Camp Foster fair showcases new products, services
Stars and Stripes June 9, 2003
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The long-necked, colored-glass bottle looked like it contained a fancy liqueur.
“Vinegar,” said the health food vendor as he passed a shot to an interested customer.
“It’s good for your health,” the salesman said, pounding his chest.
He then grabbed a pill bottle; “Loaded with vitamin E … Made from deep-sea shark liver oil,” he said, as he quickly pointed to other items of interest and passed out literature.
It was like that all day Thursday at Camp Foster’s Field House, where nearly 100 booths offered a smorgasbord of products and services.
Foster’s fourth annual Vendor Fair drew sales representatives from Okinawa, mainland Japan, the United States and elsewhere.
The vendor fair allows all status of forces agreement personnel on Okinawa to meet vendors and find alternate sources for supplies and services.
It also gives attendees a chance to see industry innovations, said Jack Courtney, a regional contracting officer for the Marine Corps on Okinawa.
“It may also allow you to possibly trim your budget with one or two new cost-saving items or services you might not have known were available,” he said.
Items included: computer technologies, Internet services, copier and printing services, security systems, office supplies and furniture, construction equipment, power and hand tools, gifts, souvenirs and military paraphernalia, to name a few.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Green, the force-protection project officer for the Navy’s Fleet Activities Okinawa command, said he came to see the latest security technologies.
“I anticipate making recommendations to our supply folks to purchase a few things that should enhance our security posture,” he said.
Green said he saw some of the “latest and greatest” security surveillance systems with technologies he had never seen before. One was a sound detection system that would alert security personnel if anybody tried cutting through a base perimeter fence.
While many came on behalf of their units, others came just for the handouts, which included free ice cream, gourmet coffee, fruit slushies, pens and highlighters.
In one corner, a group offering cultural services set up an enclosure for customers to sit and enjoy an authentic Japanese tea ceremony.
A few aisles over, another vendor gave customers a chance — though futile — to try knocking out a pane of bulletproof glass with a swing of a baseball bat.