okinawa hai


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.


  1. Can someone tell me how to call foster from a U.S cell phone I’m trying to get a hold of the legal office to set up a court marriage for me and my fiancce for when I go to Oki in july.

  2. I am trying to get the number to Camp Cortney’s hotel, if there is more then one it does not matter which one. I am calling from Iwakuni, so I would need to know how to dial from a cell. Thank you

  3. Anytime you want to dial from your cell phone and I’m pretty sure from the USA too, you dial 098-911-5111. You will hear a dial tone after that, and then you dial whatever DSN number you want. Hope that helps.

  4. Thanks for the info! But what about calling from ON base (Foster, Lester, etc.) to Kadena 959 numbers? I haven’t been able to figure this out so have been having to use my cell phone to call those numbers.

  5. Does anybody know how to call Foster and Kinser numbers from USA landlines? I know sometimes you have to change the first 3 numbers but I can’t find the information anywhere. Please help! Thanks

  6. How about calling Camp Lester from off-base? (643-XXXX)
    I wanted to call the pediatric appointment line and didn’t know what to dial. Thank you!

  7. To add…

    If you’re calling from a landline phone off base or from a kadena 959, you do not need to dial 098…just the 7-digit commercial numbers, for example 961-xxxx. Kadena 959 number is a Japanese landline number – it has the same area code (098) as most Japanese landline off base. From a cell phone though, you do have to dial 098 because the cell phones have different area codes (080, 090, etc). Hope this helps.

  8. You can also reach any number (except Kadena 959 numbers) via the operator. I just do this, rather than trying to remember which prefix goes with which.

    We use 911-5111 to dial to the Marine Corps switchboard however. (please do not try this from on base though-it will connect you to 911 emergency services.)

  9. Just to add a few numbers to this For those of us on Kadena or callinn Kadena:
    to call:
    630-xxxx dial (098) 960-xxxx
    633-xxxx dial (098) 959-xxxx
    634-xxxx dial (098) 961-xxxx
    632-xxxx dial (098) 962-xxxx
    959-xxxx dial (098) 959-xxxx

    That will cover for almost every Kadena number. Hope it helps!


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