Japanese exchange students tour Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

9th Coast Guard District NewsTRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., hosted a group of Traverse City Area Public Schools Japanese exchange students Monday.

The students were given a tour of the air station that included a brief on the job of a rescue swimmer, a hands-on showing of the MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, as well as a live rescue demonstration on the Coast Guard Ramp at Cherry Capital Airport.

Coast Guard units are encouraged to share Partnerships in Education with surrounding schools; TCAPS and Air Station Traverse City share that partnership here in Northern Michigan.

As part of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Program, students from Japan will spend a week attending Traverse City Area Public Schools. The purpose of this exchange program is to promote friendship and understanding between Japanese and American middle school students. TCAPS schools have been participating in the exchange program since 2006. Many TCAPS students have participated in the exchange program and have visited Japan and/or hosted Japanese students.

Originally, the City of Traverse City established a Sister City relationship with Tsuchiyama, Japan, in 1969. In 2004, the cities of Tsuchiyama, Konan, and Koka combined to form the city of Koka as a result of a governmental reorganization. As such, Traverse City’s “Sister City” relationship is now with the combined city of Koka.

“Since the time of the last Koka visit to our community, Traverse City has been officially designated as a U.S. Coast Guard City,” said TCAPS Superintendent Steve Cousins. “We are extremely proud to showcase this special relationship with our visiting students and leaders.”

To learn more about the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Program, visit http://www.mishiga.org/sisters/traverse.htm.

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