Navy Supply Corps, Japan Self Defense Force Celebrate History, Service

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Members of the Supply Corps Association of Japan and distinguished guests from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) gathered at the Trinity Hotel in Yokosuka, on March 17, to celebrate the 212th birthday of the United States Navy Supply Corps. The Supply Corps ball featured entertainment by a jazz ensemble from the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet band and speeches from Commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISCS), Rear Adm. Ray Berube and Vice Adm. Yoshinori Kawano, Commander of the Japan Maritime Materiel Command. Kawano spoke of the historical significance of the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps. He mentioned that one key to the American’s successful Revolutionary War was maintaining supply lines, while denying logistics to the British. He added logistics support remains vital in today’s military, as well.

Speaking about the JMSDF’s logistics program, Kawano said, “We implemented the supply system principle of the U.S. Navy, which has never been defeated in the past 200 years.” FISC Yokosuka hosts JMSDF logistics officers on its staff throughout the year as part of a long-standing intern program. “We have continuously been receiving training support for as many as 160 junior officers since 1967,” said Kawano. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for that extended support.” Kawano concluded his speech by wishing for the safety of all who serve in the U.S. military and Japan’s self-defense forces. Kawano was followed by COMFISCS Rear Adm. Ray Berube, who also acknowledged the close working relationship maintained by the Navy and the JMSDF. “One of the major takeaways from my visit last December was an appreciation for the longstanding, close ties we have developed with our fellow logisticians of the JMSDF,” Berube said. “Our ability to work together and share best business practices during peacetime, is surely the key to enhanced interoperability, should we need to respond to crises or contingencies in the future.” The Supply Corps ball’s official events also included an official cake cutting with the youngest and oldest members of the Navy and JMSDF; and a breaking of a taru, or sake cask by the distinguished members in attendance. The U.S. Navy Supply Corps is one of the oldest staff corps in the Navy and was conceived when Tench Francis Jr. was named the Navy’s “Purveyor of Public Supplies” on Feb. 23, 1795.

By Tim Shannon, U.S. Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka Public Affairs

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