By Melissa Buckley, Iwakuni Resident Office Staff
USACE Japan District
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Command Sgt. Major Yolanda Tate, the top enlisted Soldier in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pacific Ocean Division stepped foot on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan for the first time and, said she liked what she saw.
As the newly appointed command sergeant major, Tate recently made her first official visit to the Japan District, one of four district’s she supports in the Pacific region.
“This trip is giving me a better perspective on what the Corps of Engineers is doing across the Pacific,” Tate said.
Capt. Chatom “CT” Warren, Iwakuni Resident Office deputy resident engineer said he was most excited to show Tate the abundance of quality construction that the Iwakuni Resident Office provides to the service members, family members and civilians.
“We continue to set the conditions by providing amazing quality of life projects that will enhance the Iwakuni community,” Warren said.
While in Iwakuni, Tate toured some of the installations newest buildings set to open soon – the commissary, theater and high school.
“It is good to see how we are improving the quality of life for our service members,” Tate said. “I am also impressed by the great relationship that the Iwakuni Resident Office has with the host nation. It is outstanding.”
She also got to see the ground preparation work at the Atago site where a housing area, sports complex and bridge are being built.
Tate said the Iwakuni Resident Office is more set up as an area office than a residential office and she is amazed that the office can juggle all of the jobs at once.
“This team of professionals is handling 192 projects simultaneously and they handle the workload with efficiency,” Tate said.
Tate said she is looking forward to being able to share all the great things and hard work Corps employees are doing in Iwakuni.
“They are building a valuable relationship with the host nation and engineering superb buildings,” Tate said. “Whether you are a Department of the Army civilian, military or a Master Labor Contract employee we must always make sure we are representing the Corps. We have a great team of professionals in Iwakuni that are telling the Corps’ story and telling it well.”
Warren said he believes Tate walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) program.
“We definitely showed her the DPRI value increased with the addition of the new facilities that are being constructed on this base,” Warren said.
Tate started her tour of the Pacific in Korea, next visited Camp Zama and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and then headed to Okinawa.