Camp Zama residents strengthen local partnerships with joint river cleanup

By Tim Flack, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsNovember 1, 2022

Zama City Mayor Kentaro Motomura; Zama City Mayor Mito Sato; 4th Engineer Group and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Camp Zama commander Col. Kenji Honda; and U.S. Army Garrison Japan (USAGJ) commander Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson work together during a community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. Sagamihara City, Zama City, JGSDF and USAGJ officials launched the community partnership cleanup efforts in early 2022, with each organization taking turns hosting events.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Zama City Mayor Kentaro Motomura; Zama City Mayor Mito Sato; 4th Engineer Group and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Camp Zama commander Col. Kenji Honda; and U.S. Army Garrison Japan (USAGJ) commander Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson work together during a community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. Sagamihara City, Zama City, JGSDF and USAGJ officials launched the community partnership cleanup efforts in early 2022, with each organization taking turns hosting events. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Kyle Shettles, front, and Spc. Antonio Chua, both assigned to the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, help collect garbage during a community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The Soldiers were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Kyle Shettles, front, and Spc. Antonio Chua, both assigned to the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, help collect garbage during a community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The Soldiers were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the Zama Middle High School’s Key Club volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The students were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the Zama Middle High School’s Key Club volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The students were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Volunteers pile up garbage they collected Oct. 30, 2022, during an off-post community cleanup at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. About 40 volunteers from Camp Zama joined Sagamihara City, Zama City, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force volunteers for the joint cleanup.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Volunteers pile up garbage they collected Oct. 30, 2022, during an off-post community cleanup at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. About 40 volunteers from Camp Zama joined Sagamihara City, Zama City, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force volunteers for the joint cleanup. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP ZAMA, Japan – About 40 Camp Zama residents joined a Sagami River cleanup event Oct. 30 as part of a recently launched initiative that allows U.S. Army Garrison Japan, Sagamihara City, Zama City and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to combine efforts as community partners.

Sagamihara City officials hosted the event at the city’s Shindo Sports Ground, just a 10-minute drive from Camp Zama.

Camp Zama participants included USAG Japan commander Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson and Command Sgt. Maj. Justin E. Turner; members of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program; Soldiers from the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade; students and staff from Zama Middle High School and the school’s Key Club; and staff from Arnn Elementary School.

Sagamihara City Mayor Kentaro Motomura opened the event by welcoming participants and explaining that this joint cleanup, only the second of its type since launched this year, would be held in support of “Sagami River Lovers Association” efforts. The association formed in 1982 and focuses its activities on “protecting the precious nature around Sagami River and passing it on to the next generation,” Motomura said.

He welcomed the USAG Japan leadership team and volunteers, along with Col. Kenji Honda, commander of the 4th Engineer Group and JGSDF Camp Zama; and Zama City’s Mayor Mito Sato and her staff.

Camp Zama residents strengthen local partnerships with joint river cleanup
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japan Ground Self-Defense Force MSgt. Hideki Ohara, left, and Zama Middle High School band teacher Bradley Harzman pose for a photo following an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30 at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground, near Camp Zama, Japan. Ohara and Harzman paired up during the cleanup, practicing English and Japanese while picking up trash along the Sagami River. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Robert Amaker and Pfc. Roxanna Jaimes Macario, both members of the U.S. Army Garrison Japan Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program, volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. They were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Robert Amaker and Pfc. Roxanna Jaimes Macario, both members of the U.S. Army Garrison Japan Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program, volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. They were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the Zama Middle High School’s Key Club volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The students were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the Zama Middle High School’s Key Club volunteer at an off-post community cleanup on Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. The students were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers from Camp Zama who volunteered for the event, jointly hosted by Sagamihara City, Zama City, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL
Volunteers pose for a group photo at an off-post community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. About 40 volunteers from Camp Zama joined Sagamihara City, Zama City, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force volunteers for the joint cleanup.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Volunteers pose for a group photo at an off-post community cleanup Oct. 30, 2022, at the Sagamihara City Shindo Sports Ground near Camp Zama, Japan. About 40 volunteers from Camp Zama joined Sagamihara City, Zama City, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force volunteers for the joint cleanup. (Photo Credit: Tim Flack) VIEW ORIGINAL

Volunteers were provided protective gloves, tongs and garbage bags, and spent about an hour cleaning the area along the river and near the playground.

“I was very happy we had such a great turnout of volunteers from Camp Zama,” Tomlinson said. “We are very fortunate to have such great relationships with our local communities.”

He said the Garrison continues to look for ways to partner with local residents, and sees great value in the long-lasting friendships with the cities and JGSDF.

“I believe that having the opportunity to work together and be part of these great events helps us to continue to strengthen our friendship and mutual understanding,” Tomlinson said.

Honda provided closing remarks for the day’s event and stressed the significance of the teamwork.

“Developing our relationships … through this kind of opportunity helps us to work smoothly in any situation when we need to cooperate together,” he said.

Related links:

U.S. Army Garrison Japan news

USAG Japan official website