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.