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Tengan Pier


Tengan Pier, which is in Konbu, Gushikawa city, has a port that can accommodate up to 20,000 ton class ships. The port is used to receive different types of weapons and ammunition. The Tengan Pier is located approximately 1 mile north of Camp Courtney's main gate. The Chimu Wan POL storage facility is immediatedly adjacent to the pier [which is about 0.4 miles long, not a mile long, as some sources report]. Tengan Pier is a popular off-base spot for surfers and swimmers. Located in Tengan Bay on the Pacific Ocean side of Okinawa, this particular spot offers one of the highest concentrations of marine life found anywhere in this region.

The seaplane base at Chimu Wan was established in July 1945 during the buildup of forces on Okinawa for the invasion of the Japanese home islands. On 14 July 1945, VPB-208 (PBM-5 Mariners) departed Kerama Rhetto for Chimu Wan, supported by Hamlin (AV-15). They were followed by VPB-26 (PBM-5 Mariners) on 15 July, VPB-22 (PBM-3D Mariners) on 16 August and VPB-205 (PBM-5 Mariners) 25 on August. USS St. George (AV-16) provided additional tender support. The last wartime operational flights for the squadrons were made from the location by VPB-208 and VPB-16 on 11 August 1945. The base was disestablished after it was destroyed by typhoons in September and October 1945.

The 505th Quartermaster Battalion is responsible for providing support of bulk petroleum products to all Department of Defense agencies on Okinawa. It operates and maintains a 100-mile petroleum pipeline system that reaches from Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in the south of the island, through Kadena Air Base, to Chimu Wan and Tengan near Camp Courtney. The battalion receives, stores, and issues, all aviation fuel (JP-8/JP-5), automotive gasoline (MOGAS), and diesel fuel (F76) used by the United States Forces on Okinawa. Additionally, it operates an area laboratory capable of providing quality surveillance support for all bulk fuels and lubricants handled by all services on Okinawa. Located in Gushikawa city, Okinawa city, Kadena town, Chatan town and Ginowan city, the Army Oil Storage Facility stores various kinds of fuel. The facility's oil pipelines are connected with such places as Kin town's tank farm and Kadena Ammunition Storage Area.

In March 1965 the US Marine Corps landed in Vietnam and launched a ground war. They need vast ammounts of ammunitions and military equipment to be transported from Okinawa to Vietnam. In February 1966 plans were announced for the extension of Tengan Pier. The US military abandoned the plan to extend Tengan Pier in August 1971, and agreed to return Naha military port to Japan.

The US Army Chemical Activity, Pacific, had its beginnings April 20, 1945, when the 267th Chemical Service Platoon was activated at Fort Richardson, Alaska, but the platoon was inactivated on Nov. 1 of the same year, primarily because of the end of World War II. The platoon was activated in 1962 and assigned to the US Army Depot, Okinawa. It became the 267th Chem. Company in 1965 and was reassigned to the 196th Ordinance Battalion, 2nd Logistics Command, Okinawa. The US government directed relocation of chemical munitions from Okinawa to Johnston Island in 1971. The initial phase of Operation Red Hat involved the movement of chemical munitions from a depot storage site to Tengan Pier, eight miles away, and required 1,332 trailers in 148 convoys. The second phase of the operation moved the munitions to Johnston Atoll. Completion of cargo discharge from the USNS McGraw at Johnston Island on Sept. 21 completed Operation Red Hat, and the company completed redeployment on Sept. 27.

In June 1998 approximately 200 members of the USAF 18th Munitions Squadron at Kadena AFB practiced in around-the-clock operations when they prepared tons of munitions for shipment by air and sea. The 18th MUNS tested, on a very large scale, their ability to package and prepare munitions for shipment by air and sea in only three days. The job was to assemble, inspect and prepare about 150 ISO containers, part of the new Container Ammunition Distribution System. ISO cans are the large 20-foot Sea Land containers used on commercial ships and trucks and stuffed with ammo on the squadron's recently constructed assembly concrete pads. One difference from the typical commercial Sea Land container is that the CADS containers can be loaded from the side, and that's a lot easier when loading 2,000 pound bombs. Under the old method of break bulk loading, all the munitions would be brought down to the local pier for the local longshoreman to load by pallets into the ships. It was a very labor intensive and time consuming. MUNS prepared another two pallets of AGM-88 air-to-ground missiles; 28,750 rounds of 20-mm ammunition; and two pallets of countermeasure munitions, such as chaff and flare, for air transport from Kadena's flight line. Munitions never actually left the base during the exercise. However, in an actual contingency, 18th MUNS would have everything loaded in the Sea Land containers and ready for shipping from Tengan Pier, on the Eastern Shore of Okinawa.


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