The Kamaksan ASA facility was a small radio relay facility on top of Mount Kamaksan near Tong Du Chon, consiting of 5 buildings on 48 acres. The massive Mount Kamaksan (Hill 355, also known as "Little Gibralter") is immediately south of the Imjin River. Mt. Kamaksan is one of the 5 most famous mountains in Kyeonggi-do Province, along with Mt. Songaksan in Gaesong, Mt. Hwaaksan in Gapyeong, Mt. Gwanaksan in Gwacheon, and Mt. Unaksan in Pocheon.
As it was located just 4 km away from the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Mt. Songaksan in Gaesong North Korea could be seen from the summit of Mt. Gamaksan (675m). Because of its proximity to the DMZ, the area had largely been closed to the public. Although the visiting restrictions had were lifted, accommodation facilities were not available at all, and cooking in the area was strictly prohibited. Those visitors who struggled to climb the mountain trail were duly rewarded for their efforts, since there were spectacular sights around these mountains, the scenic valley through which Solmacheon Stream ran, and the beautiful Ungye Fall (also known as Piryong Fall). Nearby was Beomryunsa Temple, which dated far back to the Shilla Dynasty and was rebuilt in 1970. There was also the Bittul Tombstone (also called Seolinguibi), which leaned to one side.
Kamaksan ASA was one of the 42 camps north of Seoul authorized Hardship Duty Pay of $150 per month as of 1 January 2001. The Hardship Duty Pay is paid to troops who are permanently assigned to areas where it is authorized or who serve 30 consecutive days of temporary duty in those areas. Several factors are considered in determining whether a location qualified for the pay: climate, physical and social isolation, sanitation, disease, medical facilities, housing, food, recreational and community facilities, political violence, harassment and crime. The extra pay provides meaningful financial recognition to troops assigned in areas where living conditions are substantially below US standards.
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.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|