The 2018 Preview Review

Year In Review Webslide

the 2018 preview review

With 2018 drawing to an end, we’d like to take a look into each activity at MCCS Iwakuni and see the impact we’ve had on the community throughout the year. Our mission is you - the community - and we strive to provide quality products, services, and programs. We’re also incredibly excited about the year to come and what we are bringing to improve the quality of life aboard MCAS Iwakuni. Thank you all for your support!

Top Events of the Year

  • Iwakuni Friendship Flea Market
  • Youth Soccer Camp
  • NBC Youth Basketball Camp
  • Friendship Day
  • Marine Corps Ball
  • SMP Flood Relief
  • Hangar Grand Opening
  • Inaugural Iwakuni Comicon

Marine & Family


The library hosted 6844 patrons and took advantage of the books, DVDs, computer resources, and program offerings this year. The library offered 83 programs ranging from story time for small children, tech activities for school-age children, to larger events celebrating the holidays and Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

    • Summer Reading Program - 619 military and family members on Iwakuni registered and logged 368,294 minutes of reading.

Single Marine Program

  • Flood Relief Support - The Yamaguchi Prefecture received a record amount of rainfall this summer. This catastrophic event created the need for volunteers to assist with clean-up efforts from all over Japan to include support from servicemembers attached to MCAS Iwakuni spearheaded by the Single Marine Program. Without the dedicated volunteer support, the cities of Shunan, Shuto, Hikari, Iwakuni, and Hiroshima would have remained in a state of disaster for weeks or months to come. This type of event was a success and a huge impact on the Japanese community. Thank you to everyone who participated, you embody the best of what we represent as guests to this nation.

    • We had over 600 servicemembers volunteer during recovery and clean up efforts.

    • Volunteer hours for cleanup relief totaled over 4,500.

  • Days of Service - Each year, the Single Marine Program spearheads the effort to encourage service members to volunteer in our community during the Days of Service weeklong event. On these days of service, the Single Marine Program offers volunteer opportunities to service members to become engaged in service activities on and off the MCAS Iwakuni. Based on the feedback from our volunteers the orphanage and nursing home visits are the most rewarding. Knowing that they make a positive impact, will help them to become a more positive person.

    • Total number of volunteers: 100

    • Approx. 850 volunteer hours

“Engaging in community service provides service members with the opportunity to become active members of their community, experience the culture and traditions of Japan, and leave a positive impact on our Japanese nationals.”
Brian Wilson, Single Marine Program Manager, MCCS Iwakuni

Personal & Professional Development

P&PD conducted 527 classes and workshops with 10,735 participants in topics ranging from resume writing, transition, financial literacy, and Japanese language and culture.

Cultural Adaptation

Cultural Adaptation provides opportunities for cultural learning in Japan.

    • Cultural Adaptation offered 43 events

    • Total participants: 929

Youth & Teen

2018 was a very busy year for the Youth & Teen Center. We planned and executed approximately 50 trips this year including snowboarding, trips to the Shimonoseki Aquarium, Rabbit Island, and Universal Studios to name a few. Our programs and activities served more than three thousand youth over the course of this year. We have a new location on the third floor of the Iwakuni Middle School. Our new computer lab is up and running and the Youth and staff are looking forward to utilizing every aspect of the program. We have a no-cost registration or Program attendance. We are so pleased and appreciative to be members of the Iwakuni Community,  some of the bigger community events we conducted with the community include:

    • Annual Smart Girls - 250 participants

    • Annual Month of the Military Child - 450-500 participants

    • Annual Mini Marine & Navy Ball - 300 youth participants, 150 adult participants
“The Youth & Teen Program is excited to be able to provide the youth of our community with great programming opportunities from six core programming areas.”
Geraldine Ragin, School Age Care Director, MCCS Iwakuni

Iwakuni Expo

    • 233 participants attended

    • Featured 43 on and off-base organizations

Voluntary Education

Voluntary Education helped the military improve their education, open up career opportunities both on active duty and after they complete their military service.

    • $505,909.90 was awarded to Marines in Tuition Assistance to pay for 755 classes

    • Administered 412 tests including LSAT, SAT, ACT, and language proficiency tests


Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB) supports Marines, Sailors, and their families by providing Readiness & Resiliency programming. In 2018, MCFTB provided over 375 briefs, classes, workshops, and events to over 8,500 attendees.  Some highlights for the year are:

    • 3rd Annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day

    • MCFTB partnered with Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) to provide two Return & Reunion events for families of returning Sailors.

    • Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

Recreation & Leisure

Atago Sports Complex

The Atago Sports Complex became fully operational on July 7 this year ushering in a new joint-use facility that is strengthening our bond between the US and Japanese. We also marked the one year anniversary of the opening of Kizuna Stadium in November with the Mayor of Iwakuni and Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in attendance.

    • Go! Go! Field Opening Japan Goodwill Track & Field Meet - July 8 - Hosted by the Track & Field Associations of Iwakuni City, Yanai City, Kumage District, and MCCS Iwakuni
      • 29 SOFA Status Participants
      • 487 Japanese Local Participants
    • Youth Summer Basketball Camp - Aug 13-17 - Provided by Nothing Beats Commitment
      • 20 American Participants
      • 10 Japanese Local Participants
    • Youth Summer Soccer Camp - Aug 6-10 - Provided by British Soccer Camp
      • 52 American Participants
      • 4 Japanese Local Participants


Patrons of Semper Fit Aquatics expressed significant interest in SCUBA diving certification courses and a more robust diving activity. After a lot of work by our contracting team, we were able to find a vendor to establish a shop here on MCAS Iwakuni. Reef Encounters, a company based in Okinawa, is establishing a satellite shop next to the IronWorks Gym Aquatics Office and plans to be in operation by the end of the year. Mr. Bennett and his team are passionate about what they do and are excited to share their love of Scuba with us here in Iwakuni. The shop will offer a full range of dive courses from beginner to instructor, as well as a variety of special classes like night diving and deep diving. For patrons who are already certified, Reef Encounters will have gear for rent and for purchase. Reef Encounters will offer local diving trips for those certified as well.

Outdoor Rec

Patrons of Semper Fit Aquatics expressed significant interest in SCUBA diving certification courses and a more robust diving activity. After a lot of work by our contracting team, we were able to find a vendor to establish a shop here on MCAS Iwakuni. Reef Encounters, a company based in Okinawa, is establishing a satellite shop next to the IronWorks Gym Aquatics Office and plans to be in operation by the end of the year. Mr. Bennett and his team are passionate about what they do and are excited to share their love of Scuba with us here in Iwakuni. The shop will offer a full range of dive courses from beginner to instructor, as well as a variety of special classes like night diving and deep diving. For patrons who are already certified, Reef Encounters will have gear for rent and for purchase. Reef Encounters will offer local diving trips for those certified as well.

Youth Sports

Youth Sports provided six sports seasons this year, a friendly basketball tournament in March, The Suo-Oshima Friendship Soccer Day in October and two summer sports camps at the Atago Sports Complex.

    • Basketball Season: January-March 2018, 203 Participants, 36 Volunteer Coaches, and 1 End of Season Celebration which included 12 Volunteers

    • Friendly Basketball Tournament: Saturday, 17 March, 22 Participants, and 14 Volunteers

    • Baseball/Softball Season: March-June 2018, 184 Participants, 30 Coaches, and 1 End of Season Celebration which included 14 Volunteers

    • Summer Camps: Water Polo - 10 Participants - Semper Fit Lifeguards / Tennis- 25 Participants- 3 Volunteers / Volleyball- 25 Participants - 3 Volunteers

    • Soccer Season: August-October 2018, 353 Participants, 62 Coaches, and 1 End of Season Celebration which included 15 Volunteers

    • Flag Football Season: November-December 2018, 109 Participants, 30 Coaches

    • Volleyball Season: November-December 2018, 48 Participants, 11 Coaches

    • Cheerleading Season: November-December 2018, 29 Participants, 6 Coaches, 1 End of Season Celebration for Flag Football, Volleyball, and Cheerleading, 186 Participants, and 1 End of Season Celebration which included 12 Volunteers

    • What to look forward to in 2019: Basketball, Friendly Basketball Tournament, Baseball/Softball, Summer Camps, Soccer Season, Suo-Oshima Friendship Soccer Day, Flag Football Season, Cheerleading Season, Volleyball
“Our basketball and soccer camps at Atago were a great success by bringing Japanese and American kids together to learn highly sophisticated skills and drills from excellent coaches. At both camps, American and Japanese kids played hard and encourage each other.”
Shima Sato, Youth Recreation Specialist, MCCS Iwakuni

Health Promotion

Semper Fit Fitness provided for over 367,917 patrons across three different fitness facilities: IronWorks Main, IronWorks North, and IronWorks Atago. A total of 1,736 group fitness classes were offered with attendance of over 20,861 patrons. Over 1,280 Active Duty Members participated in unit physical training sessions in 2018. Personal trainers provided 573 one on one training sessions to patrons aboard MCAS Iwakuni. The most impactful options offered to the community were the Group Exercise classes.

    • Zumba - 27 patrons per class
    • Parent Child Classes (Zumba, Pilates, Bootcamp) - 15 patrons per class
    • Functional Fitness - 15 patrons per class
    • Pound - 14 patrons per class
    • Pilates - 12 patrons per class

Intramural Sports

With the additional intramural sports seasons we provided this year over last year, we raised participation numbers by over a hundred patrons overall for the year.

    • Unit Basketball - 2,856 patrons
    • Unit Softball - 1,032 patrons
    • Unit Flag Football - 432 patrons
    • Unit Volleyball - 120 patrons
    • Unit Soccer - 384 patrons
    • MLK Basketball Tournament - 240 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Flag Football Challenge - 120 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Spring Volleyball Challenge - 120 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Spring Basketball Challenge - 96 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Spring Softball Challenge - 144 patrons
    • Spring Home Run Derby - 96 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Fall Soccer Challenge - 240 patrons
    • Commander’s Cup Winter Football Challenge - 120 patrons
“As a result of customer feedback, Semper Fit added Functional Fitness classes to the weekly group fitness schedule, additional youth sports activities, and new strength and cardio equipment.”
Curtis Brown, Director of Semper Fit, MCCS Iwakuni

Information Tours & Travel

IT&T provides a customer friendly service which also allows our community members to explore and discover different locations throughout Japan. For many traveling in a new country where they don’t speak the language, travel can be intimidating. Our staff provides a means of bridging the cultural gap for our community members. Our trips are a gateway to bridging this gap.

    • US MLB All-Star Baseball Team v. Japan All-Star - 80 patrons
    • Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival - 76 patrons
    • Universal Studio Japan - 71 patrons
    • Sapporo Snow Festival - 36 patrons
    • Discover Seoul (S. Korea) - 26 patrons

ICE Lessons Learned: IronWorks

Total comments received as of November 2018: 100

During the calendar year, the community provided regular feedback and recommendations that led to facility improvements, improved services, and new programs. There was demand for parent-child fitness programs, and in response to that demand, Semper Fit added parent-child Zumba and parent-child Pilates to the group fitness schedule. Semper Fit planned and implemented a softball and volleyball season into the annual youth sports calendar as well as a contracted soccer and basketball camps. Facility and equipment upgrades are in constant demand. To satisfy that demand, MCCS procured new strength and cardio equipment for the IronWorks fitness center and the IronWorks North fitness center.

Shopping & Services

The Marine Corps Exchange

The MCX provides a full line of retail products to all of our servicemembers on the air station as well as to their family members, retirees, and other authorized patrons. As we look to the opening of our new MCX in March 2019, we are excited to see how we will grow and be able to provide even more retail and top notch customer service.

    • 2018 Back to School Event - “We talk directly to the schools to get the lists of required items. We were ready and the community gave us many kudos for the assortment and our in stocks this year!” Roycelyn (Rusti) Rausch, Chief of Retail and Services

    • Upcoming for 2019:

      • The GRAND OPENING of the new MCX is Saturday, 16 March. Expect over $100K in savings and giveaways. “It’s coming – what we have been waiting for, the opening of the brand new MCX.” Roycelyn (Rusti) Rausch, Chief of Retail and Services

      • Spring and Fall Bazaar – “This is a great community event featuring products from all over Asia including furniture, toys, jewelry, and paintings.” Roycelyn (Rusti) Rausch, Chief of Retail and Services

      • Picture taking with the Easter Bunny during Easter week 2019.

ICE Lessons Learned: MCX

Total comments received as of November 2018: 108

Throughout the course of the year, the MCX received feedback from the community outlining areas requiring both improvement and sustainment. The lack of popular clothing has been addressed by our buying team and the plan is to have additional brands when the new store comes online. The MCX staff and their buyers are continually working to improve the stock in tobacco and alcohol. MCCS is working with a stateside maintenance company to get them over here to service the fuel pumps. Every day during store meetings with the associates the management stresses the importance of customer service, not just a smile, but sharing value programs, ensuring they execute the sale events properly and timely, floor maintenance, and customer engagement. The biggest challenge this year was on furniture special orders. The MCX awarded a contract to Yellow Box to be their furniture supplier. They have moved to Iwakuni which means pricing will be extremely comparable to pricing in Viet Nam.

Dining & Entertainment

Club Iwakuni

We saw plenty of firsts this year for Club Iwakuni. The inaugural Iwakuni Comicon, the opening of Bueno Burrito, the Hangar Enlisted Club grand opening, and the Chili’s grand opening. With the growing population and ever-changing footprint of the air station, the Club worked hard all year to provide quality entertainment and customer service for the community.

    • Inaugural Iwakuni Comicon - 800 + US/JPN attendees
    • Hangar E Club Grand Opening - 600 attendees
    • Oktoberfest - 469 attendees
    • Mother’s Day Brunch - 459 attendees
    • Sunday Easter Brunch - 426 attendees
    • Hangar St. Patrick’s Day Party - 402 attendees
    • Bueno Burrito Grand Opening - 292 attendees
    • Navy Ball - 258 attendees
    • Red, White, & Food - 168 attendees
    • Chili’s Grand Opening - Feb 13-14

ICE Lessons Learned: Club Iwakuni

Total comments received as of November 2018 (52).

Community interaction helps shape our activities, especially those that are predominantly customer-facing. We think the reason why we have good service in J.D.’s is in part of hiring a great team who are dedicated not only to their job but, providing great customer service to the entire community. We strive each and every day to provide the best customer service to everyone. Bueno Burrito was born from the need for a Chipotle-style quick service restaurant and had a good impact on the guests that frequent our facility. It was well thought out by a team of professionals to bring the community a new food concept. We just want to let our community know that we have been listening to their ICE comments and have implemented the necessary changes moving forward.

Sakura Theater

Through September 2018, the Sakura Theater showed 539 movies. The theater sold 53,954 tickets which is a 78.2% increase from last year. 

    • Top Movies for 2018 (by tickets sold)
      • Avengers: Infinity War (3,856)
      • Deadpool 2 (2,665)
      • Black Panther (2,413)
      • Star Wars: Last Jedi (2,309)
      • Incredibles 2 (2,308)
      • Thor: Ragnarok (1,849)
      • Justice League (1,704)
      • Ant-Man & The Wasp (1,146)
      • IT (1,107)

    •  Top Children’s Movies for 2018 (by tickets sold)
      • Incredibles 2 (2,308)
      • Hotel Transylvania 3 (911)
      • Coco (819)
      • Ferdinand (563)

ICE Lessons Learned: Food Court

Total comments received as of November 2018: 65

The Crossroads Food Court averages roughly 1,600 customers a day. With those numbers, the demand for excellent customer service and food quality is high - as it should be. Based on our customer feedback, we’ve identified areas of sustainment and improvement. The Food Court Management team has trained each frontline team member the L.A.S.T. method when handling customer service issues. Listening to the customer, Apologize for any inconveniences, Satisfy the customer by correcting any issues in a timely manner, and Thanking the customer allowing us to correct any issues on the spot. The Food Court Management team has ensured that each food concept that delivers has enough drivers schedule and they are following delivery standards to ensure that each customer receives their food fresh and hot product and in a timely manner. The Food Court Management team has trained Food Court team member on brand standards to ensure that proper hold times are being used to ensure that customer received hot fresh products in a timely manner.

Special Events

Special Events saw success this year bringing quality helping maintain our partnership with the citizens of Iwakuni. We held numerous events on the installation as well as at the newly opened Atago Sports Complex.

    • Adam Devine Comedy Show - Sakura Assembly Hall - Attendance: 887
    • Halestorm Concert - Sakura Assembly Hall - Attendance: 285
    • Friendship Day - MCAS Iwakuni - Attendance: 215,000
    • USO Show Troupe - Sakura Assembly Hall - Attendance: 252
    • Iwakuni Friendship Flea Market - Lotus Cultural Center - Attendance: 3,500
    • USO Randy Johnson Tour - USO/Club Iwakuni/Kizuna Stadium - Attendance: 521
    • Marine Corps Ball - IronWorks Gym - Attendance: 3,095
“We worked hard to continue our relationship with the city of Iwakuni by hosting events out at the Atago Sports Complex. We were finally able to pull off the Iwakuni Friendship Flea Market, something we’d been planning for a long time. It’s a huge win with for both Iwakuni and the air station.”
Robert “Bob” Rudolph, Special Events Program Manager, MCCS Iwakuni

What to look Forward to in 2019

Expect great things from MCCS in 2019. The biggest event to-date is the MCX Grand Opening in March. The HITT center at IronWorks is putting in artificial turf and Health Promotions is updating their resale fitness apparel line. The Single Marine Program is hosting the 5th Annual Days of Service. Projected First Run Movies include X-Men: Dark Phoenix, How To Train Your Dragon 3, Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, John Wick 3, Gambit, Toy Story 4, Justice League 2, Spiderman: Far From Home, Top Gun: Maverick, The New Mutants, Inhumans: Marvel, and IT: Chapter 2. Crossfire Paintball opens again after April 1 every weekend and holiday for walk-ins. Youth & Teen will have their annual Smart Girls Event on January 19 for the first time at the Lotus Cultural Center (Atago Sports Complex). Expect these things and more from MCCS Iwakuni.