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla, commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, III MEF.

On Camp Hansen, Dunford met with the Marines of 3rd Intelligence Battalion, III MEF Headquarters Group, and toured the Tactical Medical Simulation Center where Dunford spoke to a group of Marines who had just completed the center’s combat lifesavers course in preparation for upcoming deployments.

“The main effort of the Marine Corps is in the Pacific,” Dunford said to the Marines.

Dunford also visited Camp Foster, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Schwab during his two days on Okinawa and was impressed by the caliber of Marines he met.

“I was extremely impressed with the spirit and can-do attitude of all the III MEF Marines,” said Dunford. “Your professionalism and commitment is why Marines will always be the crisis response force of choice within the Pacific command.”

Dunford is the Marine Corps’ representative within the department of the Navy for the realignment of Marine forces in the Pacific, and the locations he visited on Marine Corps installations were important to this mission.

“The specific locations were chosen by the commanding general to highlight operational capability, current training initiatives and quality of life within III MEF,” said Maj. Mimi C. Seedall, protocol officer with III MEF. “Visiting PACOM and MARFORPAC will help him articulate Marine Corps requirements as we rebalance the force in accordance with the new national security strategy.”

Dunford left Okinawa with a promise to all the III MEF Marines and those in the Pacific area of operations.

“(The commandant and I) will continue to ensure that III MEF has the best training and equipment available in order to meet the combatant commander’s requirements,” he said.