Osan curfew changed to midnight all week
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Base officials here have changed the curfew for all military personnel at and near Osan Air Base to midnight, seven days a week, a move they said was taken to further improve military readiness.
The previous curfew was 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and midnight Sundays through Thursdays. Osan’s on-base clubs also have changed their closing time from 2 a.m. to a new time of 1:30 a.m., in what officials said was a related measure.
The midnight curfew took effect earlier this month and applies to any active-duty military personnel, regardless of branch of service, who are within a 10-mile radius of Songtan, the town outside this base, base officials said.
The intention, they said, is to demonstrate that the U.S. military’s “Ready to Fight Tonight” motto in South Korea doesn’t apply just to weekday nights.
Osan, 48 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone, is headquarters of the U.S. 7th Air Force and home to the 51st Fighter Wing, the Air Force’s most forward-based permanent wing.
Under the curfew change, active-duty military personnel within the 10-mile curfew radius must be off the streets and in their “domicile,” be it an off-base residence or hotel, by midnight. The curfew applies to military personnel regardless of their assigned duty station.
Airmen reported having mixed feelings about the earlier curfew.
“I myself do not see it increasing the amount of safety or decreasing the amount of danger,” said Tech. Sgt. Richard Roblewsky of the 607th Materiel Maintenance Squadron. “If it’s a force-protection reason, I don’t see it making much difference. If it’s to cut down on excessive drinking, people drinking too much late at night, it might have an effect.”
“Not too many people are happy about it, but I don’t care,” said Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Santana-Liranzo of the 51st Logistics Squadron.
Socializing in Songtan’s bustling bar district just outside the base gates “is not my cup of tea anyway,” she said. “It isn’t worth it to me, for just a couple of minutes, to get into trouble. And there are on-base clubs. So you can have fun there without getting into trouble.”