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Ground broken for start of Humphreys Military Base expansion PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, November 13 2007

By Kim Chong-yun, FED Public Affairs

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea - South Korea and the United States held a ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of a U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, 40 miles south of Seoul, formally beginning the multibillion-dollar U.S. base relocation project, Nov. 13.

The event was attended by South Korean Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo, U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. B. B. Bell, other military leaders and some 1,200 local residents.

In 2004, South Korea and the United States agreed on the Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan to relocate the U.S. Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul and 2nd Infantry Division, north of Seoul, to an expanded U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, so that it can accommodate U.S. forces now in Seoul and near the border with North Korea.

"The new U.S. military base to be constructed here will serve as a cornerstone in further developing the Korea-U.S. alliance," said Cha Sung-soo, South Korean secretary to the president for civic and social agenda, in a congratulatory message he read on behalf of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. "The Korea-U.S. alliance is now moving forward in a more solid and future-oriented direction.".

Under the plan, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek will triple in size and become the U.S. military's major installation in Korea, in accord with a worldwide realignment of U.S. troops. The base will be remodeled to accommodate more than 44,000 U.S. soldiers, civilians and their families.

"I also want to express my deep appreciation to the citizens of Gyeonggi Province and the city of Pyongtaek for their continuing support for the Republic of Korea and United States defense alliance," said Gen. Bell in his commemorative address during the ceremony. "You have welcomed us with open arms and we are excited about being good neighbors and good ambassadors on behalf of United States of America here at the Humphreys Garrison."

The construction of the Humphreys expansion will be proceeded by three stages; Parcel 1 and Parcel 2 which the U. S. side is in charge of and Parcel K of the Korean side. The ROK and the U.S. have agreed on the completion of the construction by the end of 2012.

About 600 buildings with a total 2328 acres of capacity will be built to accommodate the transformation, including a headquarters, administrative complex, maintenance and logistics facilities, residential housing, dining facilities, a recreational center and hospitals.

The Parcel 1 construction started on March 3 and will be finished in early 2010.