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REFERRAL AND RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

Developing a sense of community here starts before you arrive at Misawa AB. We recognize the efforts behind this transition and want to make sure you are satisfied with the details of your move. To obtain Referral and Relocation Assistance, we encourage you to reach out for personalized services provided by the Housing Management Office (HMO) staff.

While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with proper Department of Defense (DoD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees and contractors must have a valid passport and, in some cases, a SOFA visa to enter Japan. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport prior to leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel elsewhere in Asia as obtaining one while in Japan can take several weeks. Personnel whose duties will include official travel should also obtain an Official Passport before coming to Japan to avoid delays of up to 2 months, as from overseas these applications must be referred to a special office in Washington, adding processing times. DoD travelers should consult the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide, DoD 4500.54, before leaving the United States.

The Department of State offices in Japan disseminate threat information through their nationwide email warden system and posts current threat information on their ACS website. Anyone may sign up for emailed warden system messages through the Web site. The Department of State continues to develop information about potential threats to American citizens overseas and to share threat information through its consular information, program documents are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. The government of Japan is vigilant in tracking terrorist threat indicators and remains at a high state of alert. Local police substations (Koban) and police emergency dispatchers (tel. 110) should be contacted to report suspicious activity.

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad."

Planning Your Move
Moving to an oversea location requires additional planning to make sure you and your family are prepared for the transition. There are many things you can do before you arrive to ensure the process settling into your new home and community is seamless.

Community Amenities
Recreation:
- Base Beach
- Freedom/Potter Fitness Center
- Gosser Memorial Golf Course
- The Grid
- Himberg Pool
- Land Memorial Ski Lodge
- Leftwich Park
- Lunney Youth Center
- Wakasa Teen Center
- Misawa ITT
- Mokuteki Community Center
- Outdoor Recreation Center
- Overstreet Memorial Library
- Paintball/Skeet & Trap Range
- Walmsley Bowling Center
- Weasels' Den
Services/Schools:
- Airman & Family Readiness Center
- Arts & Crafts Sales Store
- Auto Hobby Center
- Cheli School Age Program
- Family Child Care
- Frame Shop
- Graphics Shop
- Lemon Lot
- Misawa Pet Kennel
- Pit Stop Garage
- Misawa Veterinary Services
- Wood Shop
- Yoiko Child Development Center
- Cummings Elementary School
- Edgren High School
- Sollars Elementary School
 
Miscellaneous/AAFES:
- Car Wash
- Cleaners
- Commissary
- Community Bank
- Exchange
- First Term Airman Center
- Gas Station
- Main & North Base Shoppette
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- PAWS Misawa
- Popeye's
- Post Office
- The Spa
Food & Entertainment:
- 19th Hole Bar & Grille
- Café Aomori
- Café Mokuteki
- Global Café
- Grissom Dining Facility
- Lakeview Grille
- Magnums Steak & Seafood Restaurant
- Misawa Club
- Richard Bong Movie Theater

Lodging
Misawa Inn - Call 011-81-176-64-0282 or DSN (315) 226-0282

Drivers License
Persons who desire to operate a privately owned vehicle must possess a US civilian license and attend Misawa AB's Local Conditions Course (offered at Right Start). Active Duty, DoD civilians, SoFA status contractors and their dependents may attend this course. Personnel must be assigned to Misawa AB or to an isolated location administratively supported by Misawa AB, on PCS or TDY orders more than 30 days. Sponsors must sign-in dependents under the age of 18 and over the age of 16. Once you complete the required drivers training, you will be granted a USFJ Form 4EJ, the driver's license that is legally valid for use in Japan by US forces operating a privately owned or SoFA registered vehicle. If you have any questions about the program, please contact the 35 FW Safety Office at DSN (315) 226-3463.

Power Requirements
The electrical current in Japan is 100 volts and 50 hertz as opposed to 120 volts and 60 hertz in the United States. Small appliances, with the exception of appliances with timing devices installed, will work at this lower voltage, but check the data plate on the back of your devices before shipment.

Departing service members often sell their used 100 volt appliances for a reasonable price. For advertisements of products available, view the local base newspaper; ask the Family and Airmen Readiness Center, The Airman's Attic, and MisawaAds.

Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC)
The local AFRC is another great resource to obtain pertinent information about the area. Call 011-81-176-77-4735 or DSN (315) 226-4735.

Additional Questions?
If you have any questions or require additional support, please contact the HMO for more information about preparing for your move to this location. Call 011-81-176-77-3525 or DSN (315) 226-3525, or send an e-mail to 35lrs.personalpropertyoffice@misawa.af.mil.


HOUSING ALLOWANCES

Military members are entitled to various allowances to ensure the transition to a new location is as smooth and stress free as possible. If you have any questions about the allowances listed, please contact the HMO.

Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) and Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA)
For overseas areas only, individuals moving into community housing may be eligible for OHA and MIHA. Specific circumstances, conditions and requirements of OHA or MIHA are identified in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations. These extra allowances are in place to off-set the higher costs of living in overseas communities. OHA is a reimbursement and based on actual expenses for rental and utility/recurring maintenance allowances. It is adjusted every pay period for changes in exchange rates.

Members are also authorized a one-time Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA). This allowance is provided for the purchase of supplemental items not normally available in foreign housing, but considered standard when renting in the community at U.S. locations such as window coverings, light fixtures, electricity connection, etc.  For more information about your OHA and MIHA, visit the Defense Travel Management Office website.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)
When you arrive at Misawa you will be staying in temporary accommodations until you move into permanent quarters. TLA is an entitlement to partially offset the more-than-normal expenses incurred during occupancy of temporary lodging. Prior to your arrival, please work with your sponsor to secure temporary accommodations. Your sponsor can advise whether you will reside in an on-base Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF), a local hotel or an off-base TLF-type facility.

Stop by the Housing office within 24 hours of your arrival to secure housing and to avoid paying out of pocket expenses.

You will be offered the first available unit within your grade category and bedroom entitlement regardless of your preference. If you choose to turn down your first offer for personal preference your TLA will cease and will incur out of pocket expenses to retain lodging.

Pet restrictions and preferred schools do not qualify as reasons for non-acceptance of available housing. You will not be entitled to receive Basic allowance for Housing (BAH) once TLA has been terminated. For more information about TLF at Misawa please contact the Misawa Inn at DSN (315) 222-0282.

Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)
Civilian employees recruited from the U.S. are required to live in the local community and may be entitled to receive a Living Quarters Allowance (LQA). LQA is in addition to other allowances and, in most instances, covers most of the costs of housing, heat, electricity, trash, water, and sewer service. The maximum allowable rates depend on the location of the duty assignment, the grade of the employee and how many dependents are living with the employee.

It is important for individuals to know that LQA is a reimbursement and based on actual expenses. It is adjusted every pay period for changes in monetary exchange rates. For more information on LQA please visit the State Department website.

Financing Your Up-Front Move-In Cost
All service military members are entitled to a 100 percent advance of required up-front rent payments and security deposits. Service members must pay back the advanced rent in 12 monthly payments. They may request to have repayment of the security deposits over $500 suspended until termination of the rental contract. Upon termination of the contract the member is required to repay the full amount of the security advance.

The HMO will assist you in completing the required paperwork to begin processing your rent advance. For specific questions about the program, please contact the base Financial Services Office. DSN (315) 226-9242, COM 011-81-176-77-4735


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