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Yongsan reaches new agreement with ROK Air Force unit

June 8, 2012

By Pfc. Lee Hyokang (IMCOM)

SEOUL AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- After going through numerous negotiations, Col. William P. Huber, garrison commander for U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, and Col. Kim, Ik-Hyun, support group commander for 15th Composite Wing, signed an international Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the two units here, June 5.

In attendance for the signing ceremony was Brig. Gen. Chang, Hoi-Hur, a ROK Air Force general, and several members of both the USAG Yongsan staff and the ROKAF 15th CW. The signing of the MOA paves the way for strengthening the alliance and partnership of the two parties.

The MOA is designed to build mutual aid between USAG Yongsan and 15th CW to confirm an agreement on ground defense operations and "Very Important Person" safeguarding operations taking place on Seoul Air Base and K-16 Air Field.

Before the ceremony, Chang and Huber, along with their staff members, shared words of appreciation while drinking tea, and celebrated what they were accomplishing.

"From 2008, there were many revisions, especially on the security parts and they improved a lot from it," said Chang. "I am so glad about today's signing."

"All of this would not have happened today without great cooperation between our staffs," said Huber. "I think the most important thing that the MOA defines is the trust that the ROK military and U.S. military have in a combined defense of K-16."

Both parties' staffs worked hard to make the signing happen. They negotiated for over two months, holding several meetings and conferences to revise the previous version of the MOA.

Capt. Vladislav Silayev, base defense officer for Yongsan Garrison, played a major role in the process and was happy about the results of the MOA ceremony.

"I think this was very valuable because it helped us better our relations with our ROK allies," said Silayev. "I feel both sides learned a lot through this whole process: Both negotiations and about each other. I certainly learned a lot about my counterparts over in the ROK 15th Composite Wing and I also learned a quite a bit of Korean culture and customs."

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