FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii-The Multinational Interagency Branch that manages the U.S. Army Pacific's Theater Security Cooperation Program for Logistics continued to connect with Asia-Pacific counterparts last week when Lawrence "Jeff" Mariano, Chief, Multinational Logistics/Interagency Branch and the Operational Sustainment Directorate Chief-G4, Col. Clay Hatcher, hosted officials from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to conduct the 37th Bilateral Logistics Staff Talks at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

Col. (P) Katsuki Takata, Chief of Logistics Management Division, Ground Staff Office, was accompanied by Lt. Col. Masahiro Kobayashi of Japan's Logistics Plans and Operation Section to discuss logistics topics from a pre-approved agenda.

Shigeko Nishiyama, U.S. Army, Japan, G5, played an important role as interpreter for the Japanese and U.S. military logisticians covering an array of subjects from July 12-15.
Mariano said, "Our discussions covered areas such as transportation support; co-use of ammunition storage, fuel, and port facilities; Japanese Army watercraft and high speed vessels; and the nature of multinational partnerships."

Hatcher said, "Col. Takata is a familiar member to the BLST and contributes immensely to the TSCP program, one of Lt. Gen. Mixon's top priority programs within his command. Upon returning to Japan Col. Takata will be promoted to the rank of major general and become the Vice Chief of Staff for their Western Army.

"He understands the issues and concerns within the logistics community between both armies and will be a valuable key player in the next Yama Sakura exercise conducted in Japan and future TSCP/BLST engagements."

Hatcher, U.S. Army, Japan's Deputy Chief of Staff, G4, Col. Robert W. DeJong, Brian McClenning USARPAC Deputy G4, 8th TSC Deputy Commander, Col. Steven Pate, Lt. Col. Jonathan Spencer, ICORPS (FWD) G4 and William Funches, Department of the Army Headquarters, G4, Joint & Multinational Logistics Branch engaged Takata and Kobayashi in the semi-annual BLST which coincided with the 50th anniversary of The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan signed January 19, 1960.

Hatcher said, "Lt. Gen. Mixon's Theater Security Cooperation Program encourages USARPAC directorate leaders to engage with partner countries to further develop relationships, interoperability and to enhance partner capacity inside of their specific functional areas like logistics."

Logisticians from the Operational Sustainment Directorate, G4 have completed more than 11 engagements this fiscal year and have six more to complete before the FY ends this September.

Mariano said, "The OSD - G4 team can be assembled in an array of subject matter expert configurations to best suit a requirement in a partner country. These subject matter expert exchange teams can range from two to approximately seven personnel with the appropriate MOS's conducting the engagement.

"With over 50 logistics topic areas these logisticians meet with their counterparts during country visits within the pacific area of responsibility to discuss more efficient and better ways of supporting any and all missions for its armies. Col. Hatcher provides the leadership, guidance and priorities for his logisticians to execute Lt. Gen. Mixon's TSCP and ensures that objectives under the USPACOM's Theater Campaign Plan are met."

"Col. Takata was impressed by Soldiers out of the 8th TSC's 45th Sustainment Brigade who provided briefings and static displays of the MRAP, BCS3, Fire Control DS Operations, Re-fabrication Capabilities and Small Arms Weapons Repair. Col. Roberson, Commander 45th SB met briefly with COL(P) Takata and exchanged gifts as a token of appreciation," Hatcher said.

Mariano added, "I feel that the TSC program is a very important tool that the USARPAC commander utilizes to enhance security and cooperation within the Pacific area of responsibility and that building relationships with some of these future leaders of our ally armies is the best thing we can do to preserve our confidence with each other."