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Sasebo, Japan
3310'N 12943'E

The important bi-lateral relationship between Japan and the United States is very much in evidence at US Fleet Activities,Sasebo, where ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the United States Seventh Fleet share this excellent port. Sasebo is currently home to Commander, Amphibious Squadron Eleven and assigned ships: USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3), USS Germantown (LSD-42), USS Dubuque (LPD-8), USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43), USS Guardian (MCM-5), and USS Patriot (MCM-7) and some 5,000 Americans as part of the forward deployed naval forces. Commander, Amphibious Squadron ELEVEN, the only permanently forward deployed amphibious squadron in the Navy. Mine Countermeasures Squadron ONE, based out of Ingleside, TX., also has two minesweepers forward deployed to Sasebo. All ships fall under the operational command of Amphibious Group ONE, located in White Beach, Okinawa.

Commander, US Fleet Activities, Sasebo (CFAS) is situated in the northern part of Nagasaki Prefecture. Located on the northwest corner of the island of Kyushu, approximately one and a half hours north of Nagasaki City, two hours south of Fukuoka City, five hours south of Iwakuni MCAS, 900 miles southwest of Tokyo and 110 miles from Korea. The facility has a base population of approximately 6,000 and covers 1,000 acres of land in nine different locations. Most of the services, facilities, and housing are located at Main Base and Hario Village. The rest of the areas consist of two ordnance facilities (with about forty-thousand tons of Navy and Marine Corps munitions), two fuel facilities (with five and a half million barrels of fuel), and an LCAC facility at Sakibe.

FLEACT Sasebo consists of 414 buildings on 854 acres in the heart of Sasebo, Japan, a port city of 250,000 people located on the island of Kyushu, about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo. FLEACT Sasebo's population soared in the late 1990s from 2500 to nearly 6000 active duty personnel and SOFA sponsored civilians. In spite of the great strain this has placed on resources, COMFLEACT Sasebo continues to provide exceptional service to its 35 tenant commands, as well as the Sasebo community at large. COMFLEACT Sasebo has accomplished this, while maintaining the strictest environmental standards and sponsoring new initiatives to make environmental programs even more effective.

The mission of NAVCOMM Det/Base Communications Office Sasebo is to provide telephone service and GateGuard connectivity support and assistance to ships visiting or home ported in Sasebo, and to Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo and tenant commands. The current staff is comprised of 2 US civilians, 24 Japanese Nationals and 7 military personnel. U.S. Naval Telecommunications Center (NTCC) Sasebo was established in February 1991 and is located on board U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo. It was renamed U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Detachment when BCO Sasebo transferred to NAVCOMTELSTA in 1993. NCTD Sasebo provides communications, maintenance and training support to tenant commands, six forward deployed ships, visiting dignitaries, and transitting units. In addition, NCTD provides base telecommunications service for 830 official and unofficial customers.

In early 2000 the staff of Commander, Amphibious Group One (CPG1), Sasebo, moved into the newly renovated building T-358, located immediately across from India Basin Pier 8, and next to Sasebo's Afloat Training Group detachment. Although headquartered at White Beach, Okinawa, CPG1 maintains a contingent of staff members in Sasebo to assist the ships with maintenance, training, supply, manpower and public affairs issues.

The base provides Morale, Welfare, and Recreation support to personnel assigned to Sasebo. There is currently a 12-14 month waiting period for base housing at the Hario Housing complex, located 10 miles from the main base, and a 24-30 month waiting period for housing on the main base. The Hario Housing area contains a commissary, medical facilities and a DODDS school for grades Kindergarten-6. The main base school supports grades Kindergarten-12. Base support facilities include the Navy Exchange and Commissary, a gymnasium and fitness center, softball fields, picnic areas, outdoor gear issue and camping equipment, a sailing center and a base library. Internet service for base residents is presently provided by both USO and AT&T JENS.

Sasebo has been an important naval base ever since 1883, when then Lieutenant Commander Heihachiro Togo nominated the tiny fishing village here to form the nucleus for a base for the Imperial Japanese Navy. In 1904, ships of the Japanese Navy under Admiral Togo sailed from Sasebo to take on the Russian Baltic Fleet. The Imperial Japanese Navy had some 60,000 people working in the dock yard and associated naval station here at the peak of World War II.

In September of 1945, the US Marine Corps Fifth Division landed at Sasebo, and in June 1946, US Fleet Activities, Sasebo was established. When war broke out in Korea three years later, Sasebo became the main launching point for United Nations and US Forces. Millions of tons of ammunition, fuel, tanks, trucks and supplies flowed through Sasebo on their way to UN Forces in Korea. The number of Americans in Sasebo grew to about 20,000; and some 100 warships and freighters per day swelled the foreign population here still more. Sasebo provided heavy support to the expanded Seventh Fleet during the years of war in Southeast Asia. In the mid Seventies, US Fleet Activities, Sasebo became Naval Ordnance Facility, Sasebo, and fleet visits dwindled to a very low level. But on July 4th, 1980 this trend was reversed. US Fleet Activities regained its name, and once again Seventh Fleet ships started to make Sasebo their overseas homeport. Sasebo played a vital logistics role in Operation Desert Sheild/storm during 1990-91, by serving as a supply point for ordance and fuel for ships and Marines operating in the Persian Guld theater.

The primary mission of Commander, Fleet Activities, Sasebo is to provide complete logistical support to locally assigned vessels, tenant commands, operating fleet units, transient naval vessels, and other naval activities in Japan as directed.

On 25 March 1976, the Fleet Activities, Sasebo Ship Repair Department was disestablished. In order to prepare for and conduct ship repairs by local ship repair contractors, Captain A.L. Jenks, Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka established a Sasebo Office (Detachment) on 29 March 1976. The original office was staffed by seven Japanese SRF Yokosuka employees hired from the disestablished Ship Repair Department of Fleet Activities, Sasebo. The U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility Detachment, Sasebo, Japan was officially established by the Chief of Naval Operations on 1 March 1984, with an Officer in Charge. SRF Det, Sasebo functions like a Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIP) in CONUS; i.e., all production work is contracted to local contractors by FISC Yokosuka Det., Sasebo Contracting Branch. Submit desired work calldown in accordance with COMLOGSUPPFORSEVENFLT- INST 4700.1. SRF Det, Sasebo Type Desk Officer will screen and the ship will be advised by message the results of the calldown screening. SRF Det., Sasebo Type Desk Officers are responsible for work screening, job order assignment and funds administration for accomplishment of work in Sasebo by local contractors. The primary point of contact between SRF Det., Sasebo and outside commands (TYCOM, NAVSEA, PERA and Ship's Force) on matters concerning work acceptance and funding is the Type Desk Officer. They are responsible to coordinate the efforts of all parties involved to achieve a quality availability, on time and within budget.

Sasebo is located on the Northwest coast of Kyushu, the third largest - and with the exception of the Ryukyu Island chain - the southernmost of the Japanese islands. The southern tip of the Korean peninsula lies about 120 nautical miles to the northwest, Hong Kong about 1000 miles to the southwest, and Tokyo, about 900 miles to the northeast. Sasebo has been a Naval Port since the beginning of this century, first with the Japanese Imperial Navy and, since 1946, the American Navy. Today its harbor and shore facilities are shared by the U. S. Seventh Fleet and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.

The American military and civilian population of Sasebo consists of personnel assigned to Fleet Activities, Sasebo and tenant commands, such as Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka, Detachment Sasebo; Ship Repair Facility, Sasebo Detachment; Branch Medical and Dental Clinics; DOD Dependent Schools; Public Works Center Detachment.

Sasebo is an accompanied tour area, with concurrent travel of dependents authorized. Eligible accompanied personnel GS-7 and above may register for on-base Government housing. There are two Government housing areas. One is located near the main base and the other is located approximately 40 minutes driving time from the main base. An eligible employee may be offered Government housing at either of the two housing areas. Waiting period varies between twelve to twenty-four months. Off-base private rental housing is available within commuting distance of the main base.

Navy Family Housing in Sasebo has two separate locations: 166 units are located at Main Base, and 488 units are located in Hario Village. Main Base housing is found directly across the street from Sasebo Navy Base and residents utilize all base facilities including a commissary, medical and dental clinic, 2 gyms, swimming pool, movie theater, banks, restaurants, chapel, post office & Navy Exchange. Located within the Main Base housing area you will find E.J. King School (Grades K-12), teen center, youth center, child development center, HRO, legal services, and Navy Campus.

Sasebo is located in the northwestern part of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four islands that comprise the main portion of Japan. Kyushu is bordered on the southeast by the Philippine Sea, on the west by the East China Sea, and on its northwest side by the Korea (Tsushima) Strait, which connects the East China Sea with the Sea of Japan. Kyushu is separated from the Japanese islands of Shikoku and the much larger Honshu by the Inland Sea. Currents within the inner and outer harbors vary widely with the tidal flow. Those within 2 nmi of the inner harbor generally are less than 0.3 kt regardless of the stage of the tide. At low tide velocities approach 2 kt in the area 4 to 4.5 nmi south of the inner harbor (east of the main anchorage area near Ebisu Bay), and over 1 kt near the western entrance to the outer harbor. However, currents are generally not so strong as to hinder navigation. There is no record of a tsunami affecting the harbor.

India Basin is used by large vessels, while Juliet Basin is utilized by harbor craft. India Basin, with a 552 ft (168 m) wide entrance, can berth several large ships alongside. In addition to India Basin there are seven fueling piers, numerous mooring buoys with capacities up to 30,000 tons, and anchorages in the bay. A large ship yard with two dry docks and heavy lift cranes is located west of India Basin, so major hull and machinery repair work can also be accomplished at the port. The outer harbor provides numerous anchorages with excellent holding strength on a mud and sand bottom. Typhoon anchorages are located in the vicinity of Ebisu Bay where protection is offered by the surrounding hills of Hario Island. There is a wrecked ship with 39 ft of water over the highest point located near the anchorage. It poses an anchor fouling problem for ships that anchor too close. Ships using the anchorage should check with port personnel prior to anchoring.

The Sasebo area is a fascinating and a varied part of Japan. The city itself has a population of 251,000 with many small industries as well as an important shipbuilding company (Sasebo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.) Just off the coast of Sasebo Harbor is the Saikai National Park, a beautiful sea park that encompasses an area known as the 99 islands. Sasebo lies in the heart of a region renowned for its production of Noritake, Arita, Imari, and Karatsu chinaware. The kilns, where these beautiful products are produced, are less than two hours away by car. The fascinating city of Nagasaki (the prefectural capital) is approximately two hours from Sasebo. Nagasaki is replete with areas of scenic and historical interest. Some attractions include the Peace Park, Dejima Island (which played a significant role in the cultural history of Japan by introducing Western civilization into the country), the site of the former Foreign Settlement (with its European style houses and gardens commanding a beautiful view of the harbor and city), the fascinating Glover Mansion (popularly known as the "Madam Butterfly House," after the well-known opera of the same name by Puccini), and many other areas of historical and cultural interest.

Approximately 1.5 hours from Sasebo is Hirado Island. This area was made famous to the American populace in the NBC mini-series "SHOGUN", because it was where the character Blackthorne, (who was actually William Adams), became shipwrecked. You can visit the feudal lord's castle and visit William Adams' grave, a truly memorable trip to the past. The Ureshino Hot Spring Resort is about 20 miles east of Sasebo. Ureshino is famous for its abundance of natural hot springs, beautiful mountains, and the peaceful atmosphere of a soft stream running through the town. It is a popular resort for those who like to relax and enjoy taking natural hot- spring baths. Sasebo and the surrounding areas are a photographer's delight.

Sasebo's climate is similar to that of Norfolk, Virginia. The rainy season usually starts about the first week in June and is over by mid-July. The summer is noted for its heat and humidity. Occasionally, light snowfall and brief periods of freezing may be experienced from December to March.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:56:23 ZULU