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First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. Lim Sang, 23, of Oakland, Calif., left, and Spc. Zachary Taylor, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unload gear Tuesday at their new battalion headquarters at Camp Casey.

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. Lim Sang, 23, of Oakland, Calif., left, and Spc. Zachary Taylor, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unload gear Tuesday at their new battalion headquarters at Camp Casey. (Seth Robson / S&S)

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. Lim Sang, 23, of Oakland, Calif., left, and Spc. Zachary Taylor, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unload gear Tuesday at their new battalion headquarters at Camp Casey.

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. Lim Sang, 23, of Oakland, Calif., left, and Spc. Zachary Taylor, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unload gear Tuesday at their new battalion headquarters at Camp Casey. (Seth Robson / S&S)

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment commander Lt. Col. Keith Bean, 42, of Bend, Ore., poses Tuesday with the skeleton he keeps in his new office at Camp Casey.

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment commander Lt. Col. Keith Bean, 42, of Bend, Ore., poses Tuesday with the skeleton he keeps in his new office at Camp Casey. (Seth Robson / S&S)

Sandbags have become a way of life for soldiers from 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, who have made preparations for monsoons at their new home at Camp Casey.

Sandbags have become a way of life for soldiers from 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, who have made preparations for monsoons at their new home at Camp Casey. (Seth Robson / S&S)

From left, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. David Lee, 25, of La Crescenta, Calif., Sgt. Kagon Ruffin, 22, of Lafayette, La., and Spc. Servando Vazquez, 21, of Omaha, Neb., stand in front of a multiple launch rocket system Tuesday at their new motor pool at Camp Casey

From left, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment soldiers Pfc. David Lee, 25, of La Crescenta, Calif., Sgt. Kagon Ruffin, 22, of Lafayette, La., and Spc. Servando Vazquez, 21, of Omaha, Neb., stand in front of a multiple launch rocket system Tuesday at their new motor pool at Camp Casey (Seth Robson / S&S)

The two 2nd Infantry Division rocket battalions — 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment — share the recently-reopened Thunder dining facility with the Fires Brigade at Camp Casey.

The two 2nd Infantry Division rocket battalions — 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment — share the recently-reopened Thunder dining facility with the Fires Brigade at Camp Casey. (Seth Robson / S&S)

CAMP CASEY, South Korea — Camp Casey is rapidly growing into the center of operations for the 2nd Infantry Division’s multiple launch rocket systems, with two MLRS battalions and the Fires Brigade Headquarters relocating there from Camp Stanley.

Troops and equipment from the Fires Brigade and 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment recently finished moving to Casey and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment will have all its soldiers and equipment moved by the first week of September, officials said.

On Wednesday, 6-37 commander David A. Danikowski, 38, of Lander, Wyo., contemplated the move in his new office, which features a pair of giant 203 mm howitzer shells. The battalion used to fire such shells from 8-inch howitzers before converting to the MLRS in 1992.

By Aug. 12, the battalion had moved 388 soldiers, 18 MLRS launchers, 45 heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks and tons of support equipment to Casey.

The new headquarters is in a long, one-story building that once housed Area I drug and alcohol counselors. The setup is an improvement on what the battalion had at Camp Stanley, where the headquarters was spread across five different buildings, Danikowski said.

Soldiers have moved to modern four-story barracks vacated by 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, which has moved to Camp Hovey.

One of the newly arrived 6-37 soldiers, Spc. Servando Vazquez, 21, of Omaha, Neb., said he was getting used to living at a larger post.

“Stuff is harder to get to but there is more stuff to work with. There is a bigger food court and Post Exchange and Dongducheon has a pretty big ‘ville.’ There are a lot of places to visit outside,” he said.

A big advantage from the move is being closer to training areas, Danikowski said.

“We are 54 kilometers (about 34 miles) closer to the field. It used to be a four-hour convoy. Now we can be in the field in 90 minutes. It saves wear and tear on vehicles, there is more training time and it is safer since driving in convoys in South Korea is as dangerous as the training the Army does in the field,” he said.

First Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment commander Lt. Col. Keith Bean, 42, of Bend, Ore., was surrounded by soldiers moving furniture into his new headquarters Wednesday.

The headquarters, which used to be occupied by the Camp Casey Garrison Commander, is shared with 2nd ID’s assistant division commander (maneuver) Brig Gen. Joseph Martz.

The 1-38 soldiers share the nearby Thunder dining facility with 6-37 and the Fires Brigade, but soldiers from the battalion are getting used to riding buses around Camp Casey to get to other facilities, he said.

“Soldiers like to be able to walk everywhere. At Stanley everything was close but here we have some distance involved,” he said.

Battery B’s Sgt. 1st Class Garey Johnson, 38, of East St. Louis, Ill., said the MLRS would be better able to defend against an attack at Camp Casey, which is closer to North Korea than Camp Stanley.

“We could hit the enemy from Camp Stanley, but it is easier to engage from this point,” he said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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