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  1. I just wanted to revive this topic. We are deep into the summer PCS season and Dan Stevens is still eager to help answer any VA Loan questions anyone may have.
  2. Whoops. Sorry - I'll try and figure this out... standby. OK - I "published" the forums on Tapatalk now. Please let me know if this works... pretty sketchy instructions on their site (they push an "up sell" for Premium Installation).
  3. Tapatalk has now been installed on the Forums. The next time you log on via your mobile device, you will see a prompt that lets you know the Forums are now Tapatalk compatible and that you can download the app from the Android Marketplace or Apple App Store. Tapatalk is a mobile app built specifically for forum access. Different from mobile skin or mobile version that comes with the forum system, Tapatalk allows user to have a unified interface to access multiple forums at the same time. www.tapatalk.com
  4. This is a good topic to start on the baseops SIPR website... (yes there really is a baseops SIPR site).
  5. Not sure why the media and everyone is keying in on his sideline prayers - pro athletes have been praying after touchdowns for many years, yet Tebow is the first to actually be seen in a negative light for praying? Maybe if he had multiple DUIs and illegal firearm charges like most of the stars he'd be more warmly received.
  6. Smokey - any chance you want to contribute corrected / more accurate gouge to the website so that I can replace the out-of-date information?
  7. Enter your FTU Gouge here.
  8. Almost everything you need about the course is on the AF portal page for the 45 AS at: https://www.my.af.mi...123772727040040 The course is divided between the simulator phase, currently under contract with Simuflite in Dallas, and the flying FTU at Keesler AFB. The course is relatively fast paced, but not so much as UPT. It's much faster than Altus, lasting 6 weeks. Instructors and evaluators are big pretty big picture, and appear to genuinely care about getting the students qualified in the important aspects of flying the jet, and out the door. Phrases I'd use to describe the 45th while I was in Initial Qual were professional, avoided queep, focused, relaxed, good guys. Rumors are that the FTU may begin including a tactics qual in the near future (info as of Jan 2010). The only Form 8 is from KBIX, and there is no simulator evaluation of any kind, to include final comments on the KBIX form 8. In Dallas, most used to stay in Homewood Suites, Grapevine. Now its mixed - Hilton Southlake, Emb Suites, and some others are good. Families tend to stay at the Great Wolf lodge, as they have an attached water park. Biloxi of course has casino's which have some pretty good concerts.
  9. Seymour Johnson AFB, NC is the home to the F-15E Formal Training Unit (FTU) for F-15E student pilots and Weapon System Officers (WSOs). There are two FTU squadrons; the 333rd Fighter Squadron (FS) "Lancers" and 334th FS "Eagles", in addition to two Operational Squadrons; the 335th FS "Chiefs" and 336th FS "Rockets". The squadrons conduct formal training for initial Strike Eagle qualification (Basic or "B" Course), requalification ("TX" or "Transition" course), Instructor ("I") qualification course, and Senior Officer Course ("SOC"). This page deals primarily with the B-Course. Students in the B course are recent graduates of pilot and navigator training requiring current physiological and survival training and an up-to-date Top Secret security clearance. Course duration is 160 days; 41 ground training days, and 119 flying training days. With weekends and holidays accounted for, this equates to roughly seven months of training. The course consists of 305 academic hours, 107 aircrew training device hours (simulators and device trainers) and 44/41 sorties (pilot/WSO). Students must complete a minimum of four simulators and five academic courses and tests before their first sortie. In general, student WSOs (SWs) will fly in the Rear Cockpit (RCP) of the Instructor Pilot (IP) flight lead and Student Pilots (SPs) will fly with an Instructor WSO (IWSO). Exceptions to this are when SPs are required to fly with an IP in the RCP (until landing proficiency is demonstrated and on sorties where new events are introduced such as BFM, formation takeoff and landing, and low altitude/range operations), and when students fly together as 'crew solo'. Breakdown for sorties is as follows: TR (Transition) phase: 7 rides for student pilots (SPs), four rides for student WSOs (SWs). TR-1 is a single-ship for SP only as F-15E orientation. TR-2 and TR-3 are flown as 2-ship with SWs in the RCP of the IP (lead) aircraft. SPs will fly with an IP in the RCP until they are cleared 'crew solo' on TR-3. TR-4 is a 'crew solo' ride, meaning the SP and SW fly together in the same aircraft – the profile starts with them in the wingman position for the first half, then they take the lead for the second half and are chased by the instructor crew. TR-5 is single ship for the SP in preparation for the TR-6 checkride. Pilots take their "Form 8" checkride on their sixth TR ride. This ride is a single-ship sortie with an Instructor Pilot (IP) Flight Evaluator (FE) in the Rear Cockpit (RCP). Mission preparation includes manual creation of a Form 70 (fuel calculations), and DD-175 flight plan. EP and GK for the ride are at the discretion of the FE. The sortie is generally a local "round-robin" profile which includes departure to local operating airspace for G-Exercise, aerobatic maneuvers (AB loop, pitchback, sliceback are standard), and unusual attitude recoveries. Following area work, the student will proceed to a local out base (Langley AFB, NAS Oceana, Shaw AFB, NAS Norfolk, Charleston AFB, NAS Cherry Point) for a fix-to-fix to the holding fix, one turn in holding, instrument penetration to an instrument approach. A minimum of one precision and non-precision approach must be flown during the sortie (desired three – PAR, ILS, and TACAN or localizer) and missed approach, though the order may be left up to the student. Following the outbase approach, student will RTB to Seymour Johnson to finish the remaining approaches and conduct normal and emergency patterns (only one of each is required for the ride). The checkride is much more "big picture" than UPT checkrides, with an average of less than one downgrade per ride. A prerequisite for this sortie is the eight sortie, a Form 8 Emergency Procedure (EP) simulator which is tracked in the same manner as the checkride. The last ride in the TR phase is the 2-ship Advanced Handling Characteristics (AHC) ride which explores the edges of the F-15E flight regime. Aerial Attack (A/A) phase Students fly three Offensive Basic Fighter Maneuver (OBFM) and three Defensive BFM (DBFM) sorties. On the first of each of the sorties, SPs will fly with an IP and SW will essentially see the opposite profile (they see DBFM when SP flies OBFM and vice versa). The second and third of each of these sets of rides is flown as crew solo. Students must Demonstrate Proficiency (Demo Pro) on the third OBFM and DBFM sortie. Next is one defensive and one offensive Air-Combat Maneuvers (ACM) ride which puts the student 2-ship against one "bandit" within visual range. Demo Pro is not required for ACM, though certain items within the ride require proficiency (weapons employment, for example). The next two rides are "Element Threat Reaction" (ETR). ETR-1 is a notch-press ride and ETR-2 is a medium-altitude Surface-to-Air (SA) threat reaction ride. Demo Pro is not required on these rides. The final four rides in the A/A phase are 2v2 tactical intercept or "INT" rides where students employ as a 2-ship against a 2-ship of red air. The final ride is a Demo Pro ride. Students are required to conduct air-to-air refueling (AAR) a minimum of two times at some point during the syllabus, and generally accomplish this during the A/A phase. Surface Attack (SA) phase The SA phase introduces the students to low altitude (LOWAT - 500 feet above ground level (AGL)) maneuvering, LOWAT intercepts, range and air-to-ground (A/G) weapon operations, and Close Air Support (CAS). During range operations, students drop BDU-33 (25 lb practice bombs), inert (non-warhead) Mark-82 500 lb bombs and inert GBU-12 laser-guided 500 lb bombs. Simulated weapons include Mk-82, Mk-84, GBU-12, GBU-10, GBU-24, and JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition). The phase begins with Low-Altitude Step Down Training (LASDT) which introduces the student to low-level flight and range operations. Throughout the remainder of the phase are two additional LASDT sorties (one for LOWAT 1v1 intercepts and one for LOWAT 2v2 intercepts), and seven SA sorties which emphasize low-level tactical formation and Terrain Following (TF) flight, threat reactions, range operations, and weapons deliveries. The seventh SA sortie is the WSO Form 8 checkride. Mission preparation includes low level mission and attack planning and briefing. WSOs must demonstrate proficiency in planning, briefing, and target attack. The final two SA sorties are day CAS sorties simulating JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) coordination and TST (Time Sensitive Targeting), with the second being Demo Pro. Three of the surface attack sorties are flown as crew solo (one TF sortie, one SA sortie, and one CAS sortie) Night phase The night phase has two (N)TR rides and four SA night (SAN) rides. All night sorties are flown with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). Students are required to conduct night AAR a minimum of two times during this phase. NTR introduces night operations, formation, and night overhead patterns and landings, while NTR-2 introduces night 2v2 intercepts and requires student pilots to demonstrate proficiency in night landings and formation. SAN-1 and 2 are night low-level sorties flying off the TF system and conducting attacks on and off the controlled range. SAN-3 and 4 are night CAS sorties; a repeat of the final two day SA rides, only at night (SAN-4 is flown as crew solo). Surface Attack Tactics (SAT) phase The final three rides in the program are SAT; tactical scenarios that incorporate simulated A/G and A/A threats, mission packages, targets, and TOT (Time on Target) windows. The last two SAT sorties are flown crew solo and may employ actual heavyweight (though inert) weapons. Approximately six weeks prior to graduation, student assignments are decided. The three operational F-15E locations are Seymour Johnson AFB, Mountain Home AFB (Idaho) and RAF Lakenheath (England). Students rank-order their requested bases and assignments are almost exclusively decided from class performance, though officership and flight commander ranking do factor into the overall score.
  10. Enter your FTU Gouge here.
  11. Enter your FTU Gouge here.
  12. Enter your FTU Gouge here.
  13. CFIC (as of 09-02) TD1: Inprocessing, FlightSafety academics TD2: FlightSafety academics TD3: AM: FlightSafety academics, PM: OFT1 TD4: OFT2 TD5: OFT3 TD6: OFT4 TD7: OFT5 TD8: OFT6 TD9: Report to Flightline Flightline training is 3 rides then a check.
  14. Baseops.Net

    FTU Wiki

    Baseops FTU Wiki Altus AFB, OKDobbins AFB, GALittle Rock AFB, ARLuke AFB, AZSeymour Johnson AFB, NCTyndall AFB, FLC-21 Schoolhouse, Keesler AFB
  15. Baseops.Net

    Finance Wiki

    Welcome to the Baseops Finance Wiki Section. Primary Editor = Finance_Guy This Wiki is to provide current finance related information primarily for TDY and PCS related topics. However, any finance related topic is welcome. I'm new to Wiki editing and hope to figure out the best way to deliver the content. AMC Finance Customer Service E-Survey Comment Card AF Portal Finance FAQs - https://www.my.af.mi...044080020E329A9 Must have links for your internet favorites/bookmarksPer Diem Website (JFTR, rates and other good Info)AFI 65-114 (Travel Policy/Procedures)DoDMR Vol 7 A (Military Pay Policy)Defense Table of Official Distances (DTOD)OSD Personnel Military Compensation (Pay and Benefits) Comptroller Assisted Self Help (C.A.S.H.) - C.A.S.H. Forms Lite is available to all members, globally, but this system does require printing and wet signatures but the "Wizard" program will assist filling out the forms and provide a checklist for supporting documentation and required signatures. This may eliminate multiple trips to Finance as the member would have all and properly filled out document sets. PIPS/eFinance Subpage TDY Travel Pay Subpage Find answers to the most common pay and travel questions on the AF Portal? The newly launched Financial Services FAQ's are now available on the AF Portal @ Life and Career > Money - Finance Central.
  16. Wake Island - Wake is almost Gilligan's Island, except no MaryAnne and Ginger. This tiny atoll can be really fun to visit. It has one bar, Drifters Reef, they will make you buy the bar if you wear your hat. These dudes wait for weeks for you to make that mistake. Mike is the "mayor" of Wake, he will greet you when you land. Call early and ask what they might need from civilization. Newspapers, milk, whatever. The trick is to get a fishing trip, and/or a "mits" mini pickup truck. Tour the island, it's beautiful, the MWR will loan you a PeeWee Herman bike- better with a "Mits". Gov quarters are circa Pan-Am flying Boat, they suck. Shoppette is open for 1/2 hour 6 days a week, 1700-1730. Per Diem and Lodging is $124, they will charge you $120 every day whether you eat or not, max profit is $4 a day. Bring meat and charcoal, beer, grills everywhere- Still a fun place to go and goof around, lots of history. ~If you haven't done Wake, you don't know what you are missing. Take heed to the signs about the sharks, they are not joking. Take the fishing trip, it costs $100 dollars us and can take 6 people, but you need to have closed toe shoes. The billeting is clean and is what you would expect in such an out of the way area. You will be too busy at the Drifters or fishing to use it so don't worry about it. There is new management out there now. The Air Force has finally accomplished what the Japanese have never been able to do and that is kick the Marines out of Wake. Expect good things to come down range from that including new runway, ramps, billeting, K-loaders, and other things that work and are not from the 50's. The new management is under a Mr. Carrol and John Hanna. Mr. Timmons left for Guam. They are super guys and very professional. They like it if you bring current magazines and newspapers for them. Also dog biscuits for their animals are always a plus. It is still same great place, just under new management. I anticipate a butt load of rules and regulations on the way now that the boys in blue have it, but there is nobody there to enforce them anyway so what difference does it make. ~Update to Wake Island Information: (1) billeting renovation: -courtesy of USAF, they are now segregating O's and E's. Building 1115 (by Drifter's reef) is being upgraded. Some rooms have new furniture, better lighting, tile floors, clean showers. First floor outdoor decking is coming soon. The E's are placed in bldg 1175 and is average at best. (2) no change for drifter\s reef info. With the exception that the bridge to peale island burned to the waterline awhile ago. (3) VCR/DVDs are available to check out from the library. No cost. (4) The Dive club is now officially back in business. The cost is $35.00, whether you have your own gear or not. Coordinate with Nick (dive club president) in Ops or with Capt Trinh (base usaf "co"). The max is 3-5 divers per trip and that includes your dive master guide. One-day transient crews will not be allowed to dive, but if your delayed...have at it. The rental gear is adequate, but there is more inbound. We dove out side of the channel markers. Our max depth was 70 feet with a great view of the abyss into deeper waters. The visibility was in excess of 80-90 feet and lots of sealife. Reef fish, sea turtles, spotted rays aplenty. (5) The runway resurfacing/repainting is finished. Plan for day operations only, for there are no runway lights in service right now. (6) Base ops has been given a facelift with remodeling, new paint, etc. The store has increased its' variety and inventory and will accommodate transient aircrews ($$$). ~Fishing is great there. It is $125 for the boat, max of 6 people. It starts at 1700, and is with a Thai guide. Call early so you can reserve it (Mike Price is the svc guy there, call the ops number on the Giant report and they can transfer you to him). If you don't someone else may have it. We brought in some Jarhead fighter pilots and had the boat reserved, they did not, and were very pissed we beat them to the punch. We caught 14 in 2 hours. Also, it is cool to talk to the peace officer there, he can give you a nice tour of the island including the bunkers and pow rock. We brought plastic single person rafts ($2 in Waikiki) and swam out in the lagoon with those and our cooler of course.
  17. Bangkok, Thailand - The DAO will hook you up with transportation and accommodations. Le Royal Meridien (662) 656-0444 was fantastic and has excellent service and great rooms, gym, hot tub/sauna and pool on the top floor. Free breakfast to boot. The Meridien is right downtown, next to Planet Hollywood (the PH might be out of business now), and walking distance from Hard Rock Cafe. There's a good Thai place right across the street and a Starbucks. Phantip Plaza is the place for bootleg software and VCDs. You can't miss out on NaNa Plaza (2 train stations away)for the frog/fish/snake/dart "SHOWS" bar fines are 500 baht, beers are just under $2. Raja's Tailors is right by NaNa and is a great place to get the interview suit custom made at a great price. For jewelery there's Venus, Gems, and James. Eddy the bus driver gives a good tour of the city and if you have time the Royal Palace is worth a look. Take care (food, tips) of Eddy and he'll take care of you. Basically, Bangkok is a great place to get drunk and see hundreds of naked women..... ~The Royal Crowne was awesome it's downtown on Sillim Drive near the embassies. There was a metric ass-ton of European College students staying there and we ended up partying with them. The bar is nice and has a 4 member girl band playing every night. There is a business office to check email in and great service allover. They treat you like royalty. Ask the bell-hop for help getting a taxi to the go-go's or a tour of the city. The Crowne is next to a big 5 story mall and there is a ton of shopping both there and on the street. Tons of old artifacts, suits, you name it. Everyone takes greenbacks, and the food rocks. Can't wait to go back. The rate was $100 but you have to check on per-diem. NAS Whidbey Travel gave us the wrong rate and we got screwed on the card 2 months later. I have nothing but good to say about it and the Montien in Pattaya. Make sure you hit the Croc farms for belts, shoes, and purses for the old lady! ~Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit was a palace! Superb rooms, handy to Cowboy Street and elevated train. Pattaya (Utaphao), Thailand - Dan Generette is the local rep for military flights into and out of Utaphao airfield. He is an outstanding rep (prior USAF with 20+ years) and will hook you up with transportation and accomodations. He'll probably ask if you have any preferences for the latter. If so, ask for the Royal Gardens or the Montien - call (66 38)428-155-6 for Montien. Excellent service and good food at the Montien. But the Royal Gardens offers equivalent service with a more convenient location (from a liberty perspective) and much better acomodations. The gym at the Montien doesn't even compare to the one at Royal Garden's. Both offer good in-house massage services, but again the Royal Garden has the edge in this category. That is, if you don't want to go out for a massage at one of the many places in Pattaya proper. ~Royal Garden Marriot was a Palace! You have not lived until you stay at the Royal Garden. It has the best breakfast buffet ever, excellent service, a nice bar that sells cigars, the best thai cuisine (hot hot hot) and a pool bar. It is situated in the middle of downtown Pattaya, so opportunities abound for entertainment and excellent restaurants. The Pattaya walking street is only 5 minutes away, where you can find some of the freshest seafood anywhere and then watch some kick-boxing at any of the streetside rings. The hotel itself is connected to one of the malls in town, and has many stores, a few good restaurants and a movie theater. Hard Rock Hotel +66 38 428755-9 / +66 38 421673 was a nice hotel. Nov03 - Spent two nights at the Hard Rock. The gym rocks, the pool rocks, and the service...rocks. Ample internet access in the lobby, nice restaurant, and the rooms are clean and decent with a huge shower and comfy beds. The gym is complete with views of the pool for motivation. Located right next to the Montien, but in my opinion, a notch better. Bring your golf clubs! Laem Chebang is a Jack Nicklaus designed course that can be played for $15 on Tuesdays, 'sport days'. It is incredibly beautiful, and the Caddies are great with 300baht being a good tip. Look out for 'sport days' at the other courses too, as you can play Monday through Thursday for $15 a pop. Taxi service can be arranged at the hotel or just outside the hard rock for 1000baht, or $25.
  18. Singapore - Diplomatic clearances are a hot topic with Singapore. You will overfly Malaysia on the way in and out. Make sure you you have it all in one sock, at least DIP-wise, before you even think of taking off for or from Singapore. If you are going into Changi In'tl, contact Changi Ops at least 30 minutes out with ETA and fuel request. Take a close look at the Foreign Clearance Guide for entrance requirements. Changi Int'l provided us with excellent ground service. The operations center will provide transpo to the terminal for your baseops boogie and chow. The dispatch center was most helpful in flight planning. NOTE: the Singapore 1801 is a little different and you HAVE to use it. Find some copies beforehand or wait until you arrive. The SID for Changi is only found on the Jepp plates so find a way to get that, ideally before engine start! The food court is upstairs with excellent fried rice which they cook right in front of you. There are also the standard int'l airport shops for souvenirs, etc. ~Traders was a nice hotel. Contrary to popular belief, chewing gum is allowed in Singapore now. Most crews are put up at Trader's and get access to the Trader's Club which means free breakfast and free snacks in the evening. Taxis are dirt cheap. If you have one day to see everything here's a suggested itinerary (note, take a cab everywhere): Head to the gondola terminal to take the gondola to Sentosa island. Check out the island and then go back to the terminal. Proceed to Suntec City for some shopping or Nelson Circus to try the Hawker booths for food. From there head to Little India or Chinatown. The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari are definitely worth a visit. There's a 30 minute gap between when the Zoo closes and when the Safari opens. Other possibilities for your trip include crossing the border into Malaysia but be careful bringing back counterfeit DVDs as there was a crew chief that ended up in jail overnight for transporting adult DVD's across the border. Paya Lebar, Singapore is the military base in Singapore. They have peculiar airfield hours and if this gets overlooked, you'll find yourself at Changi Int'l. There is an AMC rep located in the cargo shacks with a DSN line and a computer with internet access. There is also a decent base operations with weather, etc. TAKE HEED: check with Paya Lebar's dispatch to verify your departure routing and flight plan route. Chances are they have preferred routing for your destination and it won't match your CFP. Better to find this out sooner than later. Check the walls for their local SIDs. You won't take off to the South regardless of the winds. One other piece of advice...stock up on chow before your departure. There are very limited resources for food at Paya Lebar, i.e. a shack with with kettles of oriental noodle-fish-chicken-spice concoctions. If your into that sort of thing at 0500, great! If not, it will be a long flight unless you stock up beforehand. If you RON, there is a posssibility that they will put you up on the base, but not likely. We were "forced" to go downtown to a 5-star hotel, Traders, which treated us like kings! The opportunities for food, shopping, and entertainment are too numerous to mention. The hotel concierge was more than helpful with maps, directions, recommendations, etc. Denny's, Stuart Anderson's Black Angus, numerous sports bars, and plenty of oriental chow is all with walking distance and the cabs are cheap, too. After a few days with no ETIC they booted us from Traders and we were forced to endure a night at Sentosa Island's Shangri-La (65) 738-2222 FAX (65) 831-4314 ths@shangri-la.com www.shangri-la.com , which is another luxury resort complete with private beach, pool, spa, and a 3-hour happy hour! Once again treated like royalty. Golf is available but a little pricey. Enjoy! ~If you drop in for a quick turn, ask the TA guy for orders of the Fried Rice. It is excellent, and you can get hot or mild. About $5.00 an order. Paya Lebar - Loads and Booms read your foreign clearance guides carefully. Customs is not pleasant if your paperwork is not in order.
  19. Saipan - Aquarius Beach Towers was a dump! The name is misleading, when we pulled into the drive we knew we had made a mistake. The building is an old high rise apartment building that was converted into a hotel. The rooms are apartments, so there is plenty of room and even a washer and dryer, but the place is run down and pretty nasty. After stepping out of the shower I realized the only towel in the whole apartment was a wash cloth! Not the greatest service either. I dont have a better suggestion, but there was a resort hotel about a mile down the street.
  20. Christchurch, New Zealand - Chateau at the Park was a great hotel [03-348-8999] . Don't do the hotel bar on weekends unless you like the geriatric scene. (Cheap beer, though). ~Copthorne Commodore Hotel was very hospitable and clean hotel close to airport and downtown. Excellent bar and restaurant. Golf across the street at Russley CC. The Patterson Family goes out of the way to accommodate DOD travelers. Check out the free bus pass at front desk. Acceptable gym. Good pool/hottub. Updated 7 Apr 08 by C-21 Pilot** Just got back from Deep Freeze. Plenty to update. New contract hotel for C-17 crewmembers on DF is 5-Star Peppers Clearwater Resort (http://www.peppers.co.nz/Clearwater) - highly recommend trying to get there if you another mission there. Bring your clubs and fly fishing equipment. They happened to have the NZ PGA Championship there while we were staying...you can volunteer to work the event if your schedule allows. Taxi's downtown cost on average $35 each way. I would recommend that if you are going for the first time, you get in contact w/ the 62 or 446 OG/OGV folks and get the gouge. The Belgium Beer Club is a must - over 30 Belgium premiums on tap, and decent food. For ANY big sporting event, the Holy Grail sports bar is a must. Fantastic pizza and cheap beer, all with a 50' HDTV to watch the game on - we happened to go during the SuperBowl - standing room only. We also stayed at the Rydges Hotel our first night...definately not the Clearwater, but close to the nighttime action.
  21. Clark AB Philippines - Blood suckers! I urge you to avoid the Holiday Inn and their attempts to rip you off every chance you get. This place knows that you can't leave base, and will milk you for everything you've got. San Miguel's go for 5X what they go for out in town. The business center's prices are outrageous, and last but not least they will not let you bring anything inside the hotel. The will even search your bags to make sure you haven't brought in outside soda's, beer, or food. They made my whole crew eat across the street when we ordered McDonalds. I highly urge you to take our government's money elsewhere when making arrangements. I would suggest the Monte Vista, or whatever Leonard Jones and company can come up with. Fight the power, avoid the Holiday Inn. ~Holiday Inn definitely takes every opportunity to price gouge travelers. The hotel and adjoining villas are superficially nice but get inside the rooms and realize they're hacked and the upkeep is poor. Service is friendly but you'll get raped on incidental charges. Cab rides are nominal and you can get to the SM mall nearby (15 min) and they have numerous restaurants where you can eat well for a fraction of what you'll pay in the hotel. If you eat in the hotel bar/restaurant and you charge your meal, don't leave a tip on your credit card/room account. The server won't get it as the hotel takes it! If you're worried about that sort of thing and have a heart, discreetly slip them some cash. Asian imports, the gift shop near the air field has the typical PI woodworking crafts, but you can find them in nearby Angeles City for much cheaper. Call home at discount prices - Philippines Calling Cards. Manila, Philippines - Mandarin Oriental was a Palace! Great rooms, high speed internet, superb breakfast buffet. $2 cab ride to local bars.
  22. Chuuk (Truk Islands), Micronesia - Field is 6000' with a small ramp and only served by NDB/DME approach. Getting a clearance to get out of there can be a pain if there are other inbounds since there is no radar and everything is done over HF. Served daily by Continental Airlines. There is a small USAF Civil Action Team (CAT) that maintains a compound above the airfield on a nearby hill. The only resort is the Blue Lagoon which is a nice place on the water. There's a couple restaurants and a bar there. The place is world famous with scuba divers because Truk was a major Japanese Naval Supply base in WWII and there are something like 50 ships sunk there due to a 1944 US raid. If you get to spend the night the locals will take you our snorkeling or diving on the wrecks for a reasonable fee. This is not a place you would normally plan to go to but if you do wind up there with a day off it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a beautiful tropical island and see some incredible military history.
  23. Bucholz AAF, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands - Not much on the Atoll, you blink and you miss it...there are two buildings for aircrew to stay in-one at the billeting office and you can stay above Macy's (that is where you want to stay, seemed reasonably nice, brand new) Not much for a room, just the essentials (bed, tv with 2 channels AFRTS, and a bathroom), not many places to go eat, a cafe next Macy's or the Pacific Cafe, yumm Best bet is to go the miniBX and get some steaks or burgers and some beers and go to the beach and have cookout and take a swim, its beautiful, not much for an RON stop, but its quiet and calm. ~Accomodations are suitable over Macy's. Rent a bike for $5 per day - the only means of seeing the atoll. If you have any time on deck at all, go to the small boat marina and rent a mask and snorkel for $8 a day. Head to the north end of the Atoll and put in at the steps - ask anyone. You will discover some of the greatest snorkeling of your LIFE! If you have any more time, go out 1/2 day with some of the locals fishing. We caught a 50 lb Wahoo, ate it grilled and sashimi style at the outdoor saltwater pool. Enjoy...
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