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17th Area Support Group

On 16 October 2002, the 17th Area Support Group was inactivated. In its place, US Army Garrison Japan was activated as part of the Department of the Army's Transformation of Installation Management. This resulted in the merger of the installation management functions throughout Japan.

The Zama Military Community provided forward-based logistical support, installation management, and services in support of the bilateral relation, contingency operations and other missions of USARJ/9th Theater Support Command. The 17th Area Support Group provided administrative and logistical support for all Army organizations and activities in Japan. It supported the 9th Theater Support Command's deployment, reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of US and allied forces. It maintained Army War Reserve stocks, conducted COSIS, and provided quality logistics, services, and facility support in the Pacific Theater. Camp Zama won the 1995 and 1996 ACOE award for small overseas installations.

The 17th Area Support Group served a population of 8,000 (including military, civilians, family members, and retirees) over 2,266 acres (the main base and 10 sub-installations). Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 17th Area Support Group served as the company headquarters for both 17th Area Support Group and USARJ. There were over 2,100 assigned/attached soldiers, civilians, and Master Labor Contract personnel. The 25th Postal Company (AG) was a detachment of 29 personnel assigned including soldiers, civilians, and MLCs. They provided all postal support to the US Army on the Island of Honshu. Also assigned to the 17th Area Support Group was the 35th Supply and Service Battalion, the 78th Aviation Battalion (Provisional), and the 83rd Ordnance Battalion.

17th ASG controlled 13 sub-installations on Honshu. These locations fell into 2 major geographical areas of the island: the Kanto Plain around Tokyo and Hiroshima in the southwest portion of the island. Sagamihara Family Housing Area (SHA) was located 3 miles northeast of Camp Zama. This facility was the major family housing complex for personnel assigned to Camp Zama and Sagami General Depot. It contained 601 housing units, as well as the main commissary.

The 17th Area Support Group provided logistical support for executing the movement and sustainment of forces in military operations; reception, staging, onward movement, and integration operations; emergency relief, and other contingencies (natural disaster, humanitarian assistance, etc..); and bilateral, unilateral, and joint exercises.

The most important bilateral field training exercises (FTXs) for the 17th Area Support Group were the annual North Wind and Orient Shield. The 17th Area Support Group provided the critical site support base for these bilateral FTXs. Each of these FTXs involved a battalion-size US unit from either the 25th Infantry Division from Hawaii or an Army National Guard unit working with a regimental-size unit from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

The 17th Area Support Group also provided installation management that ensured that installations met all readiness mission requirements for war contingencies, peacekeeping, and humanitarian taskings, deployment, environmental stewardship, and engineering and housing. The 17th Area Support Group also provided telecommunications (including television services), telephone, and computer hardware and software support. The strategic goal "Provide unparalleled installation facilities, infrastructure, and environmental excellence" supported this key product and service.

The 17th Area Support Group provided Community and Bilateral Relations of US Army forces stationed in Japan, displaying the resolve of the United States in support of its national interests around the world. The 17th Area Support Group provided community relations with local mayors and prefecture (US state level) officials and hosted 4 major, open-post, goodwill events each year that attracted over 100,000 local Japanese citizens. The 17th Area Support Grop also provided 228 unilateral and bilateral band concerts each year by the 296th Army Band, with a total attendance of 660,000 Japanese and US patrons.

The 17th Area Support Group provided services that directly impacted on the quality of life of soldiers, family members and civilians, such as, an 18-hole golf course, recreational parks, a fishing pond, fitness centers, swimming pools, recreatioinal equipment, van rentals, and a large-inventory library, education center, and a civilian personnel advisory center.

The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 17th Area Support Group was established as the US Army Garrison, Honshu (USAGH), one of the 3 major subordinate commands of US Army Japan (USARJ), effective 30 June 1974. It was organized under the directorate concept. The US Army Aviation Detachment, Camp Zama, was reassigned to Headquarters, USARJ. In conjunction with the establishment of USAGH, operational functions of Headquarters, USARJ and their related resources were transferred to the new organization. The Garrison Commander and his administrative and service staff and organizations were located in Camp Zama, Japan. The operational elements of the garrison, to include supply, maintenance, transportation, procurement, and ammunition remained in the areas where their predominant operations were located, i.e., Directorate of Industrial Operations at Sagami Depot, Directorates of Transportation and Procurement at North Pier, Yokohama, and Directorate of Ammunition at Akizuki.

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