Some ways to make the best of your Pacific tour
During a three-day summit held last month at Tama Hills Lodge, 20 senior enlisted leaders developed the best practices for “Living Well in Japan.” A look at the base programs highlighted:
¶ Newcomer Orientation at Misawa takes servicemembers and families on downtown tours and introduces them to Japanese customs.
¶ Single Marine Program, offered at Marine bases, provides fun, safe, healthy and alcohol-free recreational environment for single and unaccompanied Marines.
¶ Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers at Camp Zama is run by volunteers and designed to promote well being, recreation and community service. Soldiers get a BOSS card they use to earn discounts and gain other benefits at certain services facilities.
¶ Single Sailor Program at Yokosuka Naval Base offers free Internet access, 40 desktop computers, movie lounge, Xbox, Playstation, big screen televisions, stage for special events, arcade games, free Wi-Fi and voice over Internet phones. The Fleet Recreation Center also has a food court open 24 hours a day, Navy Exchange, barbershop, Navy Campus Office, travel office and full-service fitness facilities.
¶ Airman’s Center at Yokota Air Base featuring multimedia facility, video games, LAN, Internet capabilities, a private theater, sound system, dance floor, pool tables and shuffle board.
¶ Single Airman Xtreme Program at Misawa for servicemembers ranked E-1 to E-4 offers discounted outdoor trips and tours.
¶ Sasebo Naval Base’s Junior Sailor Association provides positive activities aimed at personal and professional development.
¶ Dorm Dweller project at Yokota includes all-night bowling and basketball for dorm residents. A teen program is held simultaneously at different venues.
¶ Naval Air Facility Atsugi Liberty Hound Program focuses on activities for E-1 to E-5 sailors. About 150 personnel get Web-based updates. Function prices often prorated based on pay grade.
¶ One Sailor Can Make a Difference — High-profile sailors from Atsugi participate in Base Information Channel spots about being a good ambassador for the United States.
¶ Sasebo’s Board of Elders advises the Junior Sailor Association, teaching younger sailors about history and traditions of Japan and the United States.
¶ Shipmates Program at Sasebo enables local bars to apply for door stickers identifying them as U.S. military-friendly establishments that abide by rules.
¶ Armed Forces Control Disciplinary Board at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station visits downtown bars and other alcohol establishments to ensure they’re operating within guidelines.
¶ Designated driver programs containing volunteer incentives.
¶ “Find the Fun” program at Kadena Air Base encourages airmen and families to tour Okinawa and earn rewards.
¶ Kadena’s “Drop And Give Me 10” program designed to increase club membership by offering 10 percent discount at all services facilities.
¶ Highland Games at Camp Fuji provides Scottish-style sports competition. Organizers planning interservice, bilateral event next year.
¶ Camp Zama’s Commanders Corner gives residents and community members an opportunity to ask commanders and senior enlisted leaders questions concerning the base.
¶ Under Zama Community Outreach Program, conducted biannually, Army leaders invite local ward chiefs and Japanese citizens on the base to interact with soldiers and families.
¶ Kadena’s Language Institute offers servicemembers an opportunity to volunteer teaching English or on-the-job courses, enhancing local community relations.
¶ Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Basic Enlisted English Course at Sasebo involves sailors teaching conversational English to Japanese servicemembers.
¶ Friendship Council at Kadena allows Japanese community members to come on base and meet with base leaders to promote relationships.
¶ Misawa’s Home Stay program allows American and Japanese students in grades 5-9 to spend alternating weekends with Japanese and American families.
¶ Japan Airlines agreement in which Misawa personnel can get discounted airline tickets to fly during their birth month.
¶ Misawa’s International Club hosts Japan Day celebration at Edgren High School that draws more than 3,000 people. American Day in Misawa City featuring U.S. entertainment and cuisine attracts 70,000 visitors.
¶ Iwakuni’s annual air show gives troops and local community members a chance to interact and build relationships. More than 200,000 Japanese visitors attended in May.
¶ SWEEPERS effort at Sasebo, where sailors volunteer to clean up International Boulevard, the main road leading off base.
¶ Yokota’s Homeless Program produces 2,000 meals weekly and incorporates seasonal clothing drive for Tokyo’s estimated 90,000 homeless people. The base commissary has donated about 265 tons of food while volunteers drop off goods at the chapel every Sunday.