AF News

Okinawa PCS - Part 1

As most USAF members know that overseas (OS) assignments in their career field become available quarterly throughout the year. So after spending a couple of years at Edwards AFB, California, the family and I decided it was time to try to high-tail it out of there! If my memory serves me well, the overseas assignment listing that earned us freedom became available mid-October 2012. Luckily, there was quite a few positions open in PACAF at the time and I listed them all on my ‘dream-sheet’. 

Fast forward to November 9th, 2012, and I received that email everybody hopes to get when they volunteer for an OS assignment! Here is a hint, the subject line reads, “Notification of Assignment Selection”. I open the email and found out that I am going to Hawaii!!! In my career field, that is a one person deep position and I was doing cartwheels in my work-center because I thought I was the luckiest guy yet! Well almost, after taking a break from the cartwheels and thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I began to doubt my selection for that assignment. I knew that the person selected for that position is usually hand-selected and I would have known about it before the listing even came out. I ran my concern up my chain-of-command, and unfortunately my suspicions were correct; the assignment was advertised in error! Well, I guess I can always try next quarter’s OS listing…or not!

Luckily, the leadership on my end worked it out with the leadership in PACAF, and got it sorted out. Long 

story short, that SNCO position was supposed to be listed for Kadena AB, Japan (Okinawa) and they said they would move me into that open position, they just had to adjust some manning numbers first. Sure, I will believe that when I see it! Well believe it, because I received that ‘new’ assignment notification December, 3rd 2012 in my email box; I guess the system does work! So I guess Christmas came a little early for the family and I that year, but it was now time to get ready for the big move.

Here is the list on the things we had to take care before we left for Okinawa in August 2013 (A long wait, right?!)…

1. Sell house (Bought October 2010/Sold July 2013, Thank god the housing market is up!)

2. Sell Car (Bought July 2010/Sold January 2013, borrowed my parent’s extra car in the mean time)
3. Birth a baby (Born March 2013)
4. Finish up wife’s unconditional ‘green card’ process (received June 2013 and I will cover that in a separate blog posting)

I think that was it and as you can see, we luckily got them all resolved now. I am sure others might have a way longer list than that, but I just wanted to illustrate that even these significant events can be handled before you leave, but only if you start early enough and have a plan!

Next, I am going to cover more of the military side of things that dealt with out move and what I found out along the way that made our move easier and less stressful. On to Part 2!

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