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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Shipboard sailors will trade racks for barracks beds as fast as the furniture can get here, said Commander, Naval Forces Japan Rear Adm. James Kelly recently.

Kelly got the initial $3.1 million go-ahead to buy bunk beds and wardrobes for Homeport Ashore — an initiative aimed at getting 95 percent of junior seagoing sailors into the barracks when their ship is in port at Yokosuka Naval Base.

Currently, sea-duty personnel ranked E-4 and below live aboard the ship in large berthing spaces — some with up to 200 racks — with little privacy.

This is a quality-of-life issue that affects the number of liberty incidents, Kelly said.

“When they’re in a huge berthing area, sailors don’t necessarily look forward to getting back to their rack and they stay out all night,” Kelly said. “We don’t have the number of incidents with the shore commands.”

About 1,200 of these sailors — out of a total of more than 3,000 — will have “a place to call home” this summer as soon as the shipments of furniture start arriving and existing barracks are reconfigured to accommodate three or four people rather than one or two.

“We’re going to move people as soon as we can,” Kelly said. “Sharing a barracks room isn’t the Holiday Inn, but it’s better than berthing.”

Spots will be doled out based on each ship’s E-4 and below population percentage, similar to the Electoral College. For example, the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier will have more spaces than a smaller ship, but all will get beds.

A waiver to temporarily redesignate the Juban family housing tower as a bachelor enlisted quarters has been granted and plans are in the works to combine chief petty officer quarters and bachelor officer quarters to free up more space, Kelly said.

They are also encouraging those who can to “live out in town,” and are working on making that prospect more attractive, Kelly said.

Eventually, a $112 million construction effort will build four new barracks — two 15-story and two eight-story — on base, but the funding has yet to be secured, Kelly added.

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