YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Two Army administrative areas are vying for thousands in base improvement dollars in the Army’s Communities of Excellence program.

Areas II and IV were selected by a seven-member panel from the Korea Regional Office for the Installation Management Agency to compete at the Army level, said Suzanne Nagy, ACOE program manager for Area II. The program evaluates infrastructure, quality of life and organization on bases, she said.

“The purpose of it is to improve operations,” Nagy said. “The evaluators did a great job in maintaining integrity and transparency and being fair.”

The seven regions comprising the Installation Management Agency select two or three areas, support groups or garrisons for competition at the Army level, Nagy said.

Three winners will be selected, with $1 million going to the first-place finisher, $200,000 to second and $50,000 to third. The Army will announce the winner in February 2004.

Five areas — Area III Support Activity, Area II, Area IV and camps Casey and Red Cloud — submitted packages this year. Last year, Area IV received $500,000 in funds under the program for community projects in Taegu and Pusan.

The 20th Support Group in Taegu received $500,000 this year under the ACOE program. The 20th SG operates camps Henry, Walker and George; Camp Carroll in Waegwan and Camp Hialeah in Pusan.

The 34th Support Group at Yongsan Garrison received $500,000 in 2001 under the program. Projects at Yongsan that benefited from that money included installing quarantine kennels at the pet-care center, picnic tables and security lights near barracks and paint for the USO building.

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