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Members of the Osan Air Base community throw the first shovels of dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing tower Tuesday morning.
Members of the Osan Air Base community throw the first shovels of dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing tower Tuesday morning. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony here Tuesday for the third phase of a $46.8 million housing project.

Construction already has begun on the first two phases: five senior officer quarters and a four-level, 216-space parking structure. Tuesday’s ceremony celebrated the beginning of work on a 112-unit family housing apartment tower.

The tower will consist of 75 three-bedroom units, 30 four-bedroom units and seven units that are designed in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynes, 51st Fighter Wing commander; Col. Maria J. Dowling, 51st Mission Support commander; Lt. Col. Daniel R. Encinas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District deputy commander; and Woo Kyo-soon, president of Woojung Construction Co., attended the ceremony.

Reynes told people at the ceremony that the groundbreaking was part of the continued “commitment to Team Osan to improve the quality of life for our accompanied members.”

He said the future would see a “push to increase the number of command-sponsored billets for our members — providing more stability and continuity for our mission and our people.”

Reynes told Stars and Stripes that the project is “a huge stride forward to providing quality homes for command-sponsored” airmen on the base.

Encinas, from the Corps of Engineers, said this project will “establish the standards for housing.”

He said that it was a day to turn from mission planning to mission execution and that the guys with the muddy shoes would “take dreams and plans and turn them into realities.”

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