NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Fuels personnel hosted a Friendship Day Festival that brought together many local Japanese community members for a softball tournament and barbeque aboard the Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Tsurumi in Yokohama this past March.
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NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Sailors and local Japanese community members congratulate one another after a softball game during the annual Tsurumi Friendship Festival and Softball Tournament Mar. 20 onboard Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Tsurumi located in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo by Sky Laron)
“As a fuel terminal operator, it is highly important to have the trust, respect and friendship of your neighbors,” said John Floyd, Kanto Area Fuel Director, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka.
He said that it was a joy opening up the gates to the local people living around the facility and sharing in the spirit of camaraderie and competition, not to mention some “amazing” food. “Our neighbors like to be around us, and the feeling is mutual,” Floyd said.
As March 20 heralded in the first official day of spring around the world, it was also a Japanese National Holiday called Spring Equinox Day or Shunbun No Hi. Many Japanese workers had the day off from work, and for many living outside of DFSP Tsurumi, it meant a day of building relationships with their Navy neighbors.
“Thank you so much for this invitation to Friendship Day,” said Moriai Shojiroh, Tsurumi Neighborhood Association Chairman. “I am honored.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Commanding Officer, Capt. Marty Fields, was equally pleased with the event and high turnout of local civic leaders and citizens.
“I am honored to have you all here today,” Capt. Fields said. “Enjoy the food and let’s play ball.”
The first pitch and a crack of the bat had the game underway pitting local nationals against their Navy competitors. Whether it was something intangible in the spring air or simply the smell of the grass, the first game put the day in full swing.
“Sports share a common language between our two countries,” said MM1 Paul Ashby, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Fuels Division, adding that he looks forward to this event every year as a way to show appreciation to the people of Japan.
Whether you understood only English or only Japanese, the common ground was found on the diamond, communicating with a version of the pastime that both the U.S. and Japanese people know quite well.
“We all came out and had fun,” MM1 Ashby said.
After the Friendship Day was complete, it was back to work for the Fuel Department Sailors, Master Labor Contract (MLC) and United States Civil Service (USCS) employees whose job it is to operate and maintain the Navy’s regional bulk fuel terminals and flight line re-fueling operations providing the Navy and joint warfighter the best option for petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) products.
By Sky Laron, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications