By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik
ZUSHI, Japan (August 21, 2014) – Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a community relations (COMREL) project with the Zushi Hayama Lions Club at Zushi beach, Aug. 20.
Sailors worked with the Lions Club to clean up debris from the beach and surrounding areas.
“It is very important that Japanese citizens and American Sailors work together and get to know each other,” said Makoto Ike, president of the Zushi Hayama Lions Club. “We really appreciate the Sailors who have volunteered with us.”
The Lions Club has volunteered with George Washington Sailors for three years, participating in COMREL events and plan to continue building upon their relationship in the future.
“Working with the Lions Club is important to develop and foster professional relationships with George Washington and the U.S. Navy” said Lt. j.g. Cole Yoos, George Washington’s command religious ministries department division officer.
According to Esther Kiyomi Kaneko, the coordinator of the Lions Club, there has been a long standing relationship between the Lions Club and the U.S. Navy dating back 20 years when the Midway (CV 41) was forward-deployed to Japan.
“We are humbled and honored to have these Sailors come here to work with us,” said Ike.
COMRELs were established by the Department of Defense in order to foster and further good relations with communities around the world. They help to earn public support and understanding of operations, missions, and requirements of the Military Services, and to increase understanding of U.S. defense posture and capabilities by increasing public exposure.