CAMP BONIFAS, South Korea — A three-story renovated barracks opened here last week at a post on the Demilitarized Zone known for its Spartan conditions.

The $490,000 project — completed six weeks ahead of schedule — includes new lighting, wiring, ceiling tiles, windows, doors, furniture and air conditioning. It will house 98 junior enlisted U.S. soldiers and South Korean soldiers assigned to the Joint Security Battalion.

Before, up to four soldiers shared a room. Now two soldiers will share a room that includes a bathroom with a bathtub. Each soldier has a desk, bed and wall locker.

The battalion provides security for the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom, a divided village on the border with North Korea. About 570 U.S. soldiers are assigned to the JSA.

Soldiers at Camp Bonifas are dependant on the camp, as it’s in a restricted military area with no restaurants or shops near the base.

“They live and operate within mortar range of the enemy,” said Col. William Ivey, 8th Army chief of staff, who spoke at the barracks opening ceremony.

“As you can see, there ain’t a lot up here but us and the bad guys. This is not only home, this is where they do everything.”

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