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TDY Gouge - Kwajalein Atoll


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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Was recently TDY to Kwaj for a week (luckily not too long), most of the above gouge is still good but AFRTS has more channels (6-9) but still little worth watching.  You can rent a golf cart for $7/hr if you hate riding the rental beach cruisers (which you will after about half a day).  Macy's is basic quarters, and I do mean basic, and they charge around $109/night for the privilege.  It is all you can be when it comes to Army billeting!  There is a Burger King, Subway and Anthony's Pizza on the ground floor; but don't expect a full menu.  American Eatery is over by Echo Pier, but it's the same stuff you find at every PX/BX in the world.  There was no soda while we were there due to an island-wide outage of CO2.  The same went for propane, so if you plan to BBQ bring some charcoal!  The shoppette and "BX" have the bare minimums, and not much more.  Expect things like only two flavors of Gatorade (Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch).   If you like to be on the water there are many opportunities to do so, especially dive.  Watch The Silent Wrecks of Kwajalein Atoll on Amazon to see what is still around in the atoll, but remember that it's 45-50 miles from Kwajalein to Roi-Namur on the northern side so not easy to get to without some sort of transportation.

As for the base, it's Army so a lot of run-down facilities some of which--like the terminal--are scheduled to be demolished and eventually replaced.  It's hot and extremely humid, and this is coming from someone who lives in southcentral Texas.  Plan to sweat a lot, and bring sunscreen although the shoppette does carry a decent variety of the stuff.  I've already had a case of melanoma so I used the SPF 100+ spray on variety. 

The coolest thing are the nurse sharks that hang out by the dive shop when people clean fish.  Usually 7-9 of the 6'+ sized beasts will be there, buy some Vienna sausages from the vending machine and toss them in the water.  The sharks won't likely pay attention to them until the other fish do, then things get interesting.  I dipped my GoPro into the water off the dock and got some nice video of them from about ten feet away.

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