YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Eighth Army officials are giving South Korean students a study break next week during pivotal high school exams.
According to an article printed in the Morning Calm, the U.S. Forces Korea weekly newspaper, Lt. Gen. Charles Campbell, the 8th Army commander, has ordered an “operational pause” during certain hours of the day on Wednesday. It’s an effort to give students “quiet time” during the Korean University National Examination, a crucial assessment which figures heavily into which universities or colleges South Korean students will attend.
“If at all possible, we will observe these quiet hours to provide the best testing environment for the students, while at the same time ensuring that we continue our mission of deterrence and upholding our commitment to the ROK-U.S. alliance,” Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, an 8th Army spokesman, told the paper.
“By taking a pause in our training, we continue to demonstrate our desire and willingness to be considerate and good neighbors.”
The order affects all aviation missions, firing ranges and wheeled or tracked vehicle movements on Wednesday. Mission-essential or emergency services are exempt, officials said.
Army officials in South Korea have made several attempts this year to mitigate the effects of training on local populations. Earlier this year, 2nd Infantry Division officials met with civic leaders to discuss safety concerns regarding a series of exercises on northern training ranges.
At issue were the large number of military vehicles traveling on civilian roads, sometimes forcing closures or traffic jams.