COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan — U.S. service members aboard Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji volunteered to clean up the Susono river bank at Ashigara Fureai Park in Oyama Town, Japan July 13, 2019. (Courtesy Photo)
COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan — U.S. service members aboard Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji volunteered to clean up the Susono river bank at Ashigara Fureai Park in Oyama Town, Japan July 13, 2019. (Courtesy Photo)

CATC Fuji-based Marines and sailors beautify local riverbank

by Lance Cpl. Ryan Pulliam
U.S. Marine Corps

COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, Japan — U.S. service members aboard Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji volunteered to clean up the Susono river bank at Ashigara Fureai Park in Oyama Town, Japan July 13, 2019.

The volunteers were preparing Susono River for the Oyama Town River Rafting Race slated for July 27, which is a integral part of the town’s annual summer festival.

The volunteers consisted of more than 15 U.S Marines and sailors, as well as members of the Oyama Town festival committee.
“The area was covered in weeds,” said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyra Marie Wisnicki, a religious program specialist with Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji. “The weeds were on the walls and stairs leading up to the river bank.”

The volunteers were tasked with cleaning the concrete walls and stairs of overgrown weeds and picking up trash along the river bank.

“We had one van of Marines and sailors cover one part of the river, and another van to cover the other part of the river,” said Navy Lt. Donald R. Nelson, the Camp Fuji command chaplain with Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji and the event organizer. “The festival organizers told us to chop the weeds with machetes.”

After the hard work of the Marines and sailors, the river bank became ready to use for the Oyama Town River Rafting Race.

The cleanup served to strengthen the relationship between the local community and the military personnel stationed at Camp Fuji, said Wisnicki.

“The local community was very appreciative of us for our hard work,” said Nelson. “Seeing the Marines and sailors smiling with members of the local community, I know everyone had fun volunteering at Susono River.”

After the service members finished cleaning the river bank, they all ate lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Residing at the base of Japan’s largest mountain, Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji provides U.S. Forces the premier training facility in Japan, supports operational plans, and strengthens relationships with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force in order to ensure U.S. forward deployed and based forces are ready for contingency operations.

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