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ESG 7 / CTF 76 News
NEWS | April 10, 2018

From the Commander | Invite to White Beach Festival 2018

By Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander, Task Force 76

















第7艦隊揚陸部隊司令官 ブラッド・クーパー少将



Citizens of Okinawa,


I am honored to invite you to this year’s White Beach Festival taking place 14-15 April at the White Beach Naval Facility. The White Beach Festival is jointly hosted by the U.S. Navy and JMSDF, a true symbol of the strength of our alliance.  The festival will feature live music, a variety of American food, and a range of activities for the kids.

As a highlight to this year’s festival, the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard will be at White Beach Festival and open for tours. The BHR is a 40,000-ton ship that functions much like an aircraft carrier capable of launching both helicopters and Marine Corps jets.  Bonhomme Richard has served as the flagship of our Amphibious Forces forward-deployed to Japan for the past six years and will soon return to the United States. We will be up opening the ship for tours for White Beach Fest so that you and your families can meet the Sailors and see firsthand what life is like on the ship. 

Every Sailor, Marine, Airman, and Soldier who serves in Okinawa recognizes the beauty of the island and the warmth of its citizens. I have served as commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet Amphibious Force, headquartered at White Beach, only since January but in that time have equally enjoyed Okinawa’s welcome and the warmth of its people.  I have really enjoyed learning about, hearing, and seeing the performance of the Ryukyu -buyo dance and the three-stringed sanshin, as well as trying the yagi sashimi  - very tasty.

The U.S. Navy is deeply committed to the security of Okinawa and all of Japan. My team  of Sailors, in partnership with the U.S. Marines, are heavily invested in strengthening the bonds with the Kaijo Jieitai, and stand ready to provide for any type of contingency like disaster relief. As an example, our Navy forces rapidly responded in 2011 to support Japan after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and most recently in 2016 with MV-22s and Navy flight deck personnel after the earthquake in Kumamoto.

And this is why I’m so excited to see you all at this year’s White Beach Festival. I look forward to meeting you and know you will enjoy taking a tour of Bonhomme Richard!

Yoroshiku onegai-shimasu!

With my highest regards and best wishes,

Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet


For more information about the White Beach Festival, go to the Facebook page of Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa ( The event runs from 1200-2000 April 14-15.