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Far East District completes largest troop housing facility in Korea PDF Print E-mail
Monday, December 06 2010

Seoul — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District along with the U.S. Air Force and Lotte Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a recently completed 528-person, seven-story dormitory at Kunsan Air Base Nov. 30.

Sam Adkins, Chief of Construction Division cut the ribbon on behalf of FED at the ceremony.

“This is the largest dorm in Korea,” said Adkins. “This dorm is over one and a half times as large as the largest barracks we build at Humphreys.”

The dormitory, which is now the largest troop housing facility in Korea, has already gained a reputation throughout the Corps of Engineers. At the world-wide 2009 USACE Infrastructure Conference in the U.S., Adkins set up an information booth for FED displaying a large, poster-sized photo of the dormitory while under construction. Visitors to the booth were curious about what it was that FED was building.

“When I told them it was an Air Force dormitory in Korea, they couldn’t believe it,” said Adkins. “Many thought it was a hotel under construction.”

Members of the Air Force’s 8th Civil Engineer Squadron have referred to the dormitory as the “Cadillac” of all the dormitories at Kunsan.

A few months ago housing at the air base was at 104 percent capacity meaning that some Airmen were sharing bedrooms which is outside of current Air Force standards. The Air Force has been anticipating the opening of this new dormitory since the groundbreaking in March 2008.

“Can you believe that this is the last hour after all these years?” said Col. John L. Dolan, Commander of the 8th Fighter Wing.

Dolan expressed his appreciation to the previous Kunsan leadership along with the engineers and others who spent time on the project for having the foresight to see the need for new dormitories at the air base.

“I wish we could bring them all back because you know they would love to see their idea, their actual plan on paper, become concrete and mortar behind me,” said Dolan at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The new dormitory is not only the largest in Korea but has various safety features. Each floor has reinforced concrete foundations, floor slabs, and walls as well as fire alarms, sprinklers with detectors, and antiterrorism protection measures. It is equipped with a Collective Protection System which is a state-of-the-art air filtration system designed for comfort and force protection.

The Kunsan Air Base Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Officer has determined that the dormitory does comply with current AT/FP criteria which are mandatory for all Air Force dormitory projects funded in 2004 and later.

The dormitory was also completed with zero reported accidents.

“The thousands of man hours safely expended to get us to this day is truly a remarkable feat,” said Adkins.