Story and photo by Keiichi Adachi, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs Office
(YOKOSUKA, Japan) – U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) bid farewell to four Japanese Master Labor Contract (MLC) employees during a retirement ceremony held at SRF-JRMC headquarters, June 30.
SRF-JRMC Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Ballou and the command’s senior leadership joined the retirees, their supervisors and guests in celebrating their decades of faithful service to SRF-JRMC, the 7th Fleet, and the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
“I am very proud to represent the U.S. Navy and SRF-JRMC in commending you for your many years of dedicated and productive service,” said Ballou during the ceremony.
“Your hard work and dedication significantly contributed to the peace, prosperity and security of not only Japan and the United States, but the entire Asia-Pacific region.”
Ballou remarked how the four retirees, Kunio Usui, Toyokazu Saito, Kyosuke Kaneko and Kyouko Uchida had dedicated nearly 129 years of collective service to SRF-JRMC, Japan and the United States.
“We salute each of you for your long and faithful service to SRF-JRMC and Seventh Fleet,” said Ballou. “You have made SRF-JRMC’s mission, ‘Keep the Seventh Fleet Operationally Ready,’ possible.”
Although the retirees’ careers varied from electrician to administrative support services their appreciation for their coworkers and their jobs were unanimous.
“My work was simple but I enjoyed it,” said Uchida who worked at SRF-JRMC for 22 years in the Business and Strategic Planning department. “I really thank everyone who supported me.”
“I appreciate all of my coworkers because they listened to my opinions,” said Usui who was a Naval architect engineer retiring after 39 years of service. He said sustaining safety, fostering human resources, improving quality of service, and team work were part of SRF-JRMC’s mission that he embraced.
Ballou also thanked the retirees’ families for their commitment to the SRF-JRMC mission.
“Thank you for your unfailing support,” said Ballou. “Today’s retirees could not have made it without their families’ understanding. On behalf of the United States Navy, I thank you for your dedicated service to the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and the U.S. Seventh Fleet.
“I wish each of you a long, happy, and healthy future.”