NEWS | Feb. 7, 2019

Service Members Shred Japan’s Slopes during Weekend Liberty

By Cpl. Andrew Jones Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. service members from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni travelled to Mizuho Highland Mountain and Snow Resort, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, Feb. 2, 2019.

The service members visited the resort on a day trip that was coordinated by the Iwakuni Single Marine Program (SMP) Hornets Nest lounge.

Snow is a rare sight in Iwakuni, but it can easily be found by traveling north into Hiroshima or Shimane Prefectures.

“When I got orders to Iwakuni I didn’t know about the SMP but I knew I could travel,” said Lance Cpl. Gregory Destine, an individual material readiness list asset manager with Marine Aircraft Group 12. “I didn’t know it would be so easy. SMP and Information, Tours and Travel definitely help out with that.”

Single and unaccompanied service members purchased transportation, a lift ticket and a meal through the SMP for a price that is comparable to just purchasing a lift ticket. Ski and snowboard rentals are available at no cost through Outdoor Recreation’s gear issue to Status of Forces Agreement personnel with a valid ID.

“Trips like this show the service members of Iwakuni how much more fun Japan is with all the trips that are available and it gets service members out of the barracks to have fun,” said Cpl. David Palacios, an aviation precision measurement equipment calibration/repair technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12.

Although many of the service members at the resort were with the SMP, others made the hour and a half drive on their own. Snowboarding and skiing trips are also available through Outdoor Recreation.