Welcome Aboard Okinawa

We have provided an Accompanied PCS Flowchart (July 2020) and an Unaccompanied PCS Flowchart (July 2020)  for Marines and their families as  "one-stop shopping"  with step-by-step diagrams for the major PCS processes needed to successfully relocate to Okinawa during the COVID-19 environment.  

We also have a Navy Accompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020) and an Navy Unaccompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020) For Navy personnel and their families to assist in their PCS move to Okinawa. 

Driving and Transportation

The Marine Corps Installation Pacific (MCIPAC)/Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Installation Safety Office (ISO)  Okinawa Driving webpage has all of the information and resources on driving on Okinawa for SOFA Status personnel.   It has the handbook on Japanese Traffic Regulations for SOFA Licensed Drivers, which is the basis for the SOFA Drivers' Licensing Test.  It is highly recommended each individual study the information in this manual, along with the road signs, prior to taking the licensing exam.

Please watch the "Drive Safe Okinawa" video explains to newly arriving drivers the rules of the road in Okinawa and how they may differ from driving in the United States.

Don’t know where the swimming pool is located on Camp Foster?  Here are a two options for maps for Marine Corps installations situated on the beautiful island of Okinawa, Japan.  Please feel free to print or download Map Group #1 or Map Group #2  to find out locations for many of facilities involved in the Relocation process. 

The Japanese Traffic Regulations for SOFA Licensed Drivers that 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 webpage 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 webpage 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.


Renewing your Stateside Drivers' License (www.dmv.org)

The Driver's Licensing pamphlet for the Base Installation Safety Office (ISO) 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.

The Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office webpage 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.

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Check back later for more information.


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.

Don’t know where the swimming pool is located on Camp Foster?  Please feel free to print or download Map Group #1 or Map Group #2  to find out locations for many of facilities involved in the Relocation process. 

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 Webpage.  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 webpage 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.
Move.mil is the official Defense Personal Property System webpage used by Service Members to manage their household goods movements.

Major Commands

There are several major commands on Okinawa to include III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) , Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley. D. Butler , 3d Marine Logistics Group (3d MLG) , 3d Marine Division (3d MARDIV) , 1st Marine Air Wing (1 MAW) 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade , 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit , Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma , U.S. Navy Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) , and the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa.


Please visit the Exchange and Commissary webpages for more information regarding on-base shopping on Okinawa.

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.

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

MCCS Publications

Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Living Weekly have 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.

For your FREE copy of these publications, attend the Newcomer's Orientation or stop by MCCS Marketing on Camp Foster.

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IMPORTANT NOTE:  All accompanied Marines are now required to check into the MCIPAC Regional Housing Office, located at Camp Foster Building 361, after they check into the DoD Housing Office, within 5 business days 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. 

The  Family Housing Assignment Flow Charts - On & Off Base   are provided to assist Service Members in the housing assignment process for on and off base housing.

MCIPAC/MCB Butler Bulletin 11101 (11 June 2019)  directs a mandatory assignment to Bachelor Housing for unaccompanied Marines and attached Navy personnel in Japan for E-7 and below, W-1 through W-3 and O-1 through O-3 personnel. 

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)


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 (April 2020) provides a guide to the  process to import pets into Japan from all non-designated regions.  

The Government of Japan Import Guide for Pets - Designated Regions (Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Hawaii, and Guam) (April 2020) 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 deregistration policies and requirements on pets for all SOFA status personnel living on and off base and the prohibitions on certain dog breeds on Okinawa.

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. 

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

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

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Marine and Family Programs - Resources

Marine and Family Programs - Resources provides a wide range of services designed to assist you in maintaining a high state of personal and professional readiness. Our goal is to ensure that you are prepared. Marine and Family Programs - Resources is NOT just for Families! We serve single and married Marine/Sailors, family members, military retirees, DoD civilians, widows and widowers. The Marine and Family Programs - Resources provides:

Information and Referral and Relocation Services webpages provide access to the 1st QUARTER 2020 (JANUARY-MARCH) INFORMATION & REFERRAL DATABASE, help for foreign born spouses, retirees, widows and widowers, pre and post-move assistance, Military OneSource , base and community information, Loan Locker, Sponsorship Training, Newcomer's Orientation, and Smooth Move Workshops.
Email: MCBB_ReloAssist@usmc.mil           
Commercial Phone: 011-81-98-970-8395
Commercial Fax: 011-81-98-970-7229
DSN: 645-8395
DSN Fax: 645-7229

Personal Financial Management : Webpage contains a wide variety of resources and information to include dates, times and location and how to sign-up for upcoming personal financial workshops, financial calculators, Consumer Awareness, Financial Planning, Housing and much more. 

Employment Assistance : Job listings, referrals for all family members, resume assistance, interviewing, employment workshops, transition assistance, and the pre-retirement workshop.  

Marine and Family Programs - Resources
MCCS, MCB Camp Butler Unit 35026
FPO AP 96373-5026

Newcomers' Orientation

Sign-up for Newcomers' Orientation

The NOWA briefs have been moved online at Qualtrics.com. Newcomers needing to fulfill the requirement can sign-up for an online session at our MCCS Relocation Services website: www.mccsokinawa.com/relocation. An email confirmation will be sent out to you on the scheduled date with the link and the access codes you will need to complete your online orientation. If needed, once you complete the orientation you can proceed to any of the MCCS libraries the following day to receive a check-in stamp. Please note you must be on island to complete the Online NOWA brief. Please register for a date after your arrival.

Start your tour off right. Okinawa is a wonderful duty station and great place live for the entire family. Learn about this beautiful island and all the opportunities you can take advantage of during your tour. Meet and listen to representatives from a multitude of service organizations and learn about the customs and culture of Okinawa and about your responsibilities as a member of the military community.  

Newcomers' Orientation Welcome Aboard (NOWA) is mandatory for all accompanied (all ranks) USMC and USN Service Members, civilian employees, family members (military and civilian) age 10 and up, and all unaccompanied USMC and USN (E-6 and above) and civilian (all grades). 

E-5 and below (unaccompanied) will attend the Joint Reception Center (JRC) brief. Please call 645-5395 for more information regarding JRC.

**NOWA is mandatory per MCO 1320.11G and III MEF/MCIPAC Order 1754.1A.

**Completion of NOWA must be confirmed prior to MCB Safety Office issuing SOFA Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Driver's License in accordance with MCIPAC Order 5560.1.

**Completion of NOWA is also required before any Service Member is granted off-installation leave or liberty in Japan as per MCBJ/IIIMEFO 1050.7A.

Please contact MCB Base Safety Office at 645-3183/2862 to inquire about taking the SOFA POV Licensing exam prior to attending NOWA. Orders, approved Area Clearance message, and a valid stateside driver's license are required to obtain a SOFA POV Driver's License. Civilian personnel must check with MCB Base Safety for any other specific requirements.


Schools and Childcare


The MCB Camp Butler School Liaison Officer assists Service Members and their families as an advocate and conduit to the school systems.

MCCS Child and Youth Programs (CYP) provides a wide spectrum of services and support for military youth to include child care and youth and teen centers.  Please visit the CYP webpage to find out the locations, hours of operation and contact numbers for the CYP facilities on Camps Foster, Kinser, Courtney and McTureous .

To find out more about registering for child care or the youth and teen program, or to learn more about getting certified as a baby sitter please visit the CYP Downloads Webpage.

The MCCS Youth and Teen Program provide a variety of activities and programs for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Please visit the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) webpage to find out about events and workshops, enrollment information, view videos designed to help EFMP families and to request an appointment. 

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Sponsorship Forms and Information   

Are you coming to Okinawa and need a sponsor?  Fill out a Sponsorship Request Form (NAVMC 11799 - July 2017) and send it to our Relocation Assistance email address: mcbb_reloassist@usmc.mil.  We will forward your request to your Unit Sponsorship Coordinator (USC) so they can assign you a sponsor. 

Please download the Accompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020) or the Unaccompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020) to assist Marines and their families in completing those important steps in the relocation process to Okinawa!

We also have a Navy Accompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020) and a Navy Unaccompanied PCS Flowchart (February 2020)  to assist Navy personnel and their families with their relocation to Okinawa. 

Need help getting started with your move? The PCS Checklist for Incoming Personnel (April 2019) can help you stay on top of the things you need to do before you PCS to Okinawa.

The Okinawa PCS “Must Know" Information (May 2020) 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" document. 

Beginning 2017, on-base Military Housing will undergo a five-year Military Housing Renovation Project, which will impact the number of available housing units for inbound Service Members.

The Family Housing Assignment Flow Charts - On & Off Base  provides Service Members information on the on and off-base housing assignment processes.

Per MARADMIN 221/19, effective 2 April 2019, all accompanied Marines and Sailors (attached to a USMC units) are eligible to bring their full Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) weight allowance to Okinawa. Unaccompanied Service Members (USMC and USN attached to a USMC units) are allowed to bring 600 lbs.

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Travel and Arrival Information


Due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the SECDEF’s (April 20, 2020) reissuance of travel restrictions and guidance for DoD Components (stop movement remaining in effect until June 30, 2020), 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.

Don’t know where the swimming pool is located on Camp Foster? Take a look at the maps of the Marine Corps installations situated on the beautiful island of Okinawa, Japan to find out locations and hours of operations for most facilities.

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 webpage 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.

Many Service Members and their families arrive on Okinawa via the “Patriot Express” which arrives at the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Terminal at Kadena Air Base. 

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

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. 

The Westpac Lodging webpage contains general information and amenities provided at the Westpac.  There is also information on the other MCCS lodges on Okinawa , along with hours of operations and other associated links.

Here are some  useful Japanese phrases to use after arrival in Japan.

Need some tremendous, smartphone-app enabled handbook on Japan?     Please visit the Air Force Culture and Language Center at   https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AFCLC/expeditionary-readiness-training/Field-Guides/ to download the app on Japan.   It 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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