By Mr. Richard RzepkaNovember 5, 2014
OKINAWA, Japan -- The 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group recently partnered with U.S. Army Garrison Japan in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new headquarters building Nov. 4 at Torii Station.
The new building will serve as a base of operations for the Special Forces battalion, which has operated out of Okinawa since the early 1960's and is a modern facility with all of the amenities of a contemporary headquarters structure.
"Today marks a significant moment in the storied history and lineage of First Battalion, First Special Forces Group (Airborne)," said Lt. Col. Joshe E. Raetz, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group Commander.
Raetz expressed that the completion the building on Torii Station is a tremendous gift from the Government of Japan to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, signifying the strength of the partnership between the two nations.
"Its creation demonstrates our past partnership and reinforces our commitment toward advancing long standing relationships in the future. This building is the product of undeniable collaboration, cooperation, patience, and diligence between the Japanese and American Soldiers. I am honored to receive this prize on behalf of all Army Soldiers currently serving on Okinawa and throughout Japan. Rest assured that this new facility will be utilized effectively in the continued pursuit of American military objectives across the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility," he said.
The battalion remains a force focused on the threats to the United States and its partner nations, according to officials. In peace, the battalion fulfills the PACOM commander's theater engagement strategy by training and building foreign Special Operations Forces. In crises and war, the battalion offers the full spectrum of capabilities with teams expertly trained in special warfare and surgical strike.
"We are proud to have a unit like 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group here at Torii Station," said Lt. Col. Eric A. Martinez, U.S. Army Garrison -- Okinawa Commander. "Their rich heritage, professionalism and dedication to the mission set the tone for a valued partnership with the garrison, the Japanese government and the people of Japan. These professionals are truly deserving of a 21st century environment in which they can operate from, and the new building here is a testament to the Army's commitment to the mission in the Pacific."