Days numbered for former HQ at Camp Humphreys

Quonset hut expected to be demolished in September

By FRANKLIN FISHER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 24, 2006

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Camp Humphreys commander Col. Michael J. Taliento Jr. has quipped that when it’s time to demolish the old, faded Quonset hut that had been his headquarters, he wants to be the first to go at it with a bulldozer.

He may not have to wait long: Although no firm date has been set to tear down the Korean War-era building, its date with demolition could come in September.

The Area III Support Activity headquarters now is housed in a renovated structure big enough to hold many key staff departments. It measures 26,000 square feet. The Quonset hut’s size: just 4,000 square feet.

Workers converted a two-story former barracks into the gleaming, landscaped new headquarters, Building 1280, in what’s known as the Zoeckler Station area in the northeastern part of the post. The $1.3 million project began in October and wrapped up in May, said Area III public works chief Bart Mirabal. Parking lots also were added on both sides of the building.

Taliento and other key headquarters departments had moved in by July.

The Quonset hut, near the Freedom Chapel, will give way to new quarters for the post’s United Service Organizations. The post’s USO currently is in Building 375.

Although the hut probably will be demolished in September, Mirabal said, no date has been fixed to start building the USO’s new home.

Even the renovated headquarters is only temporary, he said. Plans call for eventually building a much more elaborate, permanent headquarters. “This is not the end state for the headquarters,” he said.

No date has been set yet for building the permanent headquarters. That will come as part of the overall “master plan” to transform Camp Humphreys into the U.S. military’s main installation on the peninsula, officials said. Humphreys is scheduled to triple in size and become home to senior U.S. military commands and the bulk of U.S. forces in South Korea in coming years.

Besides Taliento and his command group, staff departments housed in the new headquarters include emergency services; plans, training, mobilization and security; resource management; public affairs; morale, welfare and recreation; plans, analysis and integration; safety; and internal review. The building also houses the installation operations center, or IOC, to be staffed by key personnel in emergencies.

At Camp Humphreys in South Korea, workers converted this former barracks into a state-of-the-art headquarters for the Army’s Area III Support Activity, which previously had been housed in a Korean War-era Quonset hut.

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