Two AF training facilities on the way to South Korea
March 2, 2003
TAEGU, South Korea — Chief Master Sgt. Carl Sagstetter knows how helpful it is to be able to go right into the mission without first having to set up a tent city.
Tent cities take time to create. They take up a lot of space. And they keep many people busy with maintenance.
So Sagstetter, command chief with Kunsan Air Base’s 8th Fighter Wing, welcomed the news that the Air Force will build two training facilities at an installation in South Korea to which his unit sometimes deploys for military exercises.
The training buildings will go up at Taegu’s K-2 Air Base, where the 607th Support Squadron operates a U.S. compound. K-2 is a South Korean Air Force installation that shares space with commercial Taegu Airport.
The structures will serve as living and working quarters for special operations forces and other units that come to K-2 to train, said Capt. Thomas A. Bongiovi, the 607th Support Squadron’s base civil engineer at K-2.
Each one-story structure will measure about 3,000 square feet and house offices, vehicles, storage, showers, toilets and sleeping areas, Bongiovi said. Each will cost about $450,000. Construction starts next month and should finish a year later.
“They’ll have small open bays with roll-up doors so you can bring vehicles in and out,” said Bongiovi. “They’ll have full bathrooms so people can occupy the building and actually live there for short term. And they have office rooms so you can actually do admin and operations planning in there.
“They can modify it to suit their requirements, whether they use it as office space or living space or vehicle maintenance space,” Bongiovi said.
“Most other installations that these exercise units would come into, they would operate out of tents,” he said. “So this gives them a hard facility, with heating and air conditioning, that’s protected from the elements and gives them phone and computer capability.”
“The nice thing about not having to rely on tents means they can hit the ground and work quicker,” said Bongiovi. “They don’t have to wait for erection of a tent city. The term we like to use is ‘turn the key.’ They walk in, turn the lights on and go to work.”
Also, Sagstetter said, “when your facilities are hardened and your showers and restrooms and living areas are not tents, that’s just a huge morale benefit — that you don’t have to go out and walk 300 yards in the rain or something to take a shower.”
Tech. Sgt. Paul Willis, an aerospace propulsion craftsman, agreed.
“A building would serve tenfold better than a tent would,” said Willis, assigned to the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, part of the 8th Fighter Wing.