CONTRIBUTED BY MEGAN H.
Sooner or later, while living here on Okinawa, you will have to make phone calls into the DSN system. Basically, there are local Okinawan numbers and there are DSN numbers, and the DSN numbers are like a private phone network that you either need to be a member of (ie, have a base phone line) or have the access “codes.” Unless you live on base and have a DSN phone, or can convince your loving spouse to handle your business for you from work, you need to figure out how to work the wonderful DSN phone system here on Okinawa.
It’s actually not as intimidating as it seems. My first several months I had to Google for 15 minutes before I could actually call on base. Then one day I came across a website with the information and it was like all the world’s problems had been solved. So here I am to share my wisdom.
To direct dial a DSN number from off base, look at the first 3 digits. If it starts with:
622 (Camp Courtney), from Off-Base dial (098) 954-LAST 4
623 (Camp Hansen), from Off-Base dial (098) 969-LAST 4
645 (Camp Foster), from Off-Base dial (098) 970-LAST 4
646 (Camp Foster), from Off-Base dial (098) 971-LAST 4
For all other on-base numbers, there is another method if you are calling through Vonage, Skype, Magic Jack (or from the states). From Off Base dial (098) 611-7-LAST 6. This can be used with any DSN on island, but ONLY if calling from an international number.
If you are using a cell phone and need to reach any other number though, you will need to go through the base operators. Just dial the number for the operators, wait until you hear another dial tone, and then dial the 7 digit DSN number:
USMC operator, from Off Base dial (098) 954-5555
Kadena operator, from Off Base dial (098) 938-1111
I keep these last 2 numbers programed in our cell phones — they’ve come in handy many times. If you keep waiting on the line after the dial tone, you will be connected to an actual operator who can connect you if you do not know the number you need to reach. This is great to have in case you are ever running late for an appointment, need to reach security forces or even track down your spouse.