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Navy Seabees at work building a two-story barracks last year at Chinhae Naval Base in South Korea. Seabees recently finished a second, virtually identical barracks at the base. The two together give Chinhae 160 sleeping spaces for sailors temporarily in Korea for training exercises or other duty.
Navy Seabees at work building a two-story barracks last year at Chinhae Naval Base in South Korea. Seabees recently finished a second, virtually identical barracks at the base. The two together give Chinhae 160 sleeping spaces for sailors temporarily in Korea for training exercises or other duty. (File photo / Courtesy U.S. Navy)

PYONGTAEK, South Korea — Navy Seabees at Chinhae Naval Base in South Korea have completed building a two-story transient barracks that will let sailors sleep within the base’s secured perimeter rather than in area hotels.

“Force protection is definitely one of the benefits,” said Jim Razinha, deputy public works chief at the 86-acre logistics base in southeastern Korea. “That’s the key to why we have these buildings. It brings more people inside the protected perimeter.”

The new building can house 80 sailors. With a similar barracks built last year, it brings to 160 the number of sleeping spaces available for transient sailors who otherwise “would have to either stay out in town or in tents somewhere,” Razinha said.

“We support the joint exercises that happen throughout the year and sometimes units need to come in and stay for a couple of days or a couple of weeks,” he said. “We now are able to ... provide them a place to stay.”

Both buildings are in the unaccompanied housing area in the base’s northwest corner. Some 150 sailors are stationed permanently at Chinhae.

Navy Seabees began building the newest barracks, Building 799, in December 2003 and finished it last month, Razinha said. Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 began the work; those of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 finished it.

Cost to the Navy, he said: about $300,000 in building materials.

Just 300 feet away is Building 797, which the Seabees completed last year at a cost of about $350,000. The newer building cost less because the Navy installed a less expensive heater, Razinha said.

The building is an “open bay” type, with 20 bunk beds on both floors. The barracks has a separate bathroom and shower area on each floor and a kitchenette and laundry room, both on the first floor.

“Chinhae enjoys a high quality of life,” he said, “and what these facilities will do is be able to extend that quality of life to our transient personnel for armistice, exercise, and contingency” operations.

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