Masakatsu Kamiyama, vice mayor of Chatan Town, speaks to during a closing ceremony as part of a Tsunami Evacuation Drill, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 9, 2019. The drill was held to convey the readiness and capabilities of the camp to members of the U.S. and local communities in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kayla V. Staten)
Masakatsu Kamiyama, vice mayor of Chatan Town, speaks to during a closing ceremony as part of a Tsunami Evacuation Drill, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 9, 2019. The drill was held to convey the readiness and capabilities of the camp to members of the U.S. and local communities in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kayla V. Staten)

Local community and Camp Foster leadership team up to enhance Tsunami evacuation readiness

by U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Members of the U.S. and local communities participated in a Tsunami Evacuation Drill hosted by Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan on Nov 9.

The annual drill started in 2013 and serves to strengthen current evacuation plans for the communities surrounding Camp Foster in the event of a Tsunami.

Additionally, the event provides an opportunity to celebrate the relationship between the Marine Corps, the host nation of Japan, and members of the local community.

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Vincent J. Ciuccoli, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D, Butler, described how the base provides safety and assistance to the local community when needed for any emergency.

“The drill was held to make sure everyone knows the route, particularly the locals, the Chatan-Cho residents, and they know they can come safely on to Camp Foster, get in the gate, get up the hill and out the back side of our base to get away from any disaster like a tsunami," said Ciuccoli.

Volunteers from the local community entered Camp Foster on foot through various gates and proceeded to rally points across the base. Upon completion of the drill, the participants gathered for a closing ceremony.

“Volunteering has always been a part of me since I was little. I enjoy helping others and that’s why I’m here today," said U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Anthony S. Mertz, native of McHenry, Illinois and an assistant operations officer with 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group.

Following the closing ceremony, food and drinks were provided for participants to enjoy prior to exiting the base.

“The Marines rely on Chatan-Cho to provide a place where we can go out on liberty, to stay in a hotel, or to enjoy the coastline. This is our way giving back to them, letting them know that the gates are not shut and if it comes to an emergency the Marines here will welcome them on board," said Ciuccoli.

For more information on disaster or emergency preparedness or upcoming events in your area, contact your local Base Safety office.

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