CATC Camp Fuji hosts Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Santa greets Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp Fuji families of Marines and permanent personnel during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on CATC Camp Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan, Dec. 13, 2020. CATC Camp Fuji hosted a Christmas tree lighting ceremony for Marines and permanent personnel aboard the installation to enjoy an evening filled with games, entertainment and tree lighting. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild)
Santa greets Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp Fuji families of Marines and permanent personnel during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on CATC Camp Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan, Dec. 13, 2020. CATC Camp Fuji hosted a Christmas tree lighting ceremony for Marines and permanent personnel aboard the installation to enjoy an evening filled with games, entertainment and tree lighting. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild)

CATC Camp Fuji hosts Christmas tree lighting ceremony

by Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild
U.S. Marine Corps

COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan – Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp Fuji hosted a Christmas tree lighting ceremony for Marines and permanent personnel aboard the installation to enjoy an evening filled with games, entertainment and tree lighting.

The event kicked off with Santa’s arrival on a light armored vehicle, performances from the U.S. Army Japan Band and U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Brass Quintet, and free refreshments. Additionally, U.S. Marines and permanent personnel aboard CATC Camp Fuji had the opportunity to pose with their families for a socially distant photo with Santa.

“This holiday cheer was high at this event,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Restituto D. Paz, sergeant major of CATC Camp Fuji. “Col. Bodisch and I are so excited that we got to host this event and reward the Marines here for the hard work they do every day.”

According to U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert J. Bodisch, commanding officer of CATC Camp Fuji, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was hosted to celebrate not only Marines and their families aboard the installation, but to reward Japanese personnel and their families for their dedication and service to CATC Camp Fuji.

“It’s all about sharing the holiday spirit with our Marines, Japanese personnel, and their families,” said Bodisch. “We had entertainment for everyone, including free pizza and a surprise visit from Santa.”

Bodisch explained that some Marines aren’t able to return home for the holidays due to COVID-19, so he wanted to celebrate and reward installation personnel while following social distance and face covering guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.

“2020 has brought many unexpected challenges with COVID-19, and that is why we hosted this event outside with proper social distance and face covering procedures in mind,” said Bodisch. “We wanted to make sure we hosted this celebration safely to celebrate the holidays as a Fuji family.”

CATC Camp Fuji is a Marine Corps Installations Pacific Facility dedicated to modernized live, virtual, and constructive combined arms training. CATC Camp Fuji provides premier support for the accomplishment of air, ground, and amphibious training for the Marine Corps, joint U.S. forces, and their allies.

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