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COLA survey available until May 31

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Due to the Cost of Living Allowance dropping significantly during the past year, Yokota personnel are being encouraged to participate in a Living Pattern Survey to help determine the rates for people stationed in Japan.

"COLA seems to always be a topic of interest here," said 2nd Lt. Kari McIntyre, 374th Comptroller Squadron financial services officer. "Now people will be able to influence the amount we receive by taking a survey."

"The last LPS here was done in 2005," said 1st Lt. Capri Gunn, 374 CPTS financial services officer. "Typically the survey is done every three years, but due to the two major malls opening near Yokota recently, we have requested an out-of-cycle survey to be conducted."

The survey is available until May 31 and questions revolve around how often people shop off base for includes clothes shopping, Internet purchases and grocery-type items.

"This is an important survey because it determines the rate of COLA which helps to supplement all of the extra costs and fees we have in overseas locations," said Lieutenant Gunn.

However, the survey is not available to all people.

"This survey is not available for people who are not in the military or for the enlisted Airmen living in the dorms," said Lieutenant McIntyre.

"Also, people who have been stationed here for less than three months are not eligible to participate in the survey.

"People should also keep in mind that maximum participation is critical to ensure the most accurate data is used to determine the COLA rate here," said Lieutenant McIntyre.

"This is a chance to make your voice heard and possibly make a difference in the COLA rate we receive at Yokota," said Lieutenant Gunn. "Considering that the survey only takes about 15 minutes, I think it is definitely worth it."

People interested in taking the survey can go to www.perdiem.osd.mil/oscola/lps/japan.