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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Several key events that will shift the Camp Humphreys expansion project into higher gear are due within coming months, said Army Col. Kurt J. Stein, the U.S. military officer overseeing the project.

Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek eventually will triple in size and become the U.S. military’s flagship installation on the peninsula under a South Korea-U.S. agreement.

The post will expand its boundaries onto a neighboring 2,328-acre expanse the South Korean government has set aside for the project.

Stein, who is to be promoted to brigadier general in the near future, is deputy commanding general of the U.S. Forces Korea (Advance Element), headquartered at Camp Humphreys.

He assumed command in July, replacing Army Brig. Gen. Steven M. Anderson.

A major step will be completion of a “master plan” for shifting U.S. forces to Humphreys, including those stationed in and north of Seoul, Stein said in a recent telephone interview.

“We anticipate agreement on the final Yongsan relocation master plan in December,” he said, “and that’ll be a major accomplishment.”

The plan is “simply a document that will realign the units, organizations, functions and roles into the Camp Humphreys hub,” Stein said.

Also part of the relocation plan is the move of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, headquartered at Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul.

The eventual move is part of a larger plan under which the U.S. military will consolidate its forces into two regional hubs, one in Pyeongtaek in west-central South Korea, the other in the Daegu-Busan region in the peninsula’s southeast.

The bulk of U.S. troops will be stationed at Humphreys, and USFK and 8th U.S. Army will move their headquarters to there from Yongsan Garrison.

“It’s the future home to the majority of U.S. Forces Korea,” Stein said of Humphreys. “It will definitely be the centerpiece of the ROK-U.S. alliance.” ROK stands for Republic of Korea, South Korea’s official name.

Another major step will be setting up a “project management consortium,” a staff of South Korean and U.S. members who will oversee the design and construction phase of the expansion.

“They will be the ones who actually execute — track, monitor and report,” Stein said.

The consortium is to be in place within the next several months, he said.

A third key step will be the laying of landfill on “Parcel 1,” the 200-acre tract that is the first portion of land scheduled for construction. Landfill work is expected to begin sometime in early 2007 and end within about a year.

“And we’re still tracking to begin construction on the first buildings in 2007,” at Parcel 1, Stein said.

Eventually, workers will lay landfill on the remaining portions of the expansion site, officials have said.

Meanwhile, Stein said he will continue meeting with local South Korean officials and business and civic leaders.

“I think it’s very important that they have a U.S. face that they can recognize and talk to,” he said.

Slated for construction

According to Army. Col. Kurt J. Stein, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Forces Korea (Advance Element), the following are slated for construction on the first 200-acre portion of the land onto which Camp Humphreys will expand:

a barracks and a dining hall.a battalion headquarters.vehicle maintenance shops.administrative buildings.a physical fitness center.a sports field.a religious education center.Construction on the first of those buildings is to start in 2007, after an estimated 3 million cubic yards of soil is brought in as landfill.

— Franklin Fisher

Stripes in 7

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