A map of Japan.
Eating food and using chopsticks in Japan.
An encounter with the wildlife on the base.
The official Misawa Air Base web page

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My wife and I lived and worked at Misawa Air Base for three years. I received my assignment to Misawa Air Base Japan in July of 97', departed my prveious duty station (NSGA Sugar Grove, West Virginia) in March of 98', and arrived at Misawa AB Japan, on the 31st of March 1998. Misawa AB is located just outside of Misawa city, in Northern Japan on the western shore of the Aomori prefecture. A Map might help.

This was our second overseas tour. Our first overseas tour lasted seven years. Although that was a mistake career wise, we had a great time otherwise. The only letdown associated with the move to Misawa was leaving my Wrangler (Jeep Wrangler) behind. We made lots of new friends, and we're reunited with many old friends as well. My career field is rather small, and you can't help but run into colleagues wherever you are stationed. Even my assignment at Sugar Grove West Virginia, reunited me with a couple of old friends, and there were only five Air Force people at that Navy Base.

Of course moving is a great hardship, and Kim and I have experienced the worst parts. Worrying about our house hold goods, getting a car, where we're going to live, etc, etc. We know that there will be more rough times ahead, but we've been there before, so we know how to cope and what to expect. Moving meant a lot of changes at my web site, and my gaming efforts. I had to move my web pages to a new server and obtain a new ISP. I moved my web pages to the Geocities Plus service. It's a full service web server, the price is very reasonable ($4.95 a month), and unlike the free Geocities pages, it's not full of advertisements. At first I thought that it would take up to a year to get a new ISP, but that was based on an estimated on-base housing wait of a year. We beat the odds on that front once again. We stayed in billeting for 18 days and moved straight on base from there. The secret to that quick move can be answered in three simple words. 'North Area Towers'. Say these three magic words to the folks at housing and you will be on base in no time at all. It took a couple of months to get connected to the internet due to the 'waiting list' (Thankfully, the waiting list no longer exists). I was unable to update my web site during the transition, or continue my PBeM campaign, but I did spend a considerable amount of time updating the web pages before going back on line.

If you're in the military, I'd suggest that you use an ISP independent email service. Something that you'll be able to keep regardless of who/where your ISP is. I've been using two different services for many years. One is an email redirect service that will forward all email received to an ISP/email host. The second service is a separate email host. Aside from email portability, you should also look for web page portabililty. Don't nail your web pages down to a local ISP that can't move with you. Select one that's accessible from anywhere on the planet.

My best advice for email and web page hosting. First, buy your own domain. You buy your domain from a domain registrar. I use GoDaddy.com, but there are many more available. You'll be much happier with something like https://www.robsworld.org, than you would with http://www.geocities.com/rvaessen/index.html; Which no longer works by the way. robert robsworld org is much more personalized than something like rvaessen geocities com; They're portable and personal. They build author recognition, and can be just as easy to maintain as the ISP sponsored services. They may cost a little bit extra, but I believe it's worth it in the long run. Then, find a hosting service. A domain hosting service. Just about every ISP on the planet will host your domain for you. After all that's what they do... The cost is pretty much the same as having a standard ISP account with them. Sometimes you can even get a discount for a years worth of hosting. So buy your own domain name, then find an ISP that will host it. Then, no matter where you move, live, or work, you'll always have an internet presence, a home base so to speak. The only thing you'll still have to do, is find a local ISP in order to connect to the internet. Unless you really want to use something that's world wide, like AOL, or AT&T. I have poor opinions of both, but don't let that stop you.

The big move started on February 18. That's when I transferred my web pages. I ran my web pages at two sites until about the 1st of March. That's when I discontinued my account at Mountain Net. Thankfully they put up a redirect to the site of my new web page for a short time. Kim and I returned to Wisconsin for some R&R with the family and had a terrific time. If we didn't get a chance to visit you during our brief vacation we apologize. We certainly had a wonderful time. As usual, our friends and families were the best of hosts. We wish we could have stayed longer.

We had a great time in Misawa. If it weren't for the earthquakes we wouldn't have anything bad to say about the place. We went on lots of day trips, and tours through MWR, Outdoor Rec., and on our own. I was especially impressed by the wildness of the area. We had a preconceived impression of Japan before we moved there. We thought it was all urban, sort of like Tokyo extended over the whole island. Misawa is far from that. A rural farming community. There is plenty of wilderness and wildlife in the area. We came to enjoy Sushi and other japanese foods, and had the opportunity to visit a some really good friends who live in Osaka. Hi Rob! My job on the base proved to be very interesting and exciting. it's not what I was expecting, but it's been more than I bargained for. It was a very rewarding tour.

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Author: Robert L. Vaessen e-mail: robert robsworld org
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