We want to extend a very warm welcome to everyone who is relocating to Okinawa! Okinawa is a fabulous place to be assigned to and we want to ensure your tour starts off right by providing every possible resource to ensure your relocation to Okinawa is as easy as possible.

Want to learn more about where to shop, eat and play in Okinawa? Looking for transportation schedules for the Green Line and the off-base bus system? Download MCCS Okinawa Liberty App as it provides this and much, much more on what is available on Okinawa.

Okinawa is located approximately 400 miles south of mainland Japan. Okinawa is home to III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation Pacific (MCIPAC).  Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler (MCB Camp Butler), which falls under MCIPAC, includes Camp KinserCamp FosterCamp CourtneyCamp HansenCamp Schwaband Camp Gonsalves. Okinawa is also home to  Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. Major subordinate commands falling under the III Marine Expeditionary Force include 3rd Marine Logistics Group3rd Marine Division1st Marine Aircraft Wing3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Navy presence on Okinawa includes Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa with its tenant commands and the  U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Foster. Naval facilities are physically located throughout Okinawa (on Kadena Air Base, Camp Shields, and White Beach Naval Facility). There is also a significant Air Force and Army presence on Okinawa located at Kadena Air Base and Torii Station. Among what is available on Okinawa, please know that there are Off-Limits Establishments and Areas that are outlined in the IIIMEF/MCIPAC-MCBBBul 5800.

ALL E-5 and below unaccompanied Marines and Sailors assigned to Marine units arriving on Okinawa, please read the Joint Reception Center (JRC) Welcome Aboard Letter.

Okinawa PCS "Must Know" Information Guide

Okinawa PCS "Must Know" Information document contains important relocation information needed by Service Members and their families to assist them during their relocation to Okinawa.  We have now added the Accompanied and Unaccompanied PCS Flowcharts, which provides step-by-step diagrams of each of the major relocation processes, to the Okinawa PCS "Must Know Information" Guide.

In the event of an emergency conditions on Okinawa caused by a natural disaster or crisis, all non-essential personnel may be evacuated off-island.  III MEF Family Emergency Evacuation Webpage contains a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and all of the forms need to compile an Emergency Evacuation Package (EEP) for Marines and their families to use to prepare for this situation. You can also stay informed through the AtHoc Notification Messaging System. Your Sponsor can help you register you and your family upon arrival. Have little ones in your family? Visit Ready Kids to help them learn about disaster preparedness in a fun and interactive way. The Air Force also provides a site that offers all sorts of puzzles and activities to help kids learn about disaster preparedness; visit Be Ready Kids to download your activity sheets for kids ages 4-12.

The Military OneSource webpage is a central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Find out more about benefits and prepare for the big stuff – deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement, managing finances and much more.
 

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Newcomers Orientation

Are you relocating to Okinawa, Japan? The following folks are required to attend the In-Person Newcomers’ Orientation Welcome Aboard (NOWA) Brief!

  • All accompanied Service Members (USMC & USN) and their families, DoD Civilians, Contractors and their families. 
  • All unaccompanied USMC & USN Service members E-6 or above. 
  • Children 10 years and older 

Click here to register online via Eventbrite.

For questions or concerns regarding the NOWA brief, please contact MCCS Information, Referral, & Relocation Services at: DSN 645-2104/2106 / Off-Base 098-970-2104/2106 or email: mcbb_newcomers@usmc.mil

Driving and Transportation

Driving And Transportation

The Marine Corps Installation Pacific (MCIPAC)/Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Installation Safety Office (ISO) Okinawa Driving web page has all of the information and resources on driving on Okinawa for SOFA Status personnel such as the Driver's Study Guide on Japanese Traffic Regulations which is the basis for the SOFA Drivers' Licensing Test.

The Okinawa Driving Section on the Base Installation Safety Office (ISO) website contains information on obtaining the Status of Forces Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) driver's license to include licensing section hours of operation, requirements on licensing, renewal and learner permits.

It is highly recommended each individual study the information in this guide, along with the road signs, prior to taking the licensing exam. Please watch the "Drive Safe Okinawa" video which explains to newly arriving drivers the rules of the road in Okinawa and how they may differ from driving in the United States.

The Japanese Traffic Regulations for SOFA Licensed Drivers drivers study guide covers the common elements of Japanese traffic regulations for Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) sponsored personnel.

Understanding Japanese Road Signs is an important part of driving in Japan and is testable as part of the SOFA Driver’s License written exam.  Please take the time to become familiar with them.

The Green Line web page contains information and policies on The Green Line, along with the timetables and schedules on Camp to Camp Express Service and the internal camp shuttles. The Bus Map Okinawa web page contains detailed information on all Okinawa and outer island bus terminals and companies, current bus routes and timetables, how to take the bus and fare information.  It also provides information on the Okinawa Monorail system. 

The "What To Do If You Are In a Traffic Accident" brochure contains useful phone numbers, instructions on what to do if you are involved in an accident or injured, reporting accidents and much more.

The Traffic "Safety Guidelines (TSG)" brochure contains precaution information when sharing the road with Pedestrians and Cyclists. 

Active duty personnel receive special assistance with renewing their stateside driver's license while overseas. Check your state for specific information on how to renew your Stateside Drivers' License via DMV.org.

The Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office web page provides information on vehicle registration, inspection, and safety standards in accordance with Japanese laws, U.S. Forces Japan Instructions, and Marine Corps Installations Pacific Orders.

 

Travel and Arrival

Getting Ready to travel to Japan? Click on the link below to watch the Marine Minute regarding PCSing to Japan during COVID-19:

https://www.marines.mil/News/Marines-TV/videoid/760321/


III MEF-MARFORJ

For the latest III MEF and MARFORJ Command Information relating to the COVID-19 outbreak and current travel regulations, please visit the following link.

https://www.iiimef.marines.mil/Coronavirus/

Due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Department of State being under Critical Processing procedures, please visit https://passportmatters.army.mil/Default.aspx for up-to-date important notices for the Special Issuance, Official and No-Fee Passports.

MCIPAC-MCBBBul 1610 Okinawa COVID In-Stride Guidance ROM restrictions update.

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Defense will be requiring a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding for passengers departing BWI and SEATAC aboard Patriot Express flights. For more information download the FAQs PDF here.

Traveler's Tips contains information on the TSA screening process, 3-1-1 for carry-on, permitted and prohibited items and much more.

It is important for you to stay safe while traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to your flight, begin to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Ensure you have the following items prior to your flight:

  • Cloth face masks - for each traveler
  • Hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes
  • laptop/tablet

PLEASE NOTE: all incoming personnel are required to complete a 14-day ROM upon arrival.  Ensure you have the following items with you or coordinate with your sponsor to have these items available for you if you will be in Contingency Housing or Permanent Housing:

  • Face masks.
  • Hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes.
  • Bedding & linens.
  • Baby items (if applicable).
  • Children's entertainment or comfort items.
  • Towels and washcloths.
  • Medication, contact lenses or glasses, and other hygiene items.
  • Wi-Fi enabled electronic devices such as tablets or laptops to complete any check-in requirements available virtually during your 14-day ROM.
  • Cleaning supplies.
  • Set of dishes, kitchenware, and cutlery: temporary kitchen kits are available through the MCCS Marine & Family Programs-Resource Centers. Coordinate with your sponsor to secure a kit prior to your arrival

If arriving at the Naha Airport Domestic Terminal, please take a look the attached photos and information to familiarize yourself about Naha Airport. You can also go on the English web page of the Naha Domestic Passenger Terminal to find out more about ground transportation access from the Naha Domestic Terminal and domestic arrival routes in the Naha terminal.

During COVID-19, many Service Members and their families will arrive on Okinawa via the “Patriot Express” which arrives at the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Terminal at Kadena Air Base.


Where you will conduct your Restriction of Movement (ROM) will determine your move of transportation to the location:

Final Residence / Contingency Housing / Designated Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF)- Accompanied Personnel:

  • Your sponsor will transport you from the AMC Terminal to your final residence.

E-5 and Below USMC Unaccompanied Personnel:

  • Board the JRC bus upon arrival to the AMC Terminal. The JRC bus will transport you to your unit's designated ROM location.

E-6 and Above USMC Personnel: 

  • Your unit's designated transportation vehicle or designated representative will transport you to your quarters.

USNH Active Duty Personnel:

  • Your unit's designated transportation vehicle or designated representative will transport you to your ROM location.

III MEF/MCIPAC 7220.1A - TLA Order  contains information on policies regarding Temporary Living Allowance (TLA) and family housing for Marine commands on Okinawa.

The TLA Brochure and TLA Information Sheet contains local area information on TLA to include Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC) contact numbers and governing policies on when TLA is authorized. 

Specific temporary lodging aboard Okinawa has been designated for incoming personnel to conduct their Restriction of Movement (ROM). Coordinate with your sponsor if you need to secure lodging prior to arrival.

The Westpac Lodging web page contains general information and amenities provided at the Westpac. 

Here are some useful Japanese phrases to assist you upon your arrival in Japan.

Want to learn about Japanese Culture? Please visit the Air Force Culture and Language Center at: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AFCLC/expeditionary-readiness-training/Field-Guides/ to download the cultural handbook app on Japan on your smartphone or tablet device.   It's also useful if you plan to visit other countries while living on Okinawa as it has a multitude of guides on other countries!

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Housing and Pets

Housing

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All accompanied Marines are now required to check into the MCIPAC Regional Housing Office, located at Camp Foster Building 361, after the completion of their ROM and checking into the Kadena Military Family Housing Office for in-processing and TLA certification paperwork.  (25 January 2018) 
 

MCIPAC Policy Letter 12-14 covers the assignment of dual service couples (military member married to another military member) to Military Family Housing.

The Kadena Air Force Website links two web pages to its page: Okinawa Military Family Housing Office  and The Kadena Family Housing  web pages, both of which have current information on Military Family Housing, Housing Management Office hours of operations and, locations, Housing Assignment Application forms, policies and pictures of military family housing on Okinawa.  Starting in 2017, on-base Military Housing is conducting a five-year Military Housing renovation project that will impact the number of available units for inbound Service Members. 

If having issues with your on or off base housing, the following flyers provide a 3-Step Resolution Process for Off-Base and On-Base Housing!  (February 2019)

Per MARADMIN 396/20, immediately upon receipt of PCS Orders, accompanied Marines are directed to apply for family type housing by submitting their DD Form 1746 to the Kadena Family Housing Office. It is highly recommended for families with pets to secure Military Family Housing as pet-friendly rooms are limited in the designated TLFs for incoming families needing to conduct their ROM. The Port-to-Final Residence Flowchart and the Housing Sponsor Checklist are provided to assist Service Members and their Sponsors with this process.  If you are not eligible for the Port-to-Final Residence Program, your sponsor can assist you with securing a room at the designated TLFs to conduct your ROM upon arrival (if required). Once you have completed your ROM the following Family Housing Assignment Flow Charts - On & Off Base  can assist you with the housing assignment process for on and off-base housing.

MCIPAC/MCB Butler Bulletin 11101 (12 MAY 2022) Permanent party unaccompanied E6 and above may decline assignment to BH at any time and elect to reside off-base (with command approval). 


Pets

Provided below is some important information on how to get your pet ready for travel.  

Japan Pet Importation Requirements is a link to the Government of Japan website containing Japanese laws and regulations, quarantine requirements and procedures for importing pets from designated and other regions. 

The Government of Japan Import Guide for Pets - Non Designated Regions (November 2021) provides a guide to the  process to import pets into Japan from all non-designated regions.  

AQS Pet Importation Guide Designated Regions Nov 2021 (November 2021) provides a guide on the process to import pets from the designated regions of Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Hawaii and Guam.

III MEF/MCIPAC Order 10570.1 provides policy and direction on the proper care and control of domestic pets, registration and de-registration policies and requirements on pets for all SOFA status personnel living on and off-base and the prohibitions on certain dog breeds on Okinawa.

The U.S. Army, Japan Veterinary Service on Kadena Air Base provides command and control of all veterinary elements in support of U.S. Forces on Okinawa. Their web page provides information on location of clinic, hours of operation, installation policies and traveling with pets. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides pet shipment checklists, airline pet polices, certification requirements and much more.

The U.S Department of Agriculture web page provides information on traveling with pets to include basic information on exporting and importing pets.

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COVID-19 Information

Stay up-to-date with the latest DoD COVID-19 Travel Guidance

MARADMIN 108/22 2022 Peak Moving Season Preparations (3/10/2022)

MARADMIN 417/21 Change 1 to Reinforcing guidance for Marines regarding transportation, pets, housing, and quarantine-level-restriction of movement associated with PCS Moves to Japan (8/11/2021)

MARADMIN 396-20 Reinforcing guidance regarding transportation, pets, housing, and ROM guidance for PCS moves to Japan (7/14/2020)

USMC International Travel Handout 28 July 2021

COVID-19 USMC Leaders Reference Card


For any other updates and resources related to COVID-19, Please visit the following websites and links below.

Click here to visit the  MCCS COVID-19 updates webpage.

Additionally, please find the following documents by clicking on the link or copying and pasting it into your browser:

COVID-19 What You Need to Know Brochure         COVID-19 Appointment QR Flyer                 COVID-19 Resources for Families    

COVID-19 Verified Resources                                  COVID-19 Post Vaccination Brochure           COVID-19 Adolescent Vaccination Information

COVID 19 Vaccination FAQ's                                    Okinawa 2021 PCS Video

Centers for Disease Control Travel Page

National Governors Association (COVID-19 State Directives)

211 Centers to Address Information & Referral Concerns for Marines & Families


Frequently Asked Questions

For further information on ROM procedures please see the most up to date MCIPAC-MCBBBUL 1610.

What is Restriction of Movement (ROM)? 

ROM is the process of protecting the whole population from an infectious disease. ROM may include isolation (for sick people) or quarantine (for healthy people). Quarantine is for “healthy” people who may become sick, to prevent spread of disease when you could be infectious but do not feel ill. Quarantine takes place in a designated location, most often in one's own home.  

What items will I need while in ROM?

Please plan to bring the following items with you or coordinate with your sponsor to secure the items upon arrival:

Masks/face coverings - cloth or disposable.

  • Bedding (double & twin size sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow casings) and linens.
  • Select baby items (if applicable).
  • Towels and washcloths: enough for yourself or each family member.
  • Medication, contact lenses or glasses, and other hygiene items; enough to last while in ROM.
  • Children's entertainment and comfort items (i.e. toys and personal belongings).
  • Electronic devices such as tablets and laptops to complete virtual check-in requirements while in ROM.
  • Pet Food (enough for 14 days) and other pet supplies (if applicable).
  • Cleaning supplies and any other essential items you will need during the ROM period.
  • Temporary kitchen kits are available for personnel to borrow through the Marine & Family Programs-Resource Centers. Please note, the Lending Locker does not carry the following items: microwaves, play pens, or linens. For a list of the items available to at the Lending Locker, download the Lending Locker Agreement. Please coordinate with your sponsor to secure a kitchen kit prior to your arrival.

How do I get groceries/food?

You will need to rely on the support of your sponsor. Quarantine is important to protect others; we fully expect the community to help support YOU and your family during this time. MCCS restaurants offer food delivery services to all bases. Menus and orders can be found on the MCCS website under the "Dining & Entertainment" tab. Delivery and payment instructions are on the website as well. You can also use the  UShop Camp Foster Local Service  program for Commissary items and the  Curbside Pickup program from the Exchange for essential items. Your sponsor can help you pick up these items and deliver them to your home or designated TLF.

***What do I do if I start to feel sick?***

Contact the 24/7 COVID Care Line at 098-971-9691 or DSN: 646-1976

Depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, the U.S. Hospital, Okinawa will either arrange for you to be clinically evaluated (in either the ER, a clinic, or your home) in a way that protects other patients -- or continue your care in the outpatient setting with monitoring. You may or may not be tested. Please know that even if you are tested and get a negative result, you must finish your entire quarantine period.

Is it okay to stay with my roommate or family if I start to feel sick?

People who are suspect patients of COVID-19 - that is, those getting tested - and those who have the disease must move into isolation. Isolation may be achievable in your own home and Preventive Medicine will determine if that is feasible. If not, then your unit and the camp will work to find a responsible solution. Additionally, if you are tested for COVID-19, your family members will need to restart quarantine until it is confirmed that you do not have COVID-19.

Enjoying Okinawa after your Restriction of Movement (ROM): 

Important Numbers:

  • Military OneSource: 1-800-342-9647
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 645-8255 / 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Navy/USMC SAPR: 646-HOPE (4673) / 098-970-4673
  • USAF SARC: 634-7272 / 098-961-7272

For any comments or concerns please submit your email to: mcbb_reloassist@usmc.mil


Welcome to Okinawa! For inbound personnel joining III MEF and MCIPAC, please take a few minutes to learn about the process of transitioning to Okinawa. 

The Joint Reception Center welcomes new arriving unaccompanied Service Members in ranks E5 and below for an orientation to the island of Okinawa.

Okinawa 2021 PCS Video.

Important Local Links

The Okinawa Base Information link provides information on other MCCS/USMC Installations, Okinawa Military Services, how to direct dial on-base phones from a cell or off-base phone, information on The Green Line and off base buses, USMC on Okinawa along with other military links.

Okinawa is surrounded by world-class beaches and dive spots and is considered a "hot bed" for a variety of recreational water activities. With the pristine beaches and the wide variety of recreational water activities, there also exists an element of danger.  Water conditions can change in minutes and riptides are widely present throughout the coastline due to unique coral formations.  

It is essential all personnel engaging in water activities on Okinawa be acutely aware of the dangers involved in recreational water activities on Okinawa.   A great place to start becoming more knowledgeable is through the  Marine Corps Base Butler Base Installation Safety Office's Water Safety Web Page.  Please become familiar with this important information as it may save your life!

Essential Relocation Web Sites:

Essential relocation websites have extensive information on relocation. 
The  Military Installations application allows you to research important information on DoD installation military installations.
The Military OneSource web page is a central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Find out more about benefits and helpful steps to take when preparing for the big stuff – deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement, managing finances, and much more.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has launched the new PCS & Military Moves landing page on the Military OneSource website as a replacement for its previous information hub, Move.mil. Military OneSource will now serve as a single online access point for DoD members and their families to plan the full spectrum of their move. The new PCS & Military Moves landing page can be accessed under the Moving & Housing section of the Military OneSource website. Customers may use the website to schedule a move and find resources related to moving their personal property as well as other aspects of their move. Additionally the Household Goods Inconvenience Claims - Informational Brochure provides information on how to file a claim if your shipment is delayed.

Major Commands:

There are several major commands on Okinawa to include III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF)Marine Corps Installations PacificMarine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler 3rd Marine Logistics Group (3d MLG) 3rd Marine Division (3d MARDIV) 1st Marine Air Wing (1 MAW)3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade31st Marine Expeditionary UnitMarine Corps Air Station (MCAS) FutenmaU.S. Navy Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO), and the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa.

Shopping:

Please visit the Exchange and Commissary web pages for more information regarding on-base shopping on Okinawa. While in ROM, newcomers can request Sponsor's assistance with ordering groceries through Commissary CLICK2GO online ordering program

Pay Information:

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) provides payment services and support for the DoD to include the MyPay website and paying all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as DoD contractors and vendors.

Newspapers And Current Events:

Pacific Stars and Stripes and the Japan Update are newspapers that provide a look into on and off-base life on Japan and on Okinawa.

The MCIPAC Public Affairs Office provides news and current events involving Marines on Okinawa.

MCCS Publications:

The Okinawa Living Magazine has articles that cover a wide spectrum of topics, including life on Okinawa, indoor and outdoor recreation, tours and exotic destinations, special events, children’s activities and sporting events.

The Okinawa Guide is a comprehensive annual publication with essential information about both on and off-base programs, services, and activities including helpful tips on driving, phone use, local customs, dining, shopping, recreation, and more.

The Calendar of Events is a monthly publication with a schedule of programs and services offered through MCCS Marine and Family Programs. Click on the link for your FREE copy of these publications. You can also find a hard copy of the Okinawa Living Magazine and the Okinawa Guide inside your Newcomers' Orientation Welcome Aboard (NOWA) package. Your NOWA package will be waiting for you in your designated TLF room or your sponsor can pick one up for you at the Camp Foster Marine & Family Programs-Resource Center, Bldg. 445. 

 

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