Yoshihiko Fukuda, center, the mayor of Iwakuni City, speaks with media during the 11th annual Joint Leadership Walk in Iwakuni City, Japan, July 12, 2019. During the walk, Fukuda and U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard Fuerst, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, spoke to local Japanese residents, business owners and residents of the air station. The walk was Fuerst’s final goodbye to the Japanese local community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Triton Lai)
Yoshihiko Fukuda, center, the mayor of Iwakuni City, speaks with media during the 11th annual Joint Leadership Walk in Iwakuni City, Japan, July 12, 2019. During the walk, Fukuda and U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard Fuerst, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, spoke to local Japanese residents, business owners and residents of the air station. The walk was Fuerst’s final goodbye to the Japanese local community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Triton Lai)

Commanding officer walks with local community for the last time

by Pfc. Triton Lai
MCAS Iwakuni

IWAKUNI CITY, Japan -- U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard Fuerst, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Yoshihiko Fukuda, the mayor of Iwakuni City, and local city leadership participated in the 11th annual Joint Leadership Walk in Iwakuni City, July 12, 2019.

During the walk, they spoke to local Japanese residents, business owners and residents of the air station about respecting Japanese culture while residents of the air station are on liberty.

“We expect our Marines, Sailors and civilians to behave themselves,” said Fuerst. “We will certainly hold people accountable if they don’t do that.”
The walk was also Fuerst’s final goodbye to the local Japanese community and continuing the tradition of unity between the air station and Iwakuni City was at the front of his mind.

“It’s kind of sad to leave because Iwakuni is a great place to be,” said Fuerst. “I hope the community sees me, the mayor and director general walking together and see how we are committed to being good neighbors.”

“I’d like to give Col. Fuerst an around of applause and thank him for all his help the last three years,” said Fukuda. “It is very important that we conduct this type of walk and I would like to continue to so in the future.”

Fuerst said the air station has a great relationship in Iwakuni and he hopes to maintain that relationship here. He knows that Col. Lewis, who is going to replace him, wants to continue doing that.

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