ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- The Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) paid a visit to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Aug. 27 as part of a tour of several Commander, Naval Region Japan (CNRJ) installations.
During his visit, Adm. Mark Ferguson held an all hands call at the base's Cinema 77 to discuss the importance of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces and the challenges faced by Sailors in Japan, budget concerns and sequestration.
He emphasized the U.S. Navy's commitment to provide the latest technology and support to its forces in the Pacific region. After the VCNO's address, Sailors were afforded the opportunity to ask a few questions.
"This is my first visit to Japan as vice chief of naval operations," said Ferguson. "As the VCNO it's important for me to visit our forward operating locations and bases around the world in order to see how our sailors are performing, our relationships with our allies and to listen to the concerns of the commanders and understand the issues that we can take back to Washington [D.C.] to help them."
During the all hands call, Ferguson also discussed the importance of NAF Atsugi regarding the upcoming partial move of Carrier Air Wing Five to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, stating that the installation will still remain an integral part of the forward deployed naval force.
"It's important that naval forces are where it matters, when it matters, so [NAF Atsugi] being forward not only provides a stabilizing presence, but a ready response force," he said. "It may have a different mix of aircraft and have a slightly smaller presence, but [NAF Atsugi] will still be important to us in the future."
During his visit, Ferguson also took a tour of the base and also viewed Unaccompanied Housing to view facilities available to Sailors assigned to the installation.
From NAF Atsugi, Ferguson is scheduled to visit with Sailors at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka aboard the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Fleet Activities Sasebo before returning to Washington D.C.