More than 55,000 local Japanese community members flooded Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi’s gates to attend the installation’s annual Spring Festival for a day of food, fun and friendship.
NAF Atsugi Commanding Officer Capt. Steven Wieman kicked off the day’s events, delivering opening remarks for the festival alongside Ebina and Ayase city mascots.
“Springfest provides the citizens of our local community the opportunity to see our beautiful base, learn about U.S. customs and most importantly, gain an understanding about the critical role that Atsugi plays in the self defense and security of Japan,” said Wieman. “Seeing our aircraft up close and personal and speaking with our highly trained aircrew gives our visitors invaluable insight into NAF Atsugi’s mission and the emphasis that we put on safety, training, and the importance of being good guests of the beautiful country of Japan.”
Multiple food and drink booths were displayed throughout Taylor field for visitors to enjoy including vendors with Japanese dishes, hamburgers and hot dogs, Texas barbecue and Mexican food.
Around mid-day, under the training of the Host Nation Relations Office, NAF Atsugi spouses held a time-honored Japanese tea ceremony in Alliance Park where visitors were able to enjoy traditional green tea Japanese treats.
Along the flight line, patrons were able to view a static display of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) aircraft.
Luckily enough, routine flight operations were scheduled on the day of the festival and aircraft enthusiasts were afforded the rare opportunity to view CVW-5 aircraft in action up close.