SASEBO, Japan – A 2003 McDowell High School graduate and Marion native is working with the U.S. Navy with Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS).

Command Security Manager Kathleen Justice is serving with the Headquarters at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy command security manager is responsible for background investigations, security clearances and protecting classified information.

“I like working with sailors," said Justice. "I like being able to support the military."

With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.

"Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values," said Adm. Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander. "It's not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth. And for the last six decades, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have worked side by side with the Japan Self Defense Force to protect and advance peace and freedom."

The Navy's presence in Sasebo is part of a long-standing commitment to the region.

"U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo is strategically significant to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and Commander, Naval Forces Japan,” said Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo Capt. Brad Stallings. “We enable and serve the fleet in order for them to execute their missions. We can do this because we have top notch Sailors, Japanese and American civilian employees, and contractors dedicated to ensuring the fleet gets what they need to be successful."

Fleet Activities Sasebo civilians define excellence in shore installation management through their proactive leadership and seamless command integration.

“I am an Army National Guard veteran, I have a sister and two brothers who are Army veterans,” said Justice. “My uncle is also currently in the Navy and my cousin is in the Air Force, so I guess you could say I come from a military family.”

Civilians serving abroad in Sasebo, Japan provide much-needed support to the CFAS command, and are a vital link bridging the U.S.-Japan security partnership.

“For us it’s great because we support 7th Fleet directly,” Justice said. “We can see a direct impact with Japan and in the Far East.”

Formally established in June of 1946, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo has provided support for the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of responsibility since the Korean War. Today, including the forward-deployed ships, Fleet Activities Sasebo is home to more than 25 commands, and more than 5,900 military members and their families as part of the Forward-Deployed Naval Forces.

“The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Harris.