Fourth annual 'Okinawan First' Vendor Showcase

by Senior Airman Marcus Morris
18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The fourth annual "Okinawan First" Vendor Showcase, sponsored by the 18th Contracting Squadron and the Okinawa Industry Promotion Public Cooperation, was held Feb. 6 at the Schilling Community Center.

"To carry out our mission, each of our commands here must resource their units for success," said Lt. Col. Calvin Hodgson, 18th Contracting Squadron commander. "The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who use those facilities and equipment must have the supplies they need and (the equipment and facilities) must be well-maintained."

The event allowed Government Purchase Card holders, unit resource advisors and military members a chance to meet local Okinawan companies and do business with them.

"We rely heavily on our local business partners for their resources," Hodgson said. "In fact, out of every dollar spent by the 18th CS in fiscal 2013, 77 cents went to a host nation vendor, over the course of the year, this equated to nearly $118 million."

More than 20 local vendors came to the event, showcasing products including insulated brick, recycled toner cartridges, cargo services, and the ability to repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

"The United States has a long standing partnership with Japan to provide for the common defense of the nation," said Alfred Magleby, American Consulate general. "Part of being a good neighbor is supporting each other and buying their items."

"Our presence at (the) showcase signifies our mutual interest in developing new business relationships between the U.S. government and local companies," Hodgson said. "We know Okinawan companies offer good products and services, reliable staff and the know-how to get the job done right, on time and within budget."

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