Story and photos by Joe Schmitt, CFAY Public Affairs
Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Security Department hosted a community relations event with the children and workers from Kofu Kodomo-en children’s home at several locations around the base July 29. “We brought the Kofu Kodomo-en orphanage from Negishi Yokohama out to be witness to who we are as Security, CFAY Security out of the our local base here in Yokosuka,” said Master at Arms 2nd Class Jeffery Gagin, event coordinator. “The plan was to show them who we are and what we do.” Security Department has been volunteering to sponsor Kofu Kodomo-en children for more then 20 years. “We go out there for Halloween and for Christmas and last Christmas they brought up the fact that they did not really know who we were so we brought them here to show them who we really are,” said Gagin. Security spent several hours with the children and showed them where they work like the Security Headquarters building and also introduced the children to the Security chain of command. “We toured CFAY Security headquarters including the office area and detention cell, got windshield tour of the base, enjoyed bowling, and then had barbeque all together,” said Chinami Yatabe, Kofu Kodomo-en staff member.”We were impressed to see huge ships, and thought the base has everything from schools to hospitals. It looks like a whole town.” Gagin said, “I think that they learned that we are regular people, we’re just not some machine, we live in regular homes and we are just like them.” After the barbeque, Security personnel showed the children their vehicles and some of the equipment they use every day to keep CFAY safe. The visitors got to see the inside of a patrol van and a Humvee.
“Also, harbor security came by to do and boat show and after that we did the [military working dog] show,” said Gagin. “All these types of things, interacting with the community really help us out with our relationship especially being Security it helps us to work better with the local community. All of it’s good community relations that help build our relationship with Japan.” Members of Security Department remarked that the day was as much fun for them as it was for the visitors. MA2 Robert Duker, CFAY Security, said “Earlier this morning we had the Commanding Officer out here and when one of the ladies was thanking the Captain she said ‘This day will be one that the kids will always remember’ and that stuck out to me because they can hear about Security bringing them gifts and sponsoring them and things of that nature but the fact that we brought them to this installation and gave them a day of fun, that’s something these kids will remember forever.”