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Soldier carries chairs Wednesdday from the former dining hall at Camp Giant, which closed recently in South Korea.

Soldier carries chairs Wednesdday from the former dining hall at Camp Giant, which closed recently in South Korea. (Mike Pornnang / U.S. Army)

Soldier carries chairs Wednesdday from the former dining hall at Camp Giant, which closed recently in South Korea.

Soldier carries chairs Wednesdday from the former dining hall at Camp Giant, which closed recently in South Korea. (Mike Pornnang / U.S. Army)

A U.S. soldier carries a chair from the former Camp Giant dining hall.

A U.S. soldier carries a chair from the former Camp Giant dining hall. (Mike Pornnang / U.S. Army)

A crane loads kitchen equipment from Camp Edwards, which closed recently in South Korea. Troops hauled it south to Suwon Air Base for re-use in the dining hall of the Army’s 1-43rd Air Defense Artillery.

A crane loads kitchen equipment from Camp Edwards, which closed recently in South Korea. Troops hauled it south to Suwon Air Base for re-use in the dining hall of the Army’s 1-43rd Air Defense Artillery. (Mike Pornnang / U.S. Army)

PYONGTAEK, South Korea — When soldiers walked into their unit chow hall at Suwon Air Base in Korea on Thursday, the lobster, breaded shrimp, fried catfish and T-bone steaks on the bring-your-boss-to-lunch day menu weren’t the only special thing awaiting them.

Overnight — literally — there were tablecloths, curtains, even booths to sit in — all new items for the 1-43rd Air Defense Artillery troops who serve at the South Korean air base.

Those items were just a small part of the truckloads of chow hall equipment the Army salvaged from several installations that closed recently in South Korea’s Western Corridor north of Seoul, and from the 121 General Hospital in Seoul, officials said.

Officials estimate the salvage operation may have saved the U.S. Army in South Korea more than $250,000 in chow hall equipment it won’t need for years because the newly acquired inventory has years of use ahead of it, said Roosevelt Daymon, Area III Support Activity logistics director at Camp Humphreys.

Among items recovered: salad bars, refrigerators, freezers, display cases, pastry cabinets, ice cream machines, serving pans, silverware, soup and salad bars, tables, chairs, single and double booths, curtains, tray dispensers, condiment racks, food-carving stations, beverage dispensers, a potato-peeling machine and ovens.

“I mean heavy ovens,” including one that may have weighed 600 to 800 pounds, said David J. Duffie, Area III food program manager at Camp Humphreys.

“It was a big, double-stack oven,” said Duffie. “It took us eight people just to push it so they could get to the crane. The crane operator put one of them big heavy ropes on both sides and they hauled it about 18 feet in the air and put it on that truck.”

Sixth Cavalry Brigade troops at Camp Humphreys drove cargo trucks to the 121 General Hospital at Yongsan Garrison April 13 and April 14 to load dining hall equipment that was reinstalled in the brigade chow hall, Duffie said. Troops from the 1-43 ADA rolled out of Suwon Air Base about 5 a.m. Wednesday and trucked back items from camps Giant, Greaves, Stanton, Edwards and Howze, he said.

The salvaged dining hall equipment was just part of the goods freed for other units when various 2nd Infantry Division camps closed, Daymon said. Bulldozers, graders, generators and other pricey items also were redistributed to Army units in South Korea.

The redistribution began about 60 days ago when officials of the Installation Management Agency — Korea Region Office told Army units what would be available. The units put in their wish lists and KORO officials assigned the items.

“Not often are you able to salvage a bunch of stuff out of a place that’s closing,” said Daymon. “That translates into cost avoidance.”

The salvaged items helped Suwon Air Base’s chow hall get rid of items that were “beat up” and needed to go, said Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Leachman, mess sergeant with the 1-43rd’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battery.


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