SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Starting Tuesday, Sasebo’s detachment of the Armed Forces Network launches a new radio program — “Command Connections” — that will allow community members to interact on the air with the base commander and chief staff officer.

The show will air on 1575 AM at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and allow sailors, civilian employees and dependents a chance to submit comments, suggestions and questions.

Listeners can call during the program, and questions also can be submitted by sending an e-mail, submitting an internal communications (ICE) comment or dropping a note in one of the command suggestion boxes — but input through those methods must be submitted by the close of business the Monday before the show’s broadcast date, said base spokesman Charles T. Howard.

Starting on a yet-to-be-determined date, “Command Connections” will be re-aired on Commander’s Channel 12, Howard added.

“We’ll advertise this as soon as the techno bugs are worked out,” he said.

The host of the program, Seaman Darrin Russ, will manage the calls and keep the show moving while base commander Capt. Michael James and chief staff officer Cmdr. Bernie Wang address various issues.

“From my perspective it’s a great thing. How many E-3s … people with lower ranks like me … get the chance to speak about an issue directly with the captain? It just doesn’t happen,” Russ said Thursday.

“When you have questions or suggestions, even complaints, you’re supposed to work it through the military chain of command, and not go straight to the base commander,” the host added.

“This program takes all that out of the equation,” Russ said, “and I think it’s an exciting opportunity. It also shows how willing they (James and Wang) are to listen to what sailors and others in the community have to say.”

Officials in Sasebo said they hope sailors and others will “take advantage of this unique opportunity to get direct feedback from leadership on the pertinent issues of the day,” said Howard.

Participation not only “satisfies your own curiosity,” on a topic, but also “benefits the entire community,” Howard added.

Comments, suggestions and questions for the broadcast should be e-mailed to: or

Those wishing to pose a question live should call DSN 252-1575 from on base, and 0956-50-1575 from outside the gates.

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