Moving to Oahu, Working at Hickam AFB

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PACAF HQ building, Hickam AFB, Oahu, Hawaii.

PACAF HQ building, Hickam AFB, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo by expertinfantry at Creative Commons.

Here is a note from a guy that is probably moving to Oahu and going to work at Hickam Air Force Base. Just reading the name, Hickam, it brings me back! The Air Force is responsible for my moving to Hawaii for the first time. I had no clue I would be going there after technical school in Biloxi, Mississippi. On the day we got our assignments for where we’d be in the world – there were lots of happy and sad eyes in the place. Know what my eyes showed? Shock. I felt like I had been handed a death sentence. I had a girlfriend of 3 years, living in Pennsylvania. I was hoping for an East coast base in North Carolina, or even as far away as Florida. Hawaii was 5,000 miles away! I literally couldn’t speak as I read, re-read, and asked others to read for me – what my assignment said. It was quite clear, I’d be going to Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Anyway, it all worked out for the best. Hawaii was shocking for its beauty, its simplicity at times, the people I met were gems. It was, outside of the birth of my son and daughter, the best thing that ever happened to me. Experiencing Hawaii is something I hope many of you get to do.

On to Mark’s letter…

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I just re-read “Moving to Hawaii in 2012 – Is Living in Paradise for You?” and really enjoyed reading it again because it paints a more realistic picture about living in Hawaii than most other guidebooks out there.

There’s a good chance that we’ll be moving to Oahu, Hawaii, within the next few weeks and/or months where I’ll be going to take a Government job at Hickam AFB (once I get a firm job offer, the offer’s only “tentative” right now) and my wife and I will be looking for a place to stay for the next few years, so are there any neighborhoods/communities that you’d recommend (or not recommend). I’m a GS Employee so we won’t be eligible to live on base, but being close to the base isn’t a priority as long as we can find a place within reasonable driving distance from the base.

Any suggestions or recommendations will be appreciated.


Mark C.

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Hi Mark,

There are some places close to base that are as affordable as you’ll get, and within driving distance for a not-too-long commute. Keep in mind that a lot of folks work at Hickam, but you’ll also be driving beside those going to town during your morning rush-hour commute. Mid-way through my service stint with the Air Force, I moved to downtown Waikiki and commuted up to Hickam each morning. It wasn’t bad, because all the traffic is coming into town, not going out of town like I was. There was very little traffic for me in the morning, but the evening commute took a bit longer, more people heading into town to eat and for other Waikiki, Honolulu activities.

Aiea is a place that many of my friends lived. There are many apartments and homes to rent there. It is like a great big shopping spot. There is little in the way of industry there, just a lot of shopping, restaurants, and apartment buildings.

Kapolei is another spot to look at. It is a nice area, maybe a better atmosphere than Aiea, in my mind anyway, and it’s more residential I’d call it. Seems like more trees – which I like.

I’d check those two areas first.

Best of luck to you, and please, check in when you arrive and let us know how it’s all going for you. You didn’t mention, have you already been to the islands in the past to visit?




About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.

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