Getting a Visitor’s Pass on Camp Foster
CONTRIBUTED BY BRANDI JAKUBOWICZ
If your house is anything like mine, it tends to have a little bit of a revolving door in terms of guests. Family and friends that come and go, leaving you to go about your normal life until the next wave of company arrives. That has especially been the case while living in Okinawa, and usually, when people come, they plan to stay for at least a week after such a long trip. Many of us live on base here in Okinawa, and those of you that live off-base still venture on occasionally for groceries or mail at some point; when you have visitors they usually tend to want to tag along. This is fine, but to go on base each visitor must have a special pass issued to you by the Camp Foster Services office. I have had several family members come, and while the process is not complicated you must make the time to do it.
When guests arrive, if you live on base and they arrive after regular business hours you must attain a 24-hour temporary visitors pass from the gate at the base that you live on. You will need your ID and your guest’s passport to do this. If they arrive on a Friday, you must get a new pass every day you plan to enter and leave the base until Monday when you can go to the office. The only exception to this is when they arrive on a holiday. You can attain copies of their itinerary and passports and go into the office to get guest passes prior to their arrival.
To get a guest pass on Camp Foster that is good for USMC bases you must go camping Services building 494 on Camp Foster. Kadena and Torii Station have separate pass rules and you must attain a new pass to enter either one of those bases. Foster passes also grant access for your guest to enter the commissary and the exchange however unless they have their own military ID they will not be able to personally purchase things. Passes are valid from the day your guest arrives until they leave.
When you find building 494, or Headquarters and Support Battalion MCIPAC Camp Butler, which is on Still Well Drive across from the community center and adjacent to the mess hall on Foster, park in an unlabeled or visitor spot in the parking lot. You walk to the center of the building facing the road and enter in the main entrance. You must sign in and out of the building. After you sign in at the front you go into the hallway where you will see a conference center on the right. Turn left and go down to the elevator (or the stairs). Go to the third floor and exit the elevator to the left. Camp Services is the last door on the right side at the far end of the hallway.
You need your active duty ID or dependent ID as well as your guest’s passport. As the sponsor for your visitor, you claim responsibility for them and must know your physical home address, the active duty unit for the head of your household, your phone number and the departure date of the guest. You sign into this office, they take this information and have you sit in the hallway until the passes are done. It all takes only about ten minutes if they aren’t busy. It is also important to note that you must return the pass to one of the gates upon your guest’s departure from the island.
Hours: 0800-1600 Monday through Friday, closed for lunch from 1100-1300.
Location: Building 494 Camp Foster on Still Well Drive
Directions from Kadena: Turn left onto 58 out of gate one. Go south and turn left onto 130. Turn right and enter Foster through the gate by the Spot and continue down Still Well until you see MCIPAC on the left-hand side.