Vice Adm. G. Ashok Kumar, Deputy Chief of Navy Staff for the Indian Navy, walks with Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay leadership during a base visit, Marine Corps Base Hawaii

The visit emphasized the long history of the air station, answered questions and helped to foster positive relations with foreign military forces

Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay staff hosted a base tour for delegates from the Indian Navy on MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2018. 

“Our goals were to give the delegates a sense of understanding that if their units are accommodated here they will be welcome with open arms and taken care of,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jason Grower, the executive officer of MCAS.

Grower greeted and accompanied the delegates on their visit. He added that one of the delegates visiting the air station was Vice Adm. G. Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Chief of Navy Staff for the Indian Navy.

“The purpose of the visit was for delegates to meet with their counterparts and at the same time explore venues where their Navy and aircraft would be stationed during this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018,” he said.

RIMPAC is a multi-international exercise encompassing U.S. forces training alongside their foreign counterparts to improve unit cohesion and to foster positive relationships with other countries.

Grower said that visits like these help foster and improve communication between military forces. 

“During the tour, the vice admiral asked questions about our capabilities of being able to maintain their troops and equipment, specifically their Boeing P-8 Poseidon military aircraft which our station is more than capable of supporting,” said Jeff Telling, air field manager for MCAS, “I hope they have a better appreciation and understanding of how this aging airport went from a propeller driven era from WWII to the jet age.”

Telling said with the air station’s long history, Kumar was brought to locations affected by the Pearl Harbor attack and other sites around MCAS.

“We took Vice Adm. G. Ashok Kumar on a tour of MCAS to give him an overview of who we are and what we do,” he said. “Events for today included a brief from the air field manager at the air station’s gallery in the terminal, a guided history tour around MCAS with an aerial perspective of what the Mokapu Peninsula looks like from the top of Kansas Tower and stops at bomb craters from the Pearl Harbor attack.”

Telling also enforced how the base in its current location is a safeguard to reacting swiftly to Pacific region problems.

Grower said, strategically, this base allows us to be forward deployed and the ability to respond to a world emergency and get Service members to the fight as quickly as possible.

He also said that small visits like these impact how the base is seen and why the air station is a crucial element in the Pacific.

“I really hope that they take away that they see MCBH is always on the job, reinforcing the 3 ‘Ps’: Produce Readiness, Promote Resiliency and Project Power,” Grower said. “But to me, there’s a fourth ‘P’ and that is partnership, which encourages us to continue fostering positive relations with our allies in the Indo-Pacific region.” 

The three 'P's' are the lines of effort that allow Marine Corps Base Hawaii to accomplish it's mission which is to provide forward-based, sustainable and secure training and operational support, facilities, and services to enable Operational Forces to accomplish their mission.