International Sports Competition Strengthens Naval Friendships
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka personnel hosted an annual bi-lateral Sports Day event that pitted several Japanese and American naval logistics commands against one another in friendly competition at Berkey field on Yokosuka Naval Base Sept. 11.
"The relationship that FLCY has with our counterparts within the Kaijo-Jetai (Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is pretty special, especially with our Joint Officer Internship program, which is second to none," said Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. “We will dedicate our efforts and actions towards continuing to build our mutual understanding and friendship with bi-lateral events like this one.”
The day's competitions began with relay races and continued with softball, soccer and basketball matchups culminating in a final all out tug-of-war contest with all teams putting their strength to the test.
“It has become more important that we build a stronger relationship between Japan and U.S. and I believe our activities today push forward this Japan-U.S alliance,” said Rear Adm. Koji Ohshima, vice commander of Maritime Materiel Command, JMSDF.
Participants took a break midway through competition to enjoy a barbecue lunch shared by the Americans, to include traditional American fare like ribs and burgers, while their Japanese partners shared traditional bento or box lunches filled with fish, rice, fried shrimp and local vegetables.
After lunch is was back to the competition.
“We compete together, work hard, encourage each other and deepen our friendship in person through activities like this event,” said Ohshima. “I would like to continue valuable events like this for the future.”
The Americans took home first place in several events to include basketball and tug of war, but a new overall champion took the trophy home, giving the host nation team the victory and a great feeling of accomplishment after their year of dedicated training and countless practices.
Despite some language barriers, participants found common ground on the diamond, court and pitch as both the U.S. and Japanese teams gained a better understanding of one another.
After the Sports Day was complete it was back to work for the logistics Sailors whose job it is to provide around-the-clock logistics solutions for its fleet customers.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime warfighter with around-the-clock logistics support.
NAVSUP GLS comprises more than 5,700 military and civilian logistics professionals, contractors and foreign nationals operating as a single cohesive team providing an array of integrated global logistics and contracting services from 110 locations worldwide to Navy and Joint operational units across all warfare enterprises.
A component of the Naval Supply Systems Command headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP GLS is part of a worldwide logistics network of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel providing combat capability through logistics.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.