By Lauren Hall, U.S. Army Garrison OkinawaMarch 5, 2014
OKINAWA, Japan (March 5, 2014) -- U.S. Army Garrison Torii Station was officially renamed U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa during a re-designation ceremony held here March 4.
Despite rain showers, more than 100 guests attended the ceremony, during which the colors for U.S. Army Garrison Torii Station were cased and the colors for U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa were uncased, illustrating the breadth and scope of the garrison's mission on the island of Okinawa.
"Today we closed a chapter in the history of the U.S. Army in Japan with the re-designation of Garrison Torii Station as Garrison Okinawa," said Lt. Col. Eric A. Martinez, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa. "This re-designation gives credit to our U.S. and Japanese workforce who work hard to service Soldiers, civilians, families and facilities across eight sub-installations on Okinawa."
While Torii Station is home to the garrison and other Army units, additional units and Soldiers are located throughout Okinawa, including Kadena Air Base, Camp Foster, U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Kinser, Fort Buckner, White Beach and Naha Military Port.
"This re-designation is key to preparing us for the future," said Martinez. "We will continue to transform to keep up with the operating environment and fiscal realities."
Col. Joy Curriera, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan, presided over the event.
"In the more than 60 years since this area was first established as the Sobe Communication Station in the mid-'50s, the unit here at Torii Station has fulfilled a critical role in defending the Pacific region and providing contingency support to deployed and employed forces in the Pacific Rim," said Curriera.
The unit has undergone several name changes since its establishment. In May 1972, U.S. Army Base Command, Okinawa, was established as a major subordinate command of U.S. Army Japan. The command was reorganized as U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa and was again reorganized in 1978 as U.S. Army Support Activity.
This was again changed back to U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa in September 1979. In February 1986, the unit was re-designated as the 10th Area Support Group and served as the installation command for all Army units located on Okinawa.
U.S. Army Garrison Torii Station was activated on July 11, 2011, and was officially recognized as a battalion-level command.
"And now here we are today for this garrison to be appropriately re-designated and once again have included in its name the entire island on which it resides," said Curriera. "Lieutenant Colonel Martinez and his great team will shine as the Army's home on Okinawa," said Curriera.
Martinez, who took command of U.S. Army Garrison Torii Station on June 21, 2013, said the new name shows that the garrison supports not only Torii Station, but all of the Army on Okinawa.
"By changing the garrison's name to U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa, it solidifies our position as the Army's service provider on Okinawa," said Martinez. "It tells the Army that we have a lot more to care for and it helps us streamline our resources.
"With more than 450 members, the garrison is the premiere service provider for the Army," Martinez continued. "We take care of people and we take care of property. Garrison Okinawa will continue providing the best services to our Army community.
"This is a great community and part of this greatness includes our friends and neighbors from Yomitan Village, other neighboring communities and our partners from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy," Martinez concluded.
The garrison's mission is to synchronize, integrate and deliver installation services while sustaining Army facilities on Okinawa in support of U.S. Army Japan. U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa is an indirect garrison of U.S. Army Garrison Japan.