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George B. Ricker, AAFES manager for Area III, addresses community residents Tuesday night at quarterly town hall meeting in the Camp Humphreys Community Acitivities Center. Area III Commander Col. Michael J. Taliento Jr. listens at left.
George B. Ricker, AAFES manager for Area III, addresses community residents Tuesday night at quarterly town hall meeting in the Camp Humphreys Community Acitivities Center. Area III Commander Col. Michael J. Taliento Jr. listens at left. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — The new AAFES manager at Camp Humphreys said Wednesday he will move swiftly to correct mechanical problems residents say have plagued automated doors at the post exchange main entrance.

“It’s a priority for me,” said George B. Ricker, who became the Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager for Area III in late September. His area of responsibility takes in camps Humphreys, Long and Eagle, Suwon Air Base and Yongin.

Camp Humphreys residents said at a quarterly town hall meeting Tuesday night that the doors are inconvenient and potentially unsafe because they seem to open too soon or close too quickly.

About 75 Area III residents attended the meeting at the post’s Community Activities Center.

And Army Col. Michael J. Taliento Jr., Area III commander, underscored the concern during the meeting.

“We gotta work the doors,” Taliento told Ricker during the meeting. “AAFES owes us a solution.”

Ricker told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday that he would have the doors inspected.

“Obviously if they’re closed and there’s a fire, that’s a problem,” he said. “If a child gets stuck in there, that’s also a problem.”

Ricker said if problems can’t be fixed, he would prefer to have the doors replaced.

The store originally was fitted with manual doors but they later were automated, in part as a convenience to families with baby strollers, Taliento said Wednesday.

“Since the doors have been installed, they’ve been very well received by the community and everyone’s been very grateful,” he said. “But there’s been an ongoing issue” as to the “timing and sequencing” of their operation.

Ricker said he’s asking the AAFES engineer staff to inspect the doors and give cost estimates on possible solutions.

“They would have a solution, at least some sort of decision for me to decide on within a week or two,” Ricker said. “With something like this, they would certainly make it a priority.”

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