By Stephen Satkowski
USACE Far East District Public Affairs
U.S. ARMY GARRISON HUMPHREYS, South Korea - Far East District employees took the first of three orientation tours of Camp Humphreys on April 12. The series of tours offers a look at the new district headquarters building, as well as Camp Humphreys and the surrounding Pyeongtaek area.
“We want to provide the best possible transition for all employees who will be moving here next year,” said SeukHwan Son, Far East District corporate communications specialist. “We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone and this is a first step in that process.”
Sixteen employees (12 Korean Nationals and four Department of the Army Civilians) boarded a bus at district headquarters in Seoul and arrived at Camp Humphreys 90 minutes later. For many, this was a first look at the extensive construction efforts on the installation.
“I think it's amazing to see the installation and construction,” said Edin Shin, Far East District contract specialist. “I only heard that the district headquarters building is up, but actually seeing the building was impressive. I’m just thinking new building, new location and the start of a new future is exciting.”
Son and Far East District Sgt. Major Robert Stanek guided the group on the tour, providing information on new housing developments in Pyeongtaek where district employees may choose to live and the layout of the rapidly changing installation.
“Now I know where the Far East District building is located,” said Shin. “I now have a better picture of what to expect when I move down there. Also, I was able to discuss with my family and plan out the possible areas around Camp Humphreys for house hunting. The trip helped my concern about housing location and now I have a better sense of which part of town I would like to live (in).”
The orientation included a floor-by-floor tour of the new district headquarters building, which is nearly seventy-five percent finished and scheduled for completion in 2017. Employees also had the opportunity to discover where their new offices will be situated.
“The trip allowed me to familiarize myself with where we'll be located on base in relation to other important places, like schools and places to eat,” said Jason Zimmerman, a Far East District supervisory electrical engineer. “It definitely helped allay some of my concerns about the move. Just being oriented helped me mentally prepare for the challenges of living and working there. It will also help my planning for the move down.”
Zimmerman said he now feels more at ease with the move, and he highly recommends the orientation to other district employees.
“It's definitely not a waste of time. To me, familiarization with the base and surroundings is the key to living in the new environment,” he said.
Two additional tours for district employees are scheduled for later this year.