By Steven Satkowski
Far East District
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Chief of Engineers, paid a visit to the Far East District April 8 as part of a weeklong stop in the Republic of Korea.
Bostick, the 53rd U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, was given an aerial and walking tour on the construction progress at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys. The base is undergoing an expansion, part of the Yongsan Relocation and Land Partnership Plans, where most U.S. Forces stationed north of the Han River will move to Humphreys and areas south of the Han. The base relocation project is the largest one of its kind in the Department of Defense.
“These new facilities will improve the quality of life for U.S. Forces by providing state-of-the-art facilities in a thoughtful master-planned community,” said Bostick. “We have the brightest and most capable professionals doing extraordinary work here at the Far East District.”
Col. Bryan S. Green, Far East District commander, said Bostick’s last visit to Humphrey’s was in 2012.
“During his first tour of the new territory at Humphrey’s [in 2012] it was nothing more than a barren piece of land,” said Green. “Now buildings are sprouting up left and right, so it’s a chance for him to see everything we’ve poured our blood, sweat, tears, and hearts into for the last three years.”
Later, Bostick viewed the millennial school project at Osan Air Base. The school will be the first one in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) Korea with a 21st century design.
In between his tours he held a town hall with district employees and recognized them for their hard work while being forward deployed.
“I want to thank you for your service, sacrifices and the great successes you have had here,” said Bostick. “We could not be prouder of you, your families for all you are doing.”
Bostick highlighted the state of the Corps where he talked about the fiscal challenges facing the Corps and the Army as a whole. He noted despite these challenges the Corps continues to be known as an esteemed organization worldwide.
“When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows up we’re the heavyweights,” said Bostick. “When we show up to these engagements stateside or overseas people expect us to show up with answers. We have this reputation around the world as a beacon of hope and justice as we respond to disasters.”
During his tour Bostick also met with many key leaders in the Korea Ministry of National Defense and U.S. Forces Korea to discuss the role both are playing as they work together to complete the relocation.
“It takes an entire team to work together in order to produce the kind of work that you do,” said Bostick.
His visit to Korea was in conjunction to the World Water Forum in Daegu, an international conference where officials from public and private sectors and academia come together to discuss global collaboration on water challenges.