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One box you can’t take with you

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Calvin Cook, 18th Communications Squadron postal clerk, files member’s P.O. Box information at the Kadena Air Base Post Office March 13, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The mission of the Post Office is to provide both personal and official mail to the service members and their families here on the island. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Calvin Cook, 18th Communications Squadron postal clerk, files member’s P.O. Box information at the Kadena Air Base Post Office March 13, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The mission of the Post Office is to provide both personal and official mail to the service members and their families here on the island. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Calvin Cook, 18th Communications Squadron postal clerk, gathers member’s P.O. Box information at the Kadena Air Base Post Office March 13, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The duties of the base Post Office include setting up P.O. Boxes, sorting mail, loading and unloading trucks with packages and giving parcels to customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Calvin Cook, 18th Communications Squadron postal clerk, gathers member’s P.O. Box information at the Kadena Air Base Post Office March 13, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The duties of the base Post Office include setting up P.O. Boxes, sorting mail, loading and unloading trucks with packages and giving parcels to customers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis/Released)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Post Office can be an overlooked step in the in/out-processing grind, but it is important to remember to stop by.

Military members and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) status personnel with orders to Kadena who live on- and off-base are allowed to register a P.O. box for their personal and official mail.

With summer coming around, peak PCS season is upon us. A large amount of people will be coming and going, so it is important that military members and their families have a place for their mail to be safely and properly delivered. Additionally, there needs to be sufficient room to register those incoming members with their boxes.

If P.O. boxes are not closed out before leaving the island, important documents could take longer to get to the correct address, they could get lost, or they could be returned to the sender.

The Post Office has a unique way of finding which P.O. boxes are not being used. Colored slips of paper and placed into each box quarterly, and if paper is not removed, the box is then de-registered.

“Post Office workers also regularly check each box see if mail has been sitting for a long time every 30 days,” said Master Sgt. Ashunta Taylor, 18 Communications Squadron postmaster. “If it has been there a long time, our workers will attempt to reach the individual. If they cannot be reached, that individual’s chain of command will be contacted to either see if they have PCS’d or to tell them to pick up their mail.”

The process to de-register a mailbox is simple: just clear out your box and stop by the customer service area and fill out the out-processing forms.

“It’s a fairly simple process and quick process,” said Senior Airman Calvin Cook, 18th Communications Squadron postal clerk. “Taking care of this on time makes everything go smoother.”

For more information, you can call the Post Office at 634-2155.