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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A retirement ceremony was held Thursday at the Enlisted Club for Col. Kenneth Wavering, the 374th Airlift Wing’s vice commander. It becomes effective Sept. 1.

Wavering will be replaced by Col. Douglas E. Kreulen, who spent the past two years as the 314th Operations Group commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Thursday’s ceremony capped a week of farewells for Wavering that included a tournament at Tama Hills Golf Course on Monday, his final flight Tuesday and a Wednesday retirement dinner that drew about 300 people to the Enlisted Club.

Wavering, who came to Yokota in April 2001 as commander of the 730th Air Mobility Squadron, is credited with many achievements during his stint here. They include:

• Restarting the Vice Mayor Council with six surrounding cities. The quarterly meetings are designed to address local issues such as noise pollution, build good relationships and enhance understanding and cooperation.

• Originating the idea of Samurai Warriors/Bushido — the code of the samurai — to define Yokota’s spirit.

• Creating a “Japanese Culture Day” to provide an opportunity for base residents to experience and learn Japanese culture. “It’s very important to understand the host nation in order to build a better friendship,” he said.

Wavering, a 1979 graduate of the Air Force Academy, served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm and retires as a decorated command pilot with more than 3,300 flight hours.

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