By Spc. Kyndal Hernandez, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsSeptember 23, 2008
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii - Commanders and senior leaders from around the Pacific region flocked to the 2nd Annual 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) Commanders Conference at the Officers Club on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Sept. 11-13. Unit leaders from within the 8th TSC traveled to Hawaii from as far away as Alaska and Japan to discuss future operations, establish a new command vision, and get to know one another prior to upcoming deployments.Representatives from strategic partners such as Defense Logistics Agencies (DLA) and the 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) (ESC) also attended the three-day event. "If you lay out all the commands of the 8th TSC on a map, then you understand the critical importance of everyone getting together to not only discuss issues, but to also have some team building," said Col. Jim Woodard, commander of the 10th Support Group in Okinawa, Japan. "Major General Mason has units stretched across half of the world, so it is important that we all get together like this and get to know each other face to face." "If you really think about it, this really is a special moment because of where we are in our battle rhythm, in our calendar," said Maj. Gen. Raymond Mason, 8th TSC commander. "This is probably going to be one of the last times that the people in this room are going to be together ... due to the upcoming deployments. "It is the right time for us to pause and reflect on where we have been and where we are going," he added. During the conference, commanders and senior leaders discussed important issues and future operations, produced a new command vision, set future goals for the command, and much more. But it wasn't all work and no play. Attendees also participated in some fun-in-the-sun team-building activities at the beach, Sept. 11, attended a dining-in, Sept. 12, and took part in a golf scramble with more than 50 participants, Sept. 13. "Events like this are very beneficial to commanders and senior leaders. We are able to learn a lot in discussions that we didn't know before," said Master Sgt. Duane Strong, operations noncommissioned officer in charge with the 45th Sustainment Brigade. "I was able to see and understand more about the great things that our strategic partners are doing for us." The strategic partners of the 8th TSC include the 19th ESC, DLA, 404th Quartermaster Battalion, U.S. Army-Alaska, and the 599th Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. "That partnership is what helps make us successful," said Mason. "We can't do any of this alone. So that power when we come together - no job is too tough. It's true with our partners, and it's true inside of us from our companies, to the battalions, to the brigades of the 8th TSC." "Building camaraderie is what this is all about," said Strong. "It is the most important part of this. We get to see our counterparts from Japan and across the island, and we all come together as one."