|U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan|
We are the Army's Home in Korea
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||Installation Management Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Seoul, South Korea|
|Motto(s)||Sustain, Support, Defend|
Red, green, black & gold|
United States Army Garrison Yongsan (hangul: 용산기지; hanja: 龍山基地) is located in Seoul, South Korea, and is home to the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in South Korea, known as United States Forces Korea (USFK) and Installation Management Command Pacific Region. The garrison previously served as headquarters for the Imperial Japanese Army from 1910 to 1945.
The garrison comprises 2.5 square kilometres (620 acres) is located within Yongsan-gu district of Seoul, Korea's capital. Garrison facilities include multiple family housing areas, a large commissary and Post Exchange, numerous Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, restaurants, indoor and outdoor sports complexes, a library, a bowling alley, a skateboard park, a miniature golf complex, a hospital, a dental clinic, three Department of Defense Dependent Schools, a United Service Organization (USO), multiple child development centers, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an automotive care center, and a self-service gas station. The garrison is also home to the Dragon Hill Lodge, a hotel which is operated as an Armed Forces Recreation Center by the U.S. Army in support of personnel assigned or employed by the U.S. Forces Korea, their family members, and guests.
The garrison consists of two main parts, Main Post (North Post) and South Post, which are physically divided by Itaewon-ro, a four-lane city boulevard. In 2003, a two-lane overpass bridge was constructed over this boulevard to solve traffic congestion problems.
The garrison also provides installation support for an outlying U.S. Army housing area called Hannam Village (located in Hannam-dong, Seoul), K-16 Air Base, Camp Kim, Sungnam Golf Course, and Camp Coiner. Camp Coiner, covering approximately 50 acres (200,000 m2) on Yongsan Garrison's northern edge, is named after 2nd Lt. Randall Coiner, a Korean War Silver Star recipient. After the Korean War it served as Korea's primary inprocessing facility for Army troops. (As of 2008, the 1st Replacement Company (1RC), a part of the Yongsan Readiness Center, serves as the central inprocessing and orientation center for U.S. servicemembers and their families arriving to Korea.) There was an Officers' Club, NCO Club and Enlisted Club within the camp.
Collier Field House serves as the garrison's primary fitness center. Named in honor of Corporal John Collier, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War, this sports complex is located on Yongsan South Post and features basketball, racquetball, volleyball, baseball, softball, aerobic, and weight training facilities, and also offers authorized patrons a variety of instructor-lead fitness training programs. The Collier Field House is also used for community events and town hall meetings.
The single family suburban style housing areas, with yards and tree lined streets, plus the small wooded areas throughout the Garrison stand in stark contrast to the highly urbanized areas surrounding the facility. Outside the garrison, east of the compound is the commercial district of Itaewon, with westernized shopping and nightlife. To the west of Yongsan is the Samgakji subway station and Yongsan Electronics Market.
Administration[edit | edit source]
Yongsan Garrison is commanded by a U.S. Army Colonel and is one of four U.S. Army Installation Management Command Pacific Region garrisons in the Republic of Korea, and one of 179 such garrisons worldwide.
The United States Army Installation Management Command Pacific Region (IMCOM-P) is a military organization whose primary mission is to provide the United States Army in Korea the installation capabilities and services to support expeditionary operations in a time of persistent conflict, and to provide a quality of life for soldiers and their families. IMCOM-P is the Korean regional office of the Installation Management Command and maintains its headquarters in Hawaii.
History[edit | edit source]
Yongsan Garrison was originally created as an Imperial Japanese Army garrison in the early decades of the 20th century on land that had traditionally been the site of military facilities under former Korean kingdoms. The former site of the garrison was used by Qing troops during the Imo Incident in 1882. During those times, the Korean and Japanese garrisons were on the outskirts of the city in mostly undeveloped land. Since then, the city of Seoul has enveloped the Garrison. Several buildings built by the Japanese army and located within Yongsan Garrison are still utilized by U.S. forces, most notably the Eighth Army headquarters building. Many of older, dark-colored brick buildings on the base are former Japanese Army buildings. Located directly across from Eighth Army headquarters is the Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea headquarters, a structure built in the early 1970s. The building is home to the Commanding General, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.
The War Memorial of Korea directly abuts the garrison, before the construction of this museum, the land was part of the Korean military command and was only slightly separated from the U.S. Army facility, both having been part of the original Japanese Garrison.
According to Stars and Stripes,the South Korean government and U.S. military officials had agreed to relocate Yongsan Garrison 55 miles (89 km) south, to Camp Humphreys near the metropolitan city of Pyeongtaek beginning in either 2012 or 2013. Due to a number of factors, including a lack of enthusiasm for the move from the newly elected Lee Myung-Bak administration, this process has now been pushed back to 2019. South Korea had traditionally regarded this garrison as insurance against the U.S. Army abandoning Seoul, located only about 65 km from the DMZ. As part of this relocation and the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops near the DMZ, all American troops will be pulled back from north of the Han River.
The Embassy of the United States in Seoul may build a new Chancery on part of the land planned to be vacated by the U.S. Army, most probably on Camp Coiner. Most of the U.S. Embassy officials live in an Embassy housing compound located in an area almost completely enveloped by Yongsan Garrison, and with direct access to it.
As part of his final visit to Asia, U.S. President George W. Bush spoke to both U.S. and R.O.K. military personnel, their families, and civilian employees at Yongsan Garrison's Collier Field House, 6 August 2008. During his speech to the troops, Bush said,"Fifty-five years have passed since the guns went quiet and the cease-fire was signed on this peninsula, and since that time our forces have kept the peace. Our nations have built a robust alliance.” He also said that America would keep its military presence on the Korean peninsula, while returning some bases to South Korean control.
As part of her first official trip overseas as Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton visited senior U.S. and Korean military leaders at the Combined Forces Command headquarters at Yongsan Garrison on 20 February 2009.
Note: some 297,000 square meters (77 acres) of land, including a golf course, was given back to the City of Seoul in November 1992 to become Yongsan Family Park and the site of the recently opened National Museum of Korea. The opening of the completed National Museum was delayed several years while the fate of a U.S. Army helicopter landing facility (H-208) was decided (its approach path and landing pads were directly in front of the museum).
Personnel caring[edit | edit source]
BOSS - Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers[Clarification needed]
Army Family Covenant[edit | edit source]
On 13 December 2007 Yongsan Garrison officials and the IMCOM-Korean commanding general pledged their support to develop and improve family programs during an Army Family Covenant signing ceremony. According to garrison officials, “The Army Family Covenant is our commitment to deliver a quality of life commensurate to our Soldiers’ service.” During the ceremony, the Yongsan Garrison commander cited recent improvements to family programs at the USAG-Yongsan, such as elimination of initial registration fees for child care, extended hours for respite care and extended-duty child care, and expanded programs for teens and after-school care, including youth sports. Since the Army announced the covenant, it also committed $1.4 billion to family programs in fiscal 2008.
Army Family Housing[edit | edit source]
The garrison's primary housing areas include Loring Village, Lloyd L. Burke Towers, Watkins Ridge and Krzyzowski Hills. Commonly known as Black Hawk Housing Area, Loring Village consists of 16 housing structures, each containing multiple housing units, and was named after U.S. Air Force Major Charles Loring, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. South Korean-funded construction on the Lloyd L. Burke Towers (commonly known as Burke Towers) was completed in 2004. Consisting of two five-story towers, the housing area includes three-, four- and five bedroom units, as well as outdoor barbecue areas, a basketball court and underground parking facility. The towers were named after Army 1st Lt. Lloyd L. Burke, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. Watkins Ridge housing area consists of 23 housing structures, each containing multiple housing units, and was named after Army Master Sergeant Travis Watkins, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. Krzyzowski Hills housing area consists of 10 housing structures, each with multiple housing units, and was named after Army Captain Edward Krzyzowski, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. Often unaccompanied military personnel are assigned to Unaccompanied Personnel Housing on-post such as barracks, Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), Senior Enlisted Quarters (SEQ), or Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ). When on-post housing is not available, unaccompanied military personnel are assigned to off-post quarters.
Army Community of Excellence[edit | edit source]
In 2008 Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody recognized Yongsan Garrison as one of the top three U.S. Army Installations in the World and recognized the garrison by declaring it an Army Community of Excellence. The ACOE competition recognizes excellence in installation management and encourages and rewards installations that optimize opportunities and demonstrate a commitment to service and excellence. Of 179 Army installations, Yongsan placed third behind second-place Fort George G. Meade, Md., and first-place finisher Fort A.P. Hill, Va.
Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital[edit | edit source]
Yongsan Garrison is home to the Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital (BAACH). The main tenant unit residing in BAACH is the 121st Combat Support Hospital, providing the staff for inpatient and outpatient care. The staff includes a mix of active duty soldiers, civilians employees, and Korean employees. It was originally activated in 1944 as the 121st Evacuation Hospital, Semimobile. It participated in the European Theater during World War II and in the Korean War. It has served continuously in Korea as a field unit since 25 September 1950 and as fixed medical treatment facility, Seoul Military Hospital, since 1959. In 1971, Seoul Military Hospital merged with the 121st Evacuation Hospital to become the U.S. Army Hospital, Seoul (121st Evacuation Hospital). On 16 April 1994, the 121st Evacuation Hospital reorganized and was redesignated the 121st General Hospital. On 30 June 2008 the facility was formally renamed the Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital. Colonel Allgood served as the commander at this hospital from June 2004 through June 2006. Allgood's final assignment was July 2006 when he was posted as the Command Surgeon Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I). On 20 January 2007, he, along with eleven other U.S. service members, were killed in action when their UH-60 helicopter was shot down by enemy rocket fire in Iraq.
Department of Defense Dependent Schools[edit | edit source]
Seoul American High School (SAHS) is located on Yongsan Garrison. The school complex comprises eight buildings, containing over 60 classrooms and special purpose rooms. The school has two combination faculty lounges and work areas. A library/media center houses 12,000 books and audio visual materials. The educator staff of 70 is composed of the Department of Defense Dependent Schools education specialists and classroom teachers. SAHS opened in 1959 with approximately 150 students. The first class graduated in 1960. The classrooms at that time were Quonset huts located across from the main Army Community Service building. Taegu, Pusan, and Chinhae students boarded at SAHS as there were no high schools in those areas until 1967. In the fall of 1967, Taegu opened its high school, which alleviated the long drive for students. Construction began on the new high school in 1981 and was completed in the fall of 1982. In addition to the main, arts, and gymnasium buildings a new structure which includes a JROTC section was opened in 1987. The JROTC facilities have two classrooms, three offices, supply room, arms room, four point indoor rifle range, and a hard top area used for inspections and drills. Additionally, JROTC formal inspections are held on the Falcon Fields, the school's full-sized artificial turf football and soccer field. School year, 1995–96 Seoul American High School had 550 students. This year enrollment is 630. SAHS is one of the larger schools in DoDDS Pacific and also has a reputation for being one of the leading academic schools. Every year SAHS ranks in the top 15% of high schools academics. Over the summer of 2009, SAHS Football/soccer field recently had "stadium lights" placed along the side of the fields, which can be easily seen when driving by the field, fulfilling their part in the "American Dream". The tennis court was also taken out and replaced with a new building due to an influx of students from the states.
Seoul American Middle School (SAMS) and Seoul American Elementary School (SAES) are also located on Yongsan Garrison. In 2008, to accommodate an increase in student population, a 7,900-square-foot (730 m2) classroom building was constructed on the SAMS campus. The new building's six classrooms – each 900 square feet (84 m2) – accommodate up to about 170 Department of Defense Dependent Schools students. The SAES campus consists of seven buildings and a cafeteria. The main building houses primary classrooms, the Information Center, the Dolphin Theater, and computer labs. Grades 3, 4 and 5 and some Kindergarten classrooms are located in outlying buildings. SAES is one of the largest schools in DoDDS and ranked as one of the highest in academic performance. There are about 1,100 students at Seoul American Elementary School. The staff consists of over 90 professional educators, 20 educational aides and 10 clerical personnel. The school's curriculum is based on the U.S. National Standards with special classes including Art, Music, Physical Education, Computer and Korean Culture.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Korean War
- War Memorial of Korea
- United States Forces Korea
- Eighth United States Army
- 2nd Infantry Division (United States)
- Army and Air Force Exchange Service
- Department of Defense Dependents Schools
- List of Korea-related topics
- Anti-American sentiment in Korea
References[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Official Site
- IMCOM Pacific Region Official Site
- Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital (121st Combat Support Hospital)
- USAG Yongsan Official YouTube News Video Channel
- Seoul American High School
- Seoul American Middle School
- Department of Defense Dependent Schools – Pacific
- Department of Defense Education Activity
- Yongsan Army Garrison
- Dragon Hill Lodge Hotel
- USFK Good Neighbor Program
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