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Welcome to San Diego
You have orders to Southern California, a paradise with beautiful year-round climate, sandy beaches, mountains, forests, and parks. This is designed to provide you with the information you need to know prior to and after you arrive in San Diego that will help make your transfer and stay here as pleasant and smooth as possible. The key to a successful transition is communication with your sponsor. However, after reading this and taking time to familiarize yourself with all the services and facilities available to you will better prepare you for your move.
Before Arrival

click to see larger image - San Diego SkylineSponsors: 

You’ve got orders to San Diego, California. What next? You are assigned a sponsor in order to ease the problems associated with your move. Your sponsor will generally be someone of the same rate and rank. You should receive a letter from the ship's Captain, a letter from your sponsor and a Welcome Aboard packet. If you do not receive this information at least two months prior to your transfer, please contact the ship's Chaplain. The key to a smooth transition is your sponsor, who in turn can help arrange your TLA accommodations, provide transportation from the airport, check you into the command and provide you with general information about the community and on-station facilities well in advance of your move. Ensure you contact your sponsor as soon as possible before leaving for San Diego. Constant communication with your sponsor is very important for the easiest transition to BUNKER HILL. They have been assigned as a sponsor because of their experience and knowledge. Use this source of information! Other sources of information include the Family Service Center at your current command or the Internet.
The official Navy website for Navy Region SW

Advance Application for Housing:
You can make your initial appointment with the housing office as far as 30 days in advance of your arrival. This initial appointment can be made by you or by your sponsor. The easiest way to make an appointment with the Housing Office is to request one via the website. Upon checking in to PSD, the Administration Office will provide you with a copy of your PCS Orders showing the time and date you reported, a copy of your detaching endorsement showing when you detached your last command and a copy of your Page 2. You will need these documents to check in to the Navy Family Housing Office. The complete listing of Navy Family Housing Area information for both Enlisted and Officers is at

Hotel Reservations:
It is advisable to make reservations well in advance. Your sponsor can help you, although you will be required to finalize your reservation with the hotel of your choice. Hotel accommodations are usually plentiful except during the high tourist seasons, so make your reservations early. Accommodations must be Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) approved. The complete listing of TLA phone numbers for approved lodging

Shipment of Household Goods:
Large Appliance -All Navy Housing units are equipped with a refrigerator, range, washer and dryer. Ranges and refrigerators are provided for use on base and in private rental housing when not provided by the landlord as part of the rental agreement. Consider bringing lawn care equipment such as lawn mowers and weed eaters, etc. These items are available for use to family housing residents through self-help stores, but may not be available at the time you want them.

Express Shipment
You are authorized an unaccompanied baggage shipment (often called an express shipment). This shipment should be limited to clothing, linens, dishes, towels, cooking utensils and other house keeping items. You may also ship cribs, playpens, baby carriages and articles necessary for the immediate care of your children. Small radios, portable televisions, sewing machines and small appliances may also be shipped.

Autombile Shipment:
Each service member is authorized to ship one privately owned vehicle at government expense. If you are shipping a privately owned vehicle (POV) it will require approximately 21 days from the east coast to reach California.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA):
ITLA is an allowance to help offset the cost of living in hotels during your PCS move. TLA is based on the per diem rate and paid in ten-day increments. TLA is not paid in advance, but is paid after filing a completed claim with receipts and endorsements. It’s advisable to have at least $1,500 in traveler’s checks to meet immediate off-base living expenses. TLA is authorized for all command sponsored military personnel arriving on Permanent Change of Station orders pending availability of government housing, or pending completion of permanent living arrangements. TLA commences the date your PCS orders are endorsed as having reported aboard. It is imperative that you have your orders endorsed with the time and date reported as soon as possible after arriving in San Diego. You will not be reimbursed for any days of temporary lodging prior to the report date endorsed on your orders. TLA is processed by the TLA Clerk, located in the PSD.

Upon Arrival
The USO is located at the San Diego International Airport Terminal 2, is available for use by all military personnel and their family members, reservists on active duty, retirees and Department of Defense civilians on orders.

Report directly to the ship. If the ship is deployed or underway, report to Transit Personnel Unit (TPU), Bldg. 1753, Naval Station San Diego for further transfer or to await ship’s arrival, phone: 473-0065.

Transportation From The Airport
Taxi - Approximately $15.00-$20.00 from the airport to Naval Station San Diego during the non-rush hour period.
Rental Car - SATO Travel office also has cooperative agreements with local commercial car rental agencies. Prices range from $28.00 to $58.00. For current information, call your local SATO Travel office. The minimum renter age is 21 years.

Base Decal
To drive your vehicle on a military installation, you must obtain a military base decal by registering at the pass and identification office of the base to which you are assigned. When registering, you will need your Military ID card, registration of vehicle, valid driver’s license, as appropriate for automobile, motorcycle or motor scooter, smog check receipt; and proof of insurance. Pass and decal is located off of Harbor Drive right outside the main gate.

Driver's License
Driver’s licenses issued by your home state are generally valid in California until they expire. If you wish to apply for a California driver’s license, you must present your Social Security card and current out-of-state license. If your out-of state license has expired, you will also be required to file an application form, complete a written examination, pass an eye test, and pass a road test. Your original license will not be returned.

All flights lead to the San Diego International Airport located about eight miles north of Naval Station San Diego’s main gate. The airport is eight miles south of Pacific Beach and four miles north of central San Diego. Travel time to San Diego is approximately 10 minutes by car during non-rush hour. Your sponsor will most likely be the one greeting you at the airport and will help you get settled into your initial accommodations. If the ship is underway, or you are not met by anyone at the airport and require lodging, you should contact the Transient Personnel Unit at (619) 473-0065.

Checking In
Your first day on the job should be focused on turning in your service records. This starts the process of pay and entitlements. You will need to update your Page 2 and turn in your travel claim. The Administrative Office will assist you in filling out these documents. The Personal Support Detachment business hours are 0730 -1500, Monday through Friday (ID Cards are open until 1600). The Detachment is located on base. For further information concerning PSD and services provided, visit their website at


Contact Us
Radio:  (619) 556-4783
Quarterdeck:  (619) 556-4195
Wardroom:  (619) 556-4104
CPO Mess:  619) 556-4344
Supply Office:  (619) 556-4198
Operations Office:  (619) 556-4767
Ship's Office:  (619) 556-4196
Medical:  (619) 556-4002
Chaplain:  (619) 556-4102
Ship's Fax:  (619) 556-4413
Red Cross:  (619) 542-7400
Engineering:  (619) 556-4764
 Command Master Chief:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is an Ombudsman?
Every Command has an Ombudsman who is a spouse of a sailor at the Command. The Ombudsman serves as the liaison between the command and the families. The Ombudsman is the point of contact for the families. He or she can assist families with navigating through Navy life through resources and information.

2. How can an Ombudsman help me?
Navy Family Ombudsmen are key resources for family members, particularly during deployments. Ombudsmen maintain current resource files with information on military and civilian community agencies that can help families solve a variety of problems, and successfully meet the challenges they face before, during, and after deployments. In addition to providing referral information, Ombudsmen can facilitate communication between the Command and family members. Ombudsmen may publish or contribute to command newsletters or maintain care lines, which have recorded messages with information for command families that can be accessed 24 hours a day. Ombudsmen can also assist families in contacting the Command for a variety of reasons.

3. What is the role of the COMNAVSURFPAC Force Ombudsman?
The Force Ombudsman provides oversight and guidance for all the Surface Ship's Ombudsmen in the Pacific Fleet Area of Responsibility. You can contact the Surface Forces Ombudsman at (619) 301-6983 or send an email to

4. What is an IA assignment or tour?
An IA is an Individual Augmentee. A Sailor may receive orders to go IA and this means that he or she will deploy as an Individual, not with their command. Sometimes an IA will deploy and be stationed with another branch of the Military.

5. What is NFAAS?
Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System. This is how the Navy will track your family and assess your needs during an emergency.

6. How can I find out more about medical, dental or Navy family resources?
Contact your Command Ombudsman. He or she will guide you to your resources.

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USS Bunker Hill (CG 52)

San Diego, CA

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