Civilian employees and family
PCS information for civilian employees and family during COVID-19 circumstances

Civilian employees and family

Please refer to the following checklist for items you will need to complete before, during, and after you PCS to Iwakuni:
Civilian employee checklist

My Sponsor

Your sponsor is responsible for helping you PCS and keeping you and your family members alive and fed during your restriction of movement (ROM). If you have orders to Iwakuni and your sponsor has not contacted you, contact your gaining command to ensure your sponsor reaches out as soon as possible.

Throughout the checklist and PCS process, you may find it convenient to give your sponsor a Special Power of Attorney (SPOA) so that they can handle many checklist items on your behalf. Coordinate with your sponsor to find the best path forward for your situation.

The sponsor is not responsible financially and should work out electronic payment options to be reimbursed by you (Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, NavyFed, etc.). Your sponsor should keep all receipts and log all expenses paid.

Lodging upon arrival

Upon arrival at MCAS Iwakuni, you will immediately begin a ROM. Your ROM procedures will vary depending on your vaccination status, but could entail you spending the duration of ROM in temporary lodging.

Once ROM is complete, you will be authorized to begin the process of occupying permanent housing, though you should have already applied for permanent housing before PCS (reference the checklist).

Restriction of Movement

Upon arrival at MCAS Iwakuni, you will immediately begin a ROM. This necessitates that you complete your checklist promptly and coordinate with your unit well ahead of time to ensure your ROM period is as smooth as possible.

Your ROM procedures will vary depending on your vaccination status, but could entail not leaving your ROM location and not having any guests enter your temporary lodging. All meals will be delivered to you by your sponsor via grocery drop-offs at your door.


You need to inform your gaining command or the agency you will be working for in Iwakuni as soon as possible. Special coordination for receiving you aboard the base will need to occur.

If possible, you are strongly encouraged to book a seat aboard the Patriot Express to avoid the difficult process that follows. Upon arrival into Japan, if not coming aboard the Patriot Express, you and your family can expect to be stopped at your point of entry by the Japanese government, tested for COVID-19 and be required to take a  shuttle to one of the below locations for restriction of movement (ROM). If your flight is arriving into the Tokyo area, you must conduct ROM in the Tokyo area, no exceptions, therefore do not make a connecting flight reservation. The following hotels are the only approved locations for you to conduct ROM in the Tokyo area:

Upon completion of ROM at that location, you will be authorized to proceed to MCAS Iwakuni. If you use commercial means for your final leg of PCS to Iwakuni (train, bus, airline) or the Patriot Express, you will need to conduct ROM upon arrival in Iwakuni, again. If you take a MilAir flight (other than Patriot Express) or you are picked up via POV or GOV from your ROM location, you will not need to undergo ROM again upon arrival in Iwakuni.

If your flight is arriving into Kansei (Osaka), Fukuoka, or Hiroshima (if flying in from Okinawa), you must be picked up at the airport and driven back to Iwakuni, without stopping. Upon arrival to MCAS, you must undergo ROM on base and anyone who was in the vehicle with you must also undergo ROM.

This process is difficult, which is why the Patriot Express option is the much more preferred course of action. Engage your sponsor and gaining command early and often throughout this process.


Bringing pets to MCAS Iwakuni Japan is discouraged. Housing for pets is very limited both on and off-base, and dogs are not permitted in much of the on-base housing. Many landlords off-base will not rent to families with pets. Travel with pets to and from Iwakuni may also require inconvenient special arrangements and expensive fees.

If you do decide to PCS with your pet, you MUST take initiative ahead of time to ensure you complete all necessary steps for PCS’ing with your pet.

You can access information for PCS’ing to Iwakuni with your pet here, as well as within the checklist.

COVID-19 Resources