George Washington Welcomes JANAFA

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric D. Moorer

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 29, 2012) – Representatives from the Japan and U.S. Navy Friendship Association (JANAFA) visited the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) Nov. 29.

JANAFA, an organization that brings together the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, visited the ship to understand the ship’s mission within the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

“JANAFA is comprised of former and active Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel,” said Kiyoto Yoshida, a member of JANAFA. “We get together to promote friendship with the U.S. Navy.”

Two tours led by Lt. Cmdr. James Stockman, George Washington’s public affairs officer, gave 120 Japanese guests the opportunity to see and learn about the equipment and Sailors that enable George Washington to complete its many missions.

The visitors were escorted to the bridge and the flight deck where they were taught about the many aspects involved in the safe navigation of the ship and how the flight deck crew orchestrates the safe launching and recovery of aircraft.

“This is my fourth time visiting the George Washington and every time I’m amazed to see how clean and well maintained it is. My favorite part of the tour is getting to see the bridge,” said Kiyoto.

“My company works on the F-18 aircraft that fly on this ship and I finally get to see the place where they work,” said Hideto Onaya, a member of JANAFA. “We work on them at the airport but now I can see how they operate on the flight deck.”

This visit gave the 120 members of JANAFA insight on how George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

“South Asia is a critical area in the Pacific Region,” said Hideto “I finally get to see how the U.S. Navy is supporting the safe keeping of Japan.”

Inviting guests from regional partners on tours aboard George Washington provides great opportunities to foster relations with allied nations.

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