BY TINA C. STILLIONS
DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER YOKOSUKA
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka’s operations team accompanied Japan Military Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) members while visiting aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Feb. 14 as part of logistics training provided to the organization’s JMSDF partners.
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NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka and JMSDF logistics teams toured the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Feb. 14 as part of logistics training provided to the organization’s JMSDF partners.–photo by Tina C. Stillions.
The Navy has a very close relationship with its JMSDF counterparts from across various organizations, such as the Maritime Materiel Command, Ship Supply Depot, and Yokosuka Supply and Repair Facility. The bilateral interactions range from training sessions and meetings to cultural events and ship tours.
“The opportunity to tour the Reagan with our JMSDF counterparts is an excellent opportunity for them to understand the intricacies of operations on an aircraft carrier, and for us to learn what interests them about our ships,” said NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Operations Cmdr. Mike Schilling. “It’s truly an honor to walk the decks of an American flagship with them.”
In order to enrich their knowledge and take best practices back to their organizations, trainees from JMSDF take part in four days of training with the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka operations team to gather information on U.S. Navy logistics processes.
Schilling said the Navy team takes great pride in the partnership.
“The ongoing training, held in conjunction with the command’s internship program, provides an ideal environment to share information, methods, and standardized processes with our counterparts,” said Schilling.
The Ronald Reagan epitomizes the U.S. vision of forward-deployed naval forces. The ship’s motto is “Peace Through Strength” and aligns succinctly with Japan’s Self-Defense Force international peacekeeping operations. The partnership between the U.S. and Japan continues to strengthen and ensure world peace.
Lt.j.g. Moe Shioya, the newest member of the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka internship program, participated in the tour of the carrier.
“The Ronald Reagan is very big; I had the opportunity to visit the ship last year, but was only on the deck,” said Shioya. “This time I was able to see much more and talk to the officers. It was very exciting for me, because for my next step I will work on a Japanese ship.”
Reagan, which has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, since October 2015, is significantly larger than many of the ships which comprise the JMSDF fleet.
In 2013, Japan delivered its largest warship in decades. JDS Izumo (DDH 183), a helicopter destroyer which resembles an aircraft carrier, has a crew of 470, and standard displacement of 24,000 tons when fully loaded – significantly smaller when compared to Reagan’s 5,000-person crew and 97,000-ton displacement. However, it is one of the largest surface combatants of JMSDF.
“The logistics required to maintain a ship the size of Reagan is complex and requires careful coordination and execution,” said Ronald Reagan Supply Officer Cmdr. Michael Carl.
“I think you’ve seen this is a big ship, with many moving parts,” said Carl. “What we do is very important, because we handle supply logistics for a wide range of people.”
Carl reiterated the importance of the bilateral interactions and facilitating information exchange.
“It’s these types of interactions with our Japanese counterparts that contribute to our success,” said Carl. “It really solidifies our relationship and makes us stronger partners.”