Joint Base MWR supports visiting ships

Joint Base Morale, Welfare and Recreation supports visiting ships at sporting events during Exercise RIMPAC 2016. Photo courtesy of

Don Robbins

Editor, Ho‘okele

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offers everything under the sun to visiting U.S. and foreign ships, said Frank Del Gaudio, deployed forces support coordinator.

As they prepare for their port visit to JBPHH, Del Gaudio shares helpful information with the executive officers, command master chiefs and recreation services officers of visiting ships.

He also passes along the MWR JBPHH website The site provides details about all the programs and services available through the MWR Department, including base activities, recreation offerings and more.

He also provides the visiting ship with many points of contact (POCs) including for Information, Tickets and Travel (ITT), attractions and general island information. ITT can also assist coordinating command-sponsored functions for the crew during a ship’s port visit.

In addition, Del Gaudio helps put the visiting ship in touch with many other amenities, including ITT hotels and vehicle rentals, sports, gym and field reservations, the Navy/ Marine Golf Course, dining and entertainment, picnic fields and outdoor recreation activities, the Single Sailor program and swimming pool reservations. MWR even provides the visiting ships with additional helpful websites, such as those for the newspaper, bus, and taxis authorized to come on base.

Besides all the fun activities on base, Del Gaudio supports afloat fitness equipment repairs and replacement, if needed and requested.

Yvette Perez-Iwatsu, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam MWR, Community Recreation and ITT Program director said that once she gets information of a visiting ship or ships, her program will establish communications with them. For example, they will send a welcome email to the executive officer, commanding officer and Fun Boss (recreation specialist) to give them information on activities offered through ITT.

“We will also give information on the POCs for other MWR facilities,” Perez-Iwatsu said. Travel Connections will also communicate to the crew with hotel and car rental information.

Car and hotel vendors will come out on the day of arrival when there is a carrier visit, based on availability.

“We have worked with different visiting ships to provide command events to different activities, specialized trips and tours through the Outdoor Adventure Center and Single Sailor/Airmen programs,” Perez-Iwatsu added.

The program will also provide the Recreation Ticket Vehicle at the pier upon request or when there is a carrier visit. In addition, the program provides charter motor coach shuttles, if requested, for Tiger shuttles or command events.

“Upon arrival we (MWR) do a port brief and provide additional information such as maps, MWR information and other island information. If there is a carrier that comes into port we may also have a hospitality tent that the MWR Clubs will arrange,” Perez-Iwatsu said.

Speaking on behalf of director Rodney Gouveia, Tina Lui of JBPHH Sports and Fitness said when visiting ships come into port they usually contact her department via their Fun or Fitness Boss aboard the ship.

Sometimes they will email Sports and Fitness directly and in other situations they go through the fleet liaison Del Gaudio, or their host ship from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“The coordination takes place as far out as a month from when they are coming into port. Usually they ask for games against one of our intramural sports teams for basketball, soccer or softball. Depending on the sport we coordinate with a local team, in most cases it is their host ship’s team, to play a game at one of our facilities,” Lui said.

If they are interested in a run, Sports and Fitness refers them to their fitness center fun runs or if they are in port during the Ford Island Bridge Run, they coordinate their entry into the race.

Besides MWR, other departments provide services to visiting ships.

Stephanie Lau, marketing and customer relations manager for the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange (NEX), said she boards every visiting ship that comes into port to provide her portion of the “Welcome Brief” with MWR, Fleet Logistics Center FLC, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Naval Health Clinic Hawaii, the JBPHH Task Force and Naval Supply Systems Command to the executive officer and/or commanding officer of the visiting ship. Lau then meets with the supply officer for ship store re-stocking needs.

If there is an order for the ship store or stores, Lau works with the NEX department managers to help fulfill, pack and deliver the order pier-side.

The NEX Distribution Team then delivers the order pier-side at no cost to the ship.

During Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, Lau’s NEX team completed 30 orders. Overall in 2016, there were 55 ship orders completed.

Other NEX department contributions include providing shuttle bus services to all visiting ships.

“During RIMPAC 2016 there was 100,000-plus ridership,” Lau said.

During RIMPAC, the NEX Holomoku Mini Mart provided services pier side at the aircraft carrier USS Stennis (CVN 74). The NEX Service Department had food stands pier-side to support Sailors during their working port. They do this whenever a carrier comes into port, Lau added.

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Category: Sports