MCAS Iwakuni welcomes new commanding officer
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Residents, locals and guests gathered aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to witness U.S. Marines and sailors welcome their new station commanding officer July 22, 2016.
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert V. Boucher, outgoing station commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni, who assumed command of the station, July 12, 2013, relinquished his command to U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard Fuerst, incoming station commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni.
“The highlight of my time here has been serving and taking care of the people from soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines, to the civilians and Japanese,” said Boucher. “I will leave here with all the relationships that I’ve built; I think Iwakuni is my home away from home.”
Boucher is leaving the air station and will proceed to his follow-on place of duty as the chief of staff for Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region-Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
“I’ve known Col. Fuerst for seven years, and I could not think of a better man to replace me,” said Boucher. “He’s a great family man, great Marine, great leader and he’s going to go on and do great things here.”
Prior to assuming command at MCAS Iwakuni, Fuerst served as the Aviation Plans and Policies Deputy Branch head with Marine Corps Aviation from July 2014 to June 2016.
“The station is of strategic importance to both the Japanese and the U.S. government,” said Fuerst. “Col. Boucher has accomplished a lot and left it in great shape. The plan is to make sure we move forward, executing everything that is laid out before us and to continue with the progress he has made.”
U.S. Maj. Gen. Jaoquin F. Malavet, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, attended the change of command ceremony to honor both, the outgoing and incoming commanding officers.
“Col. Boucher has performed his commanding officer duties exceptionally well beyond the paragraph that an award, the Legion of Merit, can express,” said Malavet.
Malavet said he is more than proud to have Col. Fuerst aboard MCAS Iwakuni and is anxious to see how far Fuerst can take the air station in its strategic levels.