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News > Yokota wing commander quells rumors on base
Yokota wing commander quells rumors on base

Posted 3/23/2011   Updated 3/24/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/23/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan  -- Col. Paul "Otto" Feather, the 374th Airlift Wing commander, expressed his desire to clear up misinformation at Yokota regarding the base's response to the recent disasters in northern Japan.

Colonel Feather addressed local American Forces Network audiences in a radio broadcast Wednesday morning.

"There have been a lot of rumors floating around, and we had to clear them up so people have the best information we can provide," Colonel Feather said.

The colonel addressed several topics, from the recent authorized voluntary departures for expectant mothers and active duty mothers with small children, to the influx of people on base.

On hand with Colonel Feather was the deputy commander for the 374th Medical Group, Col. Fred Stone.

Colonel Stone expressed his understanding for people who have elected to relocate for the time being. Overall, he emphasized educating people as much as possible to make the decision that's right for their family.

"When you're pregnant, it's a very stressful time," Colonel Stone said. "Things are very safe here at Yokota, but I understand how some of these young, pregnant mothers might have some concerns. We want to help (everyone) make an informed choice."

Most importantly, however, is that people understand there is no mandatory evacuation in place for Americans, Colonel Feather added.

"It's highly unlikey (to happen), but of course we plan for all contingencies," he said. "So any time you're planning, people hear about it ... and think it's going to happen today."

With more than 1,200 military members augmenting operations at Yokota, Colonel Feather took time to address the number of tents going up around base. The rumor he'd heard was that Yokota is preparing to be able to decontaminate people who are affected radiologically.

"Really, we're just flat out of office space for everybody," he said.

The colonel also asked members of Team Yokota to reach out to people who have come here to help if they "look lost or don't know where they're going."

"Let's be good team players and help out the visiting Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who are running around the base," Colonel Feather said.

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