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Col. Clay Hatcher, left, the U.S. Army Pacific?s chief of staff for logistics, is shown around the facilities of the U.S. Army Materiel Support Center-Korea at Camp Carroll on Sept. 13 by the center?s commander, Col. Phillip A. Mead, right, and Austin Anderson, MSC-K?s director for quality management. Hatcher?s visit came as part of a Pacificwide tour he?s making of Army logistical facilities. Incidental to Hatcher?s visit, Mead discussed his proposal that USARPAC consider sending some of its equipment maintenance load to MSC-K.
Col. Clay Hatcher, left, the U.S. Army Pacific?s chief of staff for logistics, is shown around the facilities of the U.S. Army Materiel Support Center-Korea at Camp Carroll on Sept. 13 by the center?s commander, Col. Phillip A. Mead, right, and Austin Anderson, MSC-K?s director for quality management. Hatcher?s visit came as part of a Pacificwide tour he?s making of Army logistical facilities. Incidental to Hatcher?s visit, Mead discussed his proposal that USARPAC consider sending some of its equipment maintenance load to MSC-K. (Daniel Wallace/Courtesy of the U)
Col. Clay Hatcher, left, the U.S. Army Pacific?s chief of staff for logistics, is shown around the facilities of the U.S. Army Materiel Support Center-Korea at Camp Carroll on Sept. 13 by the center?s commander, Col. Phillip A. Mead, right, and Austin Anderson, MSC-K?s director for quality management. Hatcher?s visit came as part of a Pacificwide tour he?s making of Army logistical facilities. Incidental to Hatcher?s visit, Mead discussed his proposal that USARPAC consider sending some of its equipment maintenance load to MSC-K.
Col. Clay Hatcher, left, the U.S. Army Pacific?s chief of staff for logistics, is shown around the facilities of the U.S. Army Materiel Support Center-Korea at Camp Carroll on Sept. 13 by the center?s commander, Col. Phillip A. Mead, right, and Austin Anderson, MSC-K?s director for quality management. Hatcher?s visit came as part of a Pacificwide tour he?s making of Army logistical facilities. Incidental to Hatcher?s visit, Mead discussed his proposal that USARPAC consider sending some of its equipment maintenance load to MSC-K. (Daniel Wallace/Courtesy of the U)
At Camp Carroll in Waegwan, South Korea last May, workers at the U.S. Army?s Materiel Support Center-Korea perform in-depth maintenance on an Army combat vehicle. The commander of the center, the only maintenance facility of its kind in the Pacific region, is hoping to take draw additional maintenance work from U.S. military units elsewhere in the region, an action he says can save millions of dollars a year on maintenance.
At Camp Carroll in Waegwan, South Korea last May, workers at the U.S. Army?s Materiel Support Center-Korea perform in-depth maintenance on an Army combat vehicle. The commander of the center, the only maintenance facility of its kind in the Pacific region, is hoping to take draw additional maintenance work from U.S. military units elsewhere in the region, an action he says can save millions of dollars a year on maintenance. (Franklin Fisher/Stars and Stripe)

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The head of the Army’s big repair complex in South Korea is looking to save the U.S. military several million dollars a year in a proposal to have work shipped from elsewhere in the Pacific to his facility, rather than sending it stateside.

The biggest savings would come in shipping costs and a comparatively low labor rate at the one-of-a-kind military facility in the Pacific, where 50 Defense Department civilians and 600 South Korean workers repair everything from radios to rifles to tanks.

“Traditionally, MSC-K has been Korea-centric, supporting Army forces on the peninsula,” said Col. Phillip A. Mead, commander of the Army’s Materiel Support Center-Korea. “What I would like to see happen, and part of my command vision in the Pacific, is over the next couple of years, providing Pacific-regional support.”

Last month he pitched his proposal to the U.S. Army Pacific in Hawaii, U.S. Army Japan and the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Ga.

He said no final decisions are likely for at least several months, and that they’ll come only after thorough analyses of costs and benefits.

“We’re just looking at it as a possible course of action,” said Army Col. Clay Hatcher, deputy chief of staff for logistics at USARPAC in Hawaii. “We’re still very much doing an analysis.”

Located at Camp Carroll in Waegwan, the facility does all major repair and maintenance on Army ground combat equipment in South Korea that are beyond the capabilities of local base motor pools. MSC-K also provides similar support to some equipment from the U.S. Marines on Okinawa and Hawaii, Mead said.

At its cavernous repair bays, the facility overhauls thousands of items of equipment yearly — battle tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Humvees, radios, night vision goggles, small arms and an array of other equipment. It also makes one-shot repairs to equipment damaged beyond what a local motor pool can fix.

Operating on a $41 million annual budget, the hourly labor rate at the facility is the lowest of any logistics operation in the Pacific, at $36.06, Mead said. By comparison, Hawaii’s labor rate is $78, he said. The national average for the United States is $49.25, MSC-K officials said.

Shipping costs for many items — depending on what they are and where they would need to be repaired at equipment depots in the States — also generally run less if the gear is sent to the Korea facility, according to MSC-K figures. And shipping times would be shorter, meaning the equipment could be put back in service sooner.

In addition, MSC-K is near Busan, the world’s fifth biggest seaport, where the Korean government picks up the cost of hauling cargo overland from Busan to Camp Carroll, Mead said.

“Having a depot-like facility located in the Far East is an extremely valuable asset,” said Marine Col. Stephen Gabri, assistant chief of staff for logistics at III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa. “And the relative closeness of MSC-K to Okinawa provides relative ease of transporting goods to and from our locations.”

fisherf@pstripes.osd.mil

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