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The staff at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley, displays some of the choices available at each meal. But this is the real thing, not a wax model such as those seen at some Japanese restaurants. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility.

The staff at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley, displays some of the choices available at each meal. But this is the real thing, not a wax model such as those seen at some Japanese restaurants. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

The staff at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley, displays some of the choices available at each meal. But this is the real thing, not a wax model such as those seen at some Japanese restaurants. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility.

The staff at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley, displays some of the choices available at each meal. But this is the real thing, not a wax model such as those seen at some Japanese restaurants. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

Petty Officer 1st Class John Perkins from Assault Craft Unit One, Sasebo Detachment, goes through the serving line Friday at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility.

Petty Officer 1st Class John Perkins from Assault Craft Unit One, Sasebo Detachment, goes through the serving line Friday at the Shogun Cafe, Sasebo Naval Base's galley. The base command is trying get more sailors to utilize the facility. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Base officials will stop basic allowance for subsistence and reduce the cost-of-living allowance effective Aug. 31 for all bachelor enlisted housing residents.

Officials said they reviewed the operations of the Shogun Café galley and determined the facility is underutilized. The loss of BAS and a 53 percent reduction in COLA that comes with being designated “Barracks COLA,” rather than “Single COLA,” will affect about 157 sailors residing in bachelor enlisted housing.

“Individual installation commanders make the determination on the authorization of BAS at their base,” said Charles T. Howard, base spokesman.

According to base officials, sailors ranked E1-E9 receive BAS at $254.46 per month if authorized. If not, $213.00 is deducted, leaving partial BAS at $41.46 per month.

As for the shift in COLA status, the change also is significant, sailors say.

For example, a seaman with less than two years of service receives Single COLA at $698.83 per month; the Barracks COLA is $338.88. A seaman with more than two years of service receives $728 in Single COLA; Barracks COLA is $352.58.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s treating us like garbage … that’s what it is,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class David Hunter, a master-at-arms in the base security department.

Sasebo’s galley is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. (9 a.m. on weekends and holidays), 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sailors must submit a special request to Sasebo’s Chief Staff Officer Cmdr. Bernard P. Wang to continue to receive BAS. The request must show that the galley is impractical for them to use.

If the request is approved, however, they receive partial BAS at a daily rate of $1.

“Thirty dollars? Really now, that might last me a three-day work period. Everybody averages about $10 per day for food. If they take this away (BAS and Single COLA reductions), we’re screwed,” Hunter said.

“In the past, we’ve interpreted liberally whether messing is available or not,” Wang was quoted as saying in a recent base news report. “However, what we’ve seen is it has an adverse effect on the galley. We have a wonderful galley, yet we don’t have a lot of people coming through it.”

“It’s something available to all sailors living on base and working in the main base area,” Wang added in the report.

“Well, for us in security, it does not work,” Hunter said Friday. “Right now, I’m on nights. I have to get up at 3 p.m., be at work by 4 p.m., arm-up by 4:30 p.m., being at my post at 5 p.m. and my post lasts from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., straight. When am I supposed to go to the galley? That’s my work schedule.”

“Then from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., I have to patrol and protect the base and conduct force protection,” he said. “Then after that, we go and PT (physical training). Then we have to get eight hours of sleep per night or we cannot get armed-up the next day for work.”

“So, I can’t eat breakfast. I can’t each lunch. I can’t eat dinner at the galley. I have to go to McDonald’s where it cost $5 for a friggin’ 10-piece McNuggets,” Hunter said.

“We can’t cook in our rooms, we can’t have anything in our rooms, and in security (department), we aren’t even allowed to go to our rooms [during a work shift]. The only recourse we have is to pay the prices on the base at the fast food places.”

There is a process allowing sailors to receive reimbursement for missed meals at a rate of $1.70 for breakfast and $3.30 for lunch and dinner. The base commander, chief staff officer or one of their designees must approve these requests.

Base officials say the galley is not operating near capacity. Civilians are not allowed to purchase meals in the galley except on a few specified occasions.

“The money received by the galley is based on the number of authorized users in the facility,” Wang said in the report. “If less people use it, then we get less money to operate it.

“We’re relying on people who have to pay for galley use to subsidize it, but in many cases, it’s not a profitable venture. So we want to take a look and tighten up BAS as we’re doing now.”

In order to receive BAS, a galley or messing must not be available or must be “impractical.” A couple of commands operate from locations other than the main base facility in Sasebo, including at the Hario Housing Village and the Sakibe Laydown Facility, the home of Assault Craft Unit Five, Sasebo Detachment. Officials say they want to look at those cases on an individual basis.

“We will be looking closely at requests to continue present rates of BAS for those unable to use the galley due to duty or watch standing requirements,” Howard said.

“A barometer, if you will, would be if a sailor’s schedule or work location caused him or her to miss two meals a day for four days in the seven-day week. That would be a case where continuation of existing BAS would likely be approved. Other situations of individual sailors will be considered,” he said.

The galley staff also is being asked to make box lunches available, and to change hours to accommodate certain shifts, according to base officials.

“What we’re trying to do is lower the operating margin of the galley so we can give better service there,” Wang said. “It’s such a good galley that we just want to encourage more people to use it.”


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