US Army Garrison Humphreys
Camp Humphreys is located approximately 40 kilometers south of Osan. Camp Humphreys is a short distance from the city of Pyongtaek, and adjacent to the town of Anjung-ri. The airfield was originally constructed by the Japanese and was known as the Pyongtaek Airfield during the Korean War. It was called K-6 when the US Air Force repaired and built a new runway to accommodate a Marine Air Group and the 614th Tactical Control Group.
Camp Humphreys is located about 35 miles south of Seoul, just to the southeast of Asan Bay. There is a small mountain range about 7 miles south of Camp Humphreys with tops to 958 feet. Larger mountains are located to the norheast, east, and southwest, all within 20 miles with tops to 2293 feet directly south and tops above 1000 feet mainly southeast. The Ansong River flows from the east to west toward the West Sea and passes 3 miles northwest of the airfield. About 12 miles west of Camp Humphreys the river widens and empties into the Asan Bay, near Koon-ni Range. The immediate area around Camp Humpreys is mostly agricultural and consists mainly of rice fields. There are some rolling hills in the vicinity, but for the most part the elevations are less than 150 feet. Urban areas are situated mostly to the northeast of the airfield. Pyongtaek is 4 miles northeast and Seojeong-ja is 1 mile northeast. Although Dujeong-ri is next to Cp Humphreys, to the south, most of the haze and smoke that affects the airfield comes from Pyongtaek and Seojeong-ja.
The numerous areas of water around Camp Humphreys has a significant effect on the local weather. The abundant moisture is responsible for most of the fog and stratus which occurs in the area. This is especially true from the spring through fall. Generally flat terrain from the south through west allows advection of fog and stratus from the river, bay, or West Sea. Even when no fog or stratus is over the Asan Bay/West Sea, the extra moisture advected with a light westerly wind at night can cause problems when combined with radiational cooling. The Ansong River to the northwest can also contribute to the fog problem. The river is very close to the airfield and fog is advected in during periods of light northwesterly flow. When an easterly wind occurs during the night or early morning fog will normally not form, or will dissipate rapidly. Since the mountains the east help to produce a downslope wind this results in a drying and adiabatically warming effect in the low levels.
Another good moisture source for fog are the irrigated rice fields which contain standing water during the growing season (May-September). There are various seasonal effects from the local bodies of water. The West Sea provides moisture for snowshowers during the winter as cold air is advected over the relativel warmer West Sea. Although Camp Humphreys is somewhat protected, if the winds are from 260-300° then snowshowers will be advected over the airfield. During the spring and summer land/sea breezes can set up during periods of weak pressure gradients. The Asan Bay can channel winds when the prevailing direction is 270-310°, this is especially common during the winter after a frontal passage. Thunderstorms occur mainly during spring through fall with most of the convective activity associated with the polar and monsoonal front. Airmass thunderstorms usually occur further inland over the mountains.
In 1961 the airfield was re-named Camp Humphreys, in honor of CWO Benjamin K. Humphreys, of the 4th Transportation Company, who died in a helicopter accident near the Camp. The Humphreys District Command was activated in 1964 as a separate installation command of the Eighth US Army. Later it was designated as the 23rd Direct Support Group which provided all direct support. supply and maintenance, storage of all conventional ammunition in Korea, AG publications and training aides, and operated the Eighth Army Milk Plant. In 1974, with the activation of the 19th Support Brigade, this was designated as US Army Garrison, Camp Humphreys. In 1985 it was restructured to support wartime missions and was designated the 23rd Support Group. In 1996 a separate US Army Support Activity for Area III was activated to provide base operations and community support. In 2006 with the activation of the US Army's Installation Management Command (IMCOM), US Army Garrison Humphreys was placed under the authority of IMCOM Korea (IMCOM-K).
On 24 May 2000 there was a ground breaking ceremony for a 3-phase family housing project at Camp Humphreys. Phase I was the first of 3 buildings, which would each have 60 field and company grade officer, warrant officer and senior noncommissioned officer multi-story apartment family units. The 5-story buildings will include 3 (1400/1350 sq. ft.), 4 (1450 sq. ft.) and 5-bedroom (1550 sq. ft.) apartment. This first phase, a nearly $12 million project, would also provide central hot water, heating and air conditioning, kitchen range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, dishwasher and telephone/TV systems. Other support facilities would include utilities, water wells, grading, parking, walks, area lighting, children's play areas, multi-purpose courts, landscaping, drainage, and a perimeter wall around the complex. At least 5 percent of the units would be accessible and easily modifiable for the handicapped. The first phase was scheduled for completion in March 2002.
The decision to relocate all of US Forces Korea south of Seoul resulted in a rapidly changing Camp Humphreys. By 2012 Camp Humphreys was to become the new home to United States Forces Korea. The expected 2012 population would grow to 17,000 Soldiers and 13,000 Family Members. The garrison would also see a substantial increase in the number of Department of the Army Civilians, Korean National employees and contractors.
To handle the influx state of the art family housing and support facilities for Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members were to be constructed. The new facilities would allow the Humphreys Garrison to burnish its reputation as a community of excellence, staffed with committed professionals, who provide for the diverse needs of Soldiers, Civilians and Family members.
Humphreys was also to grow in physical size, some 1,200 acres in October 2007, and planned to be 3,500 by 2012. However, the total land area, even with the new land transferred by the Korean government, would not support a massive sprawl of buildings like a CONUS-based post. Consequently, the philosophy was to "build up instead of out." Family Housing units as well as Soldier barracks would be multi-story buildings as would many of the other new facilities on post. Gone would be the Quonset Huts, corrugated metal buildings that became an unofficial signature of the Army in Korea have been replaced by gleaming new high-rise buildings to house Families and Soldiers in comfort. Three new gymnasiums were to open within 2007, as would a new multi-story troop billets and dining facilities.
Future plans also called for construction of an 18-hole golf course that included jogging, biking and walking trails in the design, a new Commissary, PX shopping complex and a food, beverage and entertainment center. One facility that was open for business by October 2007 was the brand new water park dubbed "Splish & Splash," the first, and to this day the only, of its kind open to Soldiers, Civilians and Family members throughout the Korean peninsula. The water park was one of new facilities geared toward making life more enjoyable at USAG Humphreys.
USAG Humphreys at the time had a medium-sized PX and Commissary, a PX food court with Taco Bell, Anthony's Pizza, Popeye's Chicken, Baskin Robbins and Subway, a Burger King with drive-thru window and a Krispy Kreme Donut Shoppe located near the PX.
There were 3 PX Shoppettes located on Humphreys, as well as a Charlie's Grilled Sandwich Shop, AAFES New Car Sales, movie theater with free movies nightly and FedEx. The PX mini-mall featured a Starbuck's Coffee Shop, a beauty salon, barbershop, gift shop, optical shop, Diamond Water, flower shop, dry cleaning and many Korean vendors.
The Humphreys Community Activity Center, recognized as the best in Korea, was home to function rooms, pool rooms, indoor swimming pool, sound-proofed music rooms, a pottery shop and a ballroom for unit or large functions and more.
Finally a 303 child capacity Child Development Center, located close to the family housing towers, opened in late 2007 and provided a bright, modern, safe and fun place for young kids to stay while their parents work.
The FASTBACK system that was replaced in Korea is reflective of the typical legacy mw systems used by the US Army to support worldwide long haul communication requirements. The FASTBACK system (seven individual links) provided a secure reliable means of transmitting bulk data collected along the Demilitarized Zone to command groups located in the southern part of the country. The equipment (i.e., radios and multiplexers) supporting the FASTBACK system had been in operation for over fifteen years, utilizing technology that was over twenty years old. The FASTBACK system consisted of an AN/FRC-162 radio and AN/FCC-97 multiplexer. In the late 1990s it was replaced by a high speed (155 Mbps) SONET digital microwave radio that utilize the digital data multiplexer (DDM)-2000 OC3 multiplexer. The Digital Microwave Upgrade DMU Phase I is a good example of what occurs when the link bandwidth is increased (8 DS1s to 84 DS1s (three 45 Mbps DS3)) with high speed SONET digital microwave and interface requirements to existing older, low speed mw technology. The Yongsan to Madison, Osan to Madison, and Camp Humphreys to Madison FASTBACK links were replaced during Phase I with the Harris MegaStar 2000 SONET radio. The remaining FASTBACK mw links between Madison and Kamaksan, Kangwhado, and Songnam, and Kamaksan and Yawolsan, were replaced during DMU Phase III. In conjunction with the DMU, the digital patch and access systems (DPAS) at Yongsan, Osan, and Camp Humphreys were upgraded to support up to three DS3s each.
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