KURE PIER 6, Japan – The commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan conducted his final visit to Kure Pier 6 and its three ammunition depots in Hiroshima April 24 through 26 ahead of the upcoming end of his tenure.
Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson said that when he took command in 2021, it was important for him to visit all 17 USAG Japan installations and sites across the country to meet as much of the workforce as possible and to gain a better understanding of their respective missions. As he prepares to depart, he wanted to revisit them all to thank the team members for their continued support of both the Garrison and the mission of the United States Army in Japan at large.
As Tomlinson neared the end of his Kure tour, which included visits to the Akizuki, Kawakami and Hiro ammunition depots, he pointed out two notable achievements of the workforce there over the past two years.
The first achievement was securing prioritization for several large-scale infrastructure projects at various sites when resources were at premium, he said, which made it possible to renovate and modernize some of the facilities. The second was the support they provided to the ammunition safety teams throughout the process.
“The team down here has done an enormous and great job of getting those projects approved so [that] we can get the infrastructure resources allocated to them,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson also paid courtesy visits to the offices of the mayors of the nearby cities of Etajima and Kure April 24 and 25, respectively. While there, he thanked them, their staff and the citizens of their two cities for their continuous partnership and support for the Garrison’s mission.
“I think we have a high level of engagement and [a great] relationship, both with Etajima and with Kure, which provides a transparent working relationship in support of the mission here,” Tomlinson said.
The commander stressed the importance of maintaining engagement with the local community, as well as the local leadership, in order to build mutual trust in support of the Army’s mission in Kure, which in turn supports the local community, he said.
Tomlinson also recognized a group of employees in Kure April 25, presenting them with either a Garrison coin or a certificate for their dedication and achievements. The commander said he was proud of the team for maintaining the infrastructure there and for running various Soldier and family programs at a very high standard.
“They are providing exceptional installation support services to this community and to the mission with the 10th Regional Support Group,” Tomlinson said.
Carlos Esmurria, the installation manager at Kure, Esmurria said he was appreciative of the commander coming to Kure to personally recognize some of the “small but mighty” staff, particularly because the installation is comparatively smaller and more isolated than some other Garrison sites.
As Esmurria himself gets ready to depart Kure soon, he praised the team there and said he is sure they will continue to succeed if they perform at the same level they have been.
“We are a small team that packs a big punch, and we get things done,” he said.
The commander echoed the sentiment, saying he looks forward to many great things from the team well into the future.
It was great to host Tomlinson one more time so that he could see changes the installation has undergone in two years and get an idea of the tremendous amount of effort that has gone into completing various projects there, Esmurria said.
“Over the course of two years, with everything the team has accomplished here to support not only the mission here, but the Garrison as a whole, I think it’s a validation that the commander sees this place as a strategic platform not only for us, but across Indo-[Pacific Command],” Esmurria said.