On-post rental cars in South Korea's Area I to be discussed
August 4, 2008
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is considering adding rental car concessions in Area I now that most soldiers may obtain driver’s licenses there for the first time in years.
AAFES must still broach the idea with command in Area I, known formally as U.S. Army Garrison-Red Cloud, and then would have to negotiate a contract before providing any new service, said AAFES Capital Exchange general manager Shawn Dorcy.
"Right now in the area there are multiple pieces tied to cars being on the road," Dorcy said Friday. "But yes, it’s something we’re looking at."
Area I officials said they would wait for the AAFES proposal before commenting on the idea.
Area I would have to find space for the offices and rental vehicles, and also review the potential impact of more vehicles on post.
On Wednesday, USFK commander Gen. Walter Sharp told Stars and Stripes that all servicemembers in South Korea would be able to obtain personal driver’s licenses as of Aug. 15. Currently, only the few command-sponsored soldiers in Area I or those with a policy waiver can drive nongovernment vehicles.
Noncommand-sponsored soldiers in Area I are still not allowed to own cars without a waiver.
Some soldiers said Friday that on-post car rentals would boost their quality of life. Combined with the new, later 3 a.m. curfew on weekends, soldiers could travel to different parts of the country and still get back in time.
"It’s frustrating to take eight different trains to get somewhere," said Spc. Aaron Murray, who works at the Warrior Readiness Center on Camp Stanley. "I think it would be wonderful to drive a rental. ... [AAFES] would probably make big money off of that."
Servicemembers in Area I could rent cars on Yongsan Garrison at the Moyer Recreational Center, but they would have to take a bus or train to get there.