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A worker cleans some recently installed shelves at a new commissary being built at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The new, larger commissary is to open in June and will offer more items than the base's existing commissary.
A worker cleans some recently installed shelves at a new commissary being built at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The new, larger commissary is to open in June and will offer more items than the base's existing commissary. (Courtesy of USAF)
A worker cleans some recently installed shelves at a new commissary being built at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The new, larger commissary is to open in June and will offer more items than the base's existing commissary.
A worker cleans some recently installed shelves at a new commissary being built at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The new, larger commissary is to open in June and will offer more items than the base's existing commissary. (Courtesy of USAF)
A worker installs part of the heating and ventillation system during construction of a new commissary at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
A worker installs part of the heating and ventillation system during construction of a new commissary at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. (Courtesy of USAF)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Airmen at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea soon will be able to pick up their Hot Pockets and sandwich meat at a new commissary with twice the space of the one they use now — and 1,000 new items.

Construction is expected to end early next month; an opening is scheduled for June 15, officials said.

“It’ll be a tremendous change from old store to new store,” said Song Woo-chan, the commissary’s store director.

The existing commissary has just three registers; the new one will bump up to five, with a sixth that can be wheeled out for outdoor transactions, Song said.

More space will mean more merchandise, with the store adding about 1,000 new items to the 6,000 offered now, Song said.

“We’re going to have a lot more of your perishable items like meat and dairy — and especially produce,” said Staff Sgt. Frank Manning of Kunsan’s 8th Civil Engineer Squadron.

And there’ll be more brand varieties of certain popular items too, Song said, including, for example, Hot Pockets.

“Right now we only carry five to seven different kinds,” said Song. “We can carry more varieties … that applies to different sandwich stuff, too.”

At the existing commissary, aisles lack signs indicating their number and contents, Song said. But the new commissary will have them, “so it will be a lot easier for the customer to find their item.”

And the new commissary’s location — near the base exchange, library, and community center — is more convenient, Manning said.

“The current Kunsan commissary is kind of out of the way. … It’s a bit of a walk,” Manning said.

The new one, though, is “a lot more centrally located. You can take care of everything at once.”

The Shinsaegye Construction Company Ltd. began construction in October 2002 under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project will cost $4.56 million, Manning said.

Master Sgt. Paula Miller, 8th Fighter Wing, said she thinks a new commissary is good news for the base. Last Sunday morning, she stopped in for chicken, baked beans, water, turkey bacon, frozen fruit, cottage cheese, and an onion.

“I definitely go at least twice a week,” Miller said. “For me it would be great, just a better variety of foods.”

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