Army turns to Internet to showcase Camp Humphreys improvements
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. Army is turning increasingly to the Internet to help showcase quality-of-life strides being made at Camp Humphreys.
The once austere, little-heard-from helicopter base set amid the rice fields of semi-rural Pyeongtaek is being transformed into a state-of-the-art installation that eventually will host the bulk of U.S. forces on the peninsula.
By the time the transformation is complete, Humphreys will have tripled in size and boast billions of dollars in the newest and biggest facilities — a major hospital, schools, family housing complexes, post exchanges and commissaries, barracks, training ranges and other military structures, along with a high percentage of families and troops on three-year tours.
To trumpet those changes, U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys has begun ranging beyond its own Web site (http://humphreys.korea.army.mil/v2.2/) to establish a presence on popular social networking Web sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and soon MySpace.
"We’re showing the world that Korea is not changing. It has changed. The days of the Quonset hut are gone — and the one-year tours," said garrison spokesman Robert H. McElroy. "All that stuff has changed Korea from a one-year-at-a-time, single-soldier post to a family-oriented assignment," he said.
The Internet allows the command to "tell that story to the world," he said.
Humphreys established its own YouTube channel in July with videos on Humphreys-related subjects at http://youtube.com/usaghumphreys, McElroy said. As of Wednesday, that channel featured 28 videos and had received 3,146 visits.
This past fall, Humphreys set up a page on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaghumphreys, a photo-sharing Web site.
The garrison posts photos that could be of interest to members of the Humphreys community or to anyone else curious about the installation, McElroy said.
For example, officials recently posted photos of a weekend event called "Breakfast with Santa."
"It’s been extremely well-received in the community," McElroy said of posting the photos. "Now families can go on it, and they can get copies of the photos with their kids with Santa and send it back to the States for grandma and grandpa."
Humphreys’ Flickr page had received 7,552 hits since it was started, McElroy said.
On Wednesday, Humphreys started a page on Dailymotion, a video-sharing site similar to YouTube, at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7svyn_stomp-and-romp-usaghumphreys-style_news.
McElroy said Humphreys Internet push is part of an Army-wide drive to make the most of the Internet as a way of reaching a global audience — especially the younger audience.
The Web presence also can benefit soldiers slated for assignment to the post, giving them more ways to see photos, videos and other information about their next duty station.
"A picture’s worth a thousand words," said McElroy. "So if a soldier can say, ‘Yeah, it looks pretty good over there,’ then we’ve done our job of providing that information to them."