News>Vice President Biden visits Yokota, thanks members for role in Operation Tomodachi
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Vice President Joe Biden speaks to military personnel at the Taiyo Community Center, Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug.24, 2011. Vice President Biden met with key leaders during his nine-day tour through Asia to discuss a full range of bilateral, regional and international issues. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Staff Sgt. Alicia Greene, 374th Wing Staff Agency unit deployment monitor, cheers during Vice President Joe Biden's speech at the Taiyo Community Center, Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2011. "It's really great Vice President Biden took the time to come here to thank us for all we did during Operation Tomodachi," said Sergeant Greene. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman John D. Partlow)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japan Self-Defense Force members Aug. 24, 2011, at the Taiyo Community Center, Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of a nine-day tour of Asia, the Vice President visited Japan to express dedication to steadfast U.S. support following the Tohoku earthquake earlier this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Vice President Joe Biden poses for a group photo with servicemembers at the Taiyo Community Center, Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2011. Approximately 1,000 servicemembers from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard attended the Vice President's speech, in which he thanked them for their efforts during Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy Moless)
by Airman 1st Class Desiree Economides
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
8/24/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Vice President Joe Biden spoke before approximately 1,000 military and civilian personnel Aug. 24 at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and thanked them for their role during Operation Tomodachi.
Team Yokota partnered with agencies worldwide to provide assistance in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that occurred in northern Japan.
"I've visited military bases all over the world and what you did here in Japan over the past few months is nothing short of astounding," said Biden in his opening remarks. "I come here for a simple reason, on behalf of the president and myself, to say thank you. Thank you not only for saving thousands of lives. Thank you for making America look as good as we are."
In his speech, the vice president shared about his pride in the servicemembers for their role in aiding the people of Japan.
"All the American people are in awe of what you do day in and day out, especially when you rise to the occasion of the most difficult times," said Biden. "You guys are awe-inspiring. You were part of the largest humanitarian relief efforts in U.S. history. It was a truly monumental operation."
The vice president closed by remarking on the partnership between the U.S. and Japan, then gave a final thank you to all those who assisted in Operation Tomodachi.
"The role you all play is going to become increasingly important. And our alliance with Japan will be more important than in the past. It continues to be absolutely critical, and you are the glue that holds this all together. You're the ones ensuring this alliance remains effective," said the vice president.
Following his speech, audience members took pictures with the vice president and shared their enthusiasm from the event.
"It is really great that Vice President Biden took the time to come here and thank us for all that we did during Operation Tomodachi," said Staff Sgt. Alicia Greene, 374th Wing Staff Agency unit deployment manager.
The vice president stopped at Yokota during his nine-day tour to China, Mongolia and Japan, where he met with key leaders to discuss a full range of bilateral, regional and international issues.