YOKOSUKA, Japan — An Ottumwa native is serving with the U.S. Navy’s command office in Japan, an area that has become more sensitive as tensions with China rise.
Japan has been an ally of the United States since the end of World War II, and Lt. Cmdr. Carlson Schindler is stationed there as part of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. More than half of the world’s shipping and about a third of the crude oil passes through the region. Schindler serves with the Commander, Naval Forces Japan.
Schindler, a member of Ottumwa High School’s Class of 1999, was the subject of a feature produced recently by the Navy. He said his responsibilities as a political and military affairs oficer include advising flag officers in the maintenance of the U.S-Japanese alliance.
“Being stationed here in Japan is an awesome experience,” said Schindler. “I work with smart professional people and every day you learn something new.”
Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of the fleet, said the Navy’s position in Japan helps provide security, but is also crucial to strengthening relationships with nations in Asia. The base in Yokosuka is more than two weeks closer to locations there than comparable forces based in the United States.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that most of my job is having an influence on flag officers,” said Schindler. “I help shape international relations.”