Support our mission
 
Sailors fill out paperwork to send packages in the mail Monday at the Sasebo Naval Base U.S. Post Office. Postal officials have recommended deadlines to make sure letters, cards and packages reach the United States in time for Christmas.
Sailors fill out paperwork to send packages in the mail Monday at the Sasebo Naval Base U.S. Post Office. Postal officials have recommended deadlines to make sure letters, cards and packages reach the United States in time for Christmas. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Individuals in the Pacific planning to send letters, cards or gifts to the United States should take note of the postal service’s recommended mailing deadlines to ensure delivery by Christmas.

In fact, U.S. Postal Service and military postal officials say, even now is not too early to mail items from and to military addresses overseas, according to Naval Supply Systems Command information supplied by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan.

“Unfortunately, on occasion something unforeseen could cause a delay,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Fernando Solatan, who works at the main post office at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan. “That’s why there are deadlines, which give us a window with just a little leeway to work with.”

Chief Petty Officer William Myles, chief postal clerk at the Sasebo post office, said Monday the following deadlines apply to mail coming from and intended for all FPO and APO addresses in the Pacific:

Parcel Post (generally the slowest but least expensive option for packages; all transportation is by ground except for flights overseas) — Nov. 12.Space Available (packages transported to and from overseas bases by air on a space-available basis; also called SAM) — Nov. 26.Parcel Airlift (packages transported entirely by air) — Dec. 3.Priority Mail and first-class cards and letters — Dec. 10 to all locations except for those with zip codes starting 093; for those locations, the deadline is Dec. 5.Express Mail — Dec. 19 to locations where Express Mail service is available. Check with your local post office to determine which APO and FPO addresses can receive Express Mail. This service is not available to ships.It’s also important, Myles said, to use the proper postage and to “properly pack boxes for travel so no loose items inside could protrude” and by using “strong boxes that won’t tear.”

Mail restrictions do not relax during the holidays.

“Nothing changes in that way,” he said. “You can’t send alcohol, perishable goods or any other prohibited items.”

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up