By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 26, 2017) – The Chiefs Mess and recreation committee from Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) joined the 24th annual Spring Festival at the Yokosuka Naval Facility, which featured entertaining events, food booths and a ship tour aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67).
Organized by Yokosuka City Tourist Association, and supported by Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka and Yokosuka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the event is one of a few rare occasions when people who live off-base can visit and enjoy navy culture and its atmosphere.
“I am proud to call Yokosuka my hometown,” said Capt. Jeffrey Kim, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, during his remarks at the festival’s opening ceremony. “And, I am not only happy to welcome our hometown neighbors, but also those who travel far to be with us.”
Among more than 50 booths from a variety of commands and private organizations at the festival, command volunteer members at two booths enjoyed cultural interaction with visitors from their host nation.
While the SRF-JRMC Chiefs Mess served steaks with fried potato wedges and soft drinks, the recreation committee prepared hot dogs, hot chocolate and steak. Both booths sold command merchandise including coins, T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and water bottles.
“I was amazed at the number of people visiting here today, despite the cold rain,” said Master Chief Navy Diver Michael Allison, who arrived at SRF-JRMC in June 2016 and took on the role of command master chief in January 2017.
“Hot chocolate is selling well,” said Yumiko Hakka, an administrative specialist from combat systems division, who volunteered to support at the recreation committee’s booth. “This weather helps us sell it.”
According to FLEACT Yokosuka, the festival attracted more than 20,000 visitors.
“I often visit Japan’s U.S. Naval bases as I have friends serving the U.S. Naval Forces in Japan,” said one visitor. “Recently I was in Atsugi base, too. I also have visited [some] events or enjoyed barbeque with friends here, but this is my first time at this festival. I really enjoy it.”
At the Chiefs Mess booth, the steak set, which included grilled meat, fried potato wedges and a soft drink, sold for 1,000 yen (about $9) and was very popular.
The proceeds at the command’s booths will be used for command events and community relations functions.