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7th Fleet Band Cleans Beach on Island of Miyakojima

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Kenneth R. Hendrix, Commander U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs
Posted: December 15, 2010

MIYAKOJIMA, Japan – The day after arriving in Miyakojima, Japan, for a friendship concert, the U.S. 7th Fleet Band Far East Edition cleaned the Painagama Beach shoreline on Dec. 12.

 

Click for a closer look.

MIYAKOJIMA, Japan (Dec. 12, 2010) - From left, Lt. Jeff Wrenn, Musician 3rd Class Charlie Perkes, Senior Chief Musician Adam Vincent, Musician 2nd Class Colin Reichow and Musician 3rd Class Benjamin Foss roll an industrial size tire down a hill that they found at Painagama Beach on the island of Miyakojima during a beach clean up community service project. The visit to Miyakojima was a first for the U.S. 7th Fleet Band as goodwill ambassadors to the U.S. promoting peace and stability through their music, recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the U.S.-Japan Treaty on Cooperation and Mutual Security with a free Friendship Concert at the Matida Civic Theater. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth R. Hendrix)

The 23 band members are the most recent Sailors to visit the island since the mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2) made a port call visit at Hirara Port in Miyakojima Sept. 21.

U.S. Consulate General Naha Deputy Principal Officer Claire Kaneshiro said, the consulate likes to do community service events whenever there is a visit in the Okinawa prefecture of Japan, by the military where there is no military installation.

“We coordinated with the city of Miyako and asked what would be a helpful community relations event for the city,” Kaneshiro said. “The city said they would like to do the beach cleanup.

“This is a great grassroots example of our commitment to environmental protection. While living in Japan we have access to world-class historic sites, amazing natural parks and beaches, and it is a great way of showing of how we view ourselves as part of the community,” Kaneshiro added.

The Sailors devoted the early morning to the community service project, landscaping the white sandy beach and picking up trash.

Senior Chief Musician Joe Rundall, 7th Fleet Band senior enlisted leader and assistant director, said it was nice seeing the smiles on Sailors faces as they picked up trash on the beach.

“It’s good to see them do other things than just play music, which is what they normally do all the time,” Rundall said. “Community service projects like this help keep Sailors sharp in the event of an actual humanitarian aid mission.”

Musician 3rd Class Camellia Akhamie, a drummer for the 7th Fleet Band, said everything went well and this was the second time in her naval career she took part in a beach cleanup.

“It shows the people who live in the area that we care about other places in the world as well like Miyakojima and not just America only,” Akhamie said.

The garbage removed from the beach filled more than 50 bags of trash, which held the maximum weight of 20 pounds per bag and three industrial sized tires.

The Miyakojima visit was a first for the U.S. 7th Fleet Band, as the band travels throughout the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in the Asian-Pacific region as goodwill ambassadors to the U.S. promoting peace and stability through their music, demonstrating commitment to regional partnerships and to foster growing relationships.

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