YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Government of Japan officials honored NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Master Labor Contract (MLC) employees during a Length of Service Commendation Ceremony at Yokosuka City Culture Hall, Oct. 21.
Japanese employees who have been with U.S. forces in Kanagawa for many years will be commended, said Hiroshi Marui, Director of Japan's South Kanto Defense Bureau.
More than 75 NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka MLC employees were the recipients of 10-year, 20-year, 30-year and 40-year service awards that reflected their dedication to the U.S. Navy mission in Japan and the strong bonds forged between Japan and the United States.
"The strong partnership that we share with our host-nation counterparts in Japan is amazing ... both between our two navies as well as with our internal local national workforce," said Capt. Ray Bichard, commanding officer, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka. "The technical expertise and professionalism that is displayed on a daily basis by our MLC employees serves as the foundation we rely on to accomplish our mission. The MLC employees at NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka often stay with the organization for several decades, providing us with a stability and continuity that is beyond measure."
Yoshihisa Mimaki, a 40-year Service Commendation Award recipient and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka contracts specialist, shared a similar view, stating that the role of the MLC employee is to act as a conduit between armed forces personnel and any other parties involved in the armed forces' mission and operations, such as host nation officials and local commercial contractors.
"As I've been in the contracting arena for a long time, I very much enjoy establishing high-visible contracts or settling contractual issues with local sources successfully," said Mimaki.
Mimaki has been part of the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka team since 1973 and said he enjoys the leadership and management skills he has gained from his years on the team as well as the daily cultural exchange between American personnel and himself.
"Mimaki-san, who has provided 40 years of faithful service, contributing so much to the success of mission, is a shining example of the skilled and dedicated workforce our organization is blessed with," said Andrew Benson, executive director, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka. "It was a privilege to attend this ceremony, and see so many of our MLC employees, recognized for their extraordinary professionalism and dedication."
Misae Nakada, a 30-year Service Commendation Award recipient and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Support Services Department training specialist, also said she appreciates being exposed to the differences in culture and personalities that working on a U.S. military base brings.
"Americans have a very cheerful character and like to joke around," said Nakada. "I also like the self-confidence and out-going nature shared by many of my American coworkers."
Essentially growing up with American friends and supervisors during her time on the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka team has shaped her own character making her a very cheerful and friendly person, said Nakada.
Nakada has a very positive outlook on the relationship between Japan and the U.S. and said she feels that in these uncertain times with respect to global security, the long and meaningful friendship of both nations makes her feel safe.
"I appreciate American military and their families being here in Japan," said Nakada.
Mimaki also thanked his U.S. military and civilian coworkers as well as his fellow MLC employees.
"Without strong support by many personnel, I definitely couldn't work for the Navy for some 40 years," said Mimaki. "I really thank those personnel who have provided such valuable advice to me. I just want to express my sincere appreciation to many others who helped me working for the Navy for many years, this Length of Service Award ceremony is well deserved by so many."
With such a critical mission supporting the warfighter right up to the tip of the spear, it is the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka MLC workforce that continues to provide knowledge and experience to their U.S. counterparts and fleet customers.
As the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka executes its mission to serve the Asia-Pacific region's forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical area of responsibility.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.