DoD

June 20, 2014

Military recreation centers offer value to troops, Families

Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
Photo-for-top-of-page

Photo-for-top-of-page
WASHINGTON — Fans of the Armed Forces Recreation Centers, AFRCs, can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that because the crown jewels of the military’s morale, welfare and recreation programs are completely self-supporting, they’re unaffected by defense budget cuts and undergoing capital improvements.

The AFRCs have served as centerpieces of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program since the post-World War II era. They were initially established after the war in confiscated German facilities to provide recreational getaways for U.S. forces.

Today, the Army operates four AFRCs around the world for all the military services: the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, in Garmisch, Germany; the Hale Koa Hotel, in Honolulu; Shades of Green, on the grounds of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida; and Dragon Hill Lodge, in Seoul, South Korea.

The AFRCs are luxury resorts that cater exclusively to military and Defense Department leisure travelers and their Families.

Edelweiss, opened in 2004, is considered a world-class resort smack in the middle of the Bavarian Alps and Germany’s premier ski and summer sports scene. The Hale Koa, on Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach, offers an open door to paradise, complete with tropical gardens, pools and regular luaus. Shades of Green, the only AFRC in the continental United States, gives service members and Families immediate access to Disney World. The Dragon Hill offers an upscale escape in the Land of the Morning Calm, all steps from the excitement and intrigue of downtown Seoul.

All feature exclusive accommodations and fitness facilities, restaurants, lounges and activity desks that can keep guests running from morning to night.

For many AFRC guests, the initial attraction is the price. Unlike civilian resorts that must turn a profit to stay in business, AFRCs charge only what they need to cover operating expenses and facility improvements. Not a penny of the direct funding comes from appropriated funds, according to the FMWR website, http://www.armymwr.com/travel/recreationcenters/, so the facilities are largely sheltered from the budget cuts impacting the Defense Department.

Room rates are based on a sliding scale according to rank, with the most-junior guests paying the least. For higher-ranking guests, the same rooms go for more, and larger rooms are available at some of the facilities to accommodate larger parties.

While price may draws guests to the AFRCs, the quality of the accommodations and services provided continue to attract repeat visitors. Each resort offers everything service members might expect to find in a luxury resort: swimming pools, gardens, dining choices ranging from fast food to haute cuisine and access to a plethora of entertainment options.

Each facility also has a post exchange on site, a godsend, many guests say, that saves them a bundle when they’re vacationing.

A recapitalization program is helping to ensure a fresh, luxury atmosphere remains. Shades of Green recently opened its expanded post exchange. A major renovation on one of its pools features a “zero entry” ramp to meet the needs of guests in wheelchairs or with other physical limitations. Another pool, the “Mickey Pool,” is being upgraded to add new child-friendly features.

The Hale Koa, which recently completed a $60-plus million facelift on its Ilima Tower, is undertaking a similar effort on its original Maile Tower. Once that’s completed, all 817 guest rooms at the largest of the AFRC resorts will have a new face.

For more information about the AFRCs or to make a reservation, contact the Armed Forces Recreation Center website.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

VA implements new online tool for military members, Families, transitioning out

In conjunction with the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, the new Veterans Employment Center, or VEC, is the federal government’s single authoritative online resource for connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their Families to meaningful career opportunities. The VEC is the first government-wide product that brings together a reputable cadre of public and...
 
 

ACAP has new name, now Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program

As part of the Soldier for Life Program that was introduced last year, the Army Career and Alumni Program, or ACAP, has changed names to the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, effective immediately. In an effort to better reflect the new direction of Army transition with the Soldier for Life Program, Army Chief...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Army has ally in Natick lab

Courtesy Photo Secretary of the Army John McHugh, left, learns about the hypobaric chamber at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine during a March 15, 2012, visit to Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massach...
 

 

Monsoon start means break from hot weather — keep safety in mind this summer

In Arizona, as in other regions of the world including India and Thailand, we experience a monsoon, a season of high temperatures, high winds, and high moisture, resulting in potentially deadly weather. The term “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim,” meaning “season” or “wind shift.” Even though rain doesn’t typically begin in the southern Arizona...
 
 

Melanoma – silent but deadly

Do you love having fun in the sun? If you do, it is essential you protect your skin from exposure to harmful sun rays known to cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, more...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Rick Davis Agency: Engineer & Instrumentation Branch within Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate, U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground Position and duties: Electronic technician; provides technical support for testing new Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Systems. AISRS does all operational testing here for the military intelligence systems by conducting a test and r...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin