Kirtland hosts Consul-General of Japan reception

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- Kirtland held the Consul-General of Japan lunch reception at the Mountain View Club March 31.

The lunch reception was a joint event hosted by the Consul-General of Japan and the 377th Air Base Wing with the purpose of strengthening ties and building dialogue between the Japanese Consulate General and U.S. military officers, enlisted members, civil servants and their families.

“We wanted to host United States military personnel who were stationed in Japan for this luncheon,” said Consul-General of Japan Hiroto Hirakoba. “This is our way of thanking them for helping maintain and further develop our relationship as joint forces.”

During the event, participants were encouraged to eat, socialize and shares stories or their experiences overseas in Japan.

“I think the United States-Japan relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations that we have,” said Maj. Michael Deckard, 58th Special Operations Wing combat systems officer. “During my five and a half years in Japan I learned a lot about how different cultures, political systems and militaries interact with each other. I learned how that makes a huge difference in not only the relationships in other countries, but ours as well.”

The event not only gave personnel a chance to remember their experiences, but provided insight to military members who have not yet been overseas.

“I’ve learned quite a lot about the types of missions and great things our Kirtland members have done while being stationed in Japan,” said Col. Dawn Nickell, 377th Air Base Wing vice commander. “I have never been to Japan but now I look forward to visiting at some point.”