Story by Sgt Jesus Sepulveda Torres on 03/11/2019The Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) U.S. Post Office teamed up with the Hawaii State Department and United States Postal Service (USPS) to host the first Passport Fair on the installation, Mar. 10, 2019.
The event assisted active duty personnel and their families in purchasing or renewing their passports.
Jodi Wade, the Postmaster for the Kaaawa Post Office, assisted customers in filling out documents and answering questions.
"We were approached by the MCB Hawaii Post Office during one of our better service meetings and they wanted to host this event to better serve the base's residents," she said. "It was the first time conducted on MCB Hawaii and the turnout from the public was great."
Wade said that customers registered online ahead of the event and there were also walk-ins.
"Over 200 people pre-registered, but we are expected to go through about 300 applications," she said. "We have personnel from multiple post offices working today to make this event move along as well as assistance from the Hawaii State Department representatives."
The beginning of March is the time of year where a majority of permanent change of station orders are sent out to U.S. Marines and might require a new or updated passport.
Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Bell, the installation postal chief for MCBH, said the event allowed the base to work hand in hand with the local post office and State Department.
"The target audience for the Passport Fair were installation personnel in an expedited fashion instead of having to make an appointment weeks in advance somewhere else," he said. "This was a great opportunity to provide a service here on base, normally we don't process passport applications," he said. "We get customers asking if we do and we have turn them away to another post office away from this side of the island."
Bell said the event turnout was so far above expectations and would hope to see future events like this.
"Depending on feedback from the public, I would want to make this event more frequent to better serve our military community," he said.