Retreat ceremony planned for closing of Camp Hialeah
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. military plans a retreat ceremony later this week at Camp Hialeah to mark the close of the post, which has been part of the American military presence on the peninsula for more than five decades.
The ceremony is set for 4 p.m. Thursday.
Located in Busan’s Nam-gu district, the 133-acre installation served as the main receiving point for supplies, equipment and other goods slated for delivery to U.S. military installations in South Korea.
It was also at the core of the U.S. military’s operations in Busan and provided administrative, medical and other services for U.S. personnel at the Pusan Storage Facility, Pier 8, the Defense Reutilization and Management Office, and Gimhae Air Base, a South Korean air force installation.
The post’s closing comes as part of an agreement between the U.S. and South Korea called the Amended Land Partnership Plan.
The plan calls for the U.S. military to close some of its installations on the peninsula, return the land to South Korea and consolidate its forces in two regional hubs, one in Pyeongtaek, the other in the Daegu-Busan area.
According to an official U.S. Army history of the post, the site that the Americans eventually named Camp Hialeah was a Japanese military compound until Japan’s surrender during World War II. U.S. troops first occupied the compound on Sept. 17, 1945, and remained there until the end of 1946.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Busan, South Korea’s principal seaport, played a vital role as a logistical center. The 8069th Replacement Depot operated inside the Hialeah compound.
In the ensuing five decades, Camp Hialeah was an important U.S. logistics base on the peninsula.
In addition, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools system operated the Pusan American School at Camp Hialeah. It closed in June after 46 years and was the oldest DODDS school in South Korea, according to U.S. military officials.
Camp Hialeah was a three-time recipient of a Koreawide Army Community of Excellence Award.