View Full Version : Supporting the warfighter: MCCS eploys with Okinawa Marines

10-07-05, 02:46 PM
Supporting the warfighter: MCCS eploys with Okinawa Marines
by Sgt. C. Nuntavong
MCB Camp Butler

PYONGTAEK, South Korea -- Leaving Okinawa for a few weeks or months and traveling to another exotic southeast Asian country sounds like a great vacation, but not if you are going on a deployment and sleeping on cots in the jungle.

Marine Corps Community Services Deployed Operations helps III Marine Expeditionary Force Marines keep busy during their off time by bringing them a few comforts from home, according to Jokim M. Davis, assistant operations officer.

"We are here to provide (morale, welfare and recreation) services to forward-deployed Marines," Davis said. "We want you to feel like you're back in Okinawa as much as possible."

Some of the "comforts of home" that MCCS brings to a deployment are Internet access, a telephone calling center and gym.

Internet services are contracted by MCCS with a local service provider. They provide Internet access, wireless networking and printing capabilities free to service members 24-hours a day.

"I was surprised to see MCCS out here (in South Korea) with us," said Lance Cpl. Marcial Q. Gutierrez, an administrative clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group. "It's great to be able to e-mail my family while I'm (on temporary additional duty.)"

The telephone center is a telecommunication service that provides service members with the ability to make local or international phone calls. This service is also locally contracted by MCCS.

If a gym is not located at your TAD location, MCCS will make one for you. The gym may include free weight equipment like dumbbells, barbells and plates; resistance-training machines; and cardiovascular devices like stationary bicycles, treadmills, elliptical trainers and stair climbers.

"Having a gym on deployment helps me keep in shape," said Gunnery Sgt. Robert D. Chaldekas, a maintenance chief with 7th Communications Battalion.

Encouraging physical fitness, MCCS also conducts a Sports Day, in coordination with unit commanders, sponsoring events like basketball, softball, soccer, football, running events and various competitions. Trophies are awarded to the top performers.

MCCS has provided these services to III MEF Marines for more than six years at exercises such as Cobra Gold in Thailand, Ulchi Focus Lens in South Korea, Crocodile in Australia and Operation Unified Assistance, also in Thailand.

"When there's little to do outside, this keeps (the service members) busy and gives them a place to spend their off time," Davis said.

According to Richard E. Poulin Jr., the deployed operations officer, when Marines and Sailors utilize MCCS facilities and services on Okinawa, those profits fund the free services and activities at their deployment site.

To find out if MCCS will be at your next deployment, contact MCCS Deployed Operations at 645-9346.