CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — The planned redistribution of U.S. troops in South Korea took a step forward Monday with groundbreaking for the new 2nd Infantry Division headquarters.
“This is a momentous occasion, especially for the many of you here who have been personally involved in developing and shaping the concept for the new 2ID HQ building,” Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, 2nd Infantry Division commander, told officials from 2ID, U.S. Forces Korea and the South Korean military.
Vandal called it a step years in the making as 2ID begins the gradual transition from Camp Casey to Humphreys as most U.S. forces shift from north of Seoul to regional hub bases in the south.
The Humphreys expansion is the key to the relocation project because so many troops — 17,000, according to military officials — will be stationed there as part of a larger plan to turn over more of the security near the Demilitarized Zone to South Korea. U.S. and South Korean officials maintain that construction will be largely done by 2016, even though it has been delayed twice.
“As our soldiers and families move to Camp Humphreys, 2ID will continue to engage and build an even closer relationship with the surrounding government officials and communities in southern Gyeonggi province and northern Chungcheongnam province,” Vandal said.
A 2ID statement put the cost of the new Freeman Hall at almost $39.8 million, with POSCO E&C serving as the contractor. Completion is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2016. The new three-story building will include an operations center, network operations center, sensitive compartment information facility and 2ID parade grounds.