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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An Army Patriot missile battalion has completed its move from Gwangju to Camp Carroll and is busy settling in at its new home, its commander said late last week.

“We’ve had all the equipment and people here for about a week now, so as of about the 10th of November we were all in place,” said Lt. Col. Marcus C. Black, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

“There are still some closeout activities that are ongoing at Gwangju because we want to leave those facilities better than we found them,” Black said Friday.

About 90 percent of those battalion troops stationed at Camp Carroll have moved into newly renovated barracks, Black said. The remainder of its Camp Carroll personnel are in temporary quarters, including the newly built Camp Carroll Army Lodge.

They’ll eventually move into permanent quarters when barracks now under construction are completed, Black said.

Meanwhile, Black said his battalion aims to keep up a robust community relations program.

“We’re looking to adopt schools, we’re looking to adopt orphanages, to establish partnerships with the local ROK military organizations. So, yeah, we want to be active,” Black said. ROK stands for Republic of Korea.

The battalion is part of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, which maintains eight Patriot missile firing batteries around the peninsula. The brigade is headquartered at Osan Air Base. Patriot missiles are designed to down aircraft, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles.

Since 2004 the battalion had been stationed temporarily at Gwangju Air Base, a South Korean air force installation. But it’s now headquartered at Camp Carroll, about a 30-minute drive north of Daegu, in the peninsula’s southeast. It also maintains a battery at Kunsan Air Base on the southwest coast.

The U.S. military moved the battalion to Camp Carroll, officials have said, mainly because the post provides soldiers a wider array of quality-of-life benefits. Those include better medical and dental services, improved vehicle maintenance facilities, a well- equipped gym, and the varied recreational opportunities of the Daegu-Busan region.


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