Warrior breaking ground on $3M barracks project
WARRIOR BASE, South Korea — Workers broke ground here Thursday on a $3 million project to build barracks to replace tents that now house up to 600 soldiers.
Lt. Col. Dan Encinas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District acting commander, said the goal is to improve living conditions for soldiers training at Warrior Base, a 2nd Infantry Division training area just a few miles from the Joint Security Area where South Korean and North Korean soldiers stand face-to-face in the demilitarized zone.
“This project will help enhance training and has marked a significant milestone in the upgrade of training facilities to enable our combined forces to reach their training potential,” Encinas told South Korean and U.S. guests at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project follows the 2004 closure of six U.S. facilities in the Western Corridor near Warrior Base.
Soldiers who use Warrior Base, which is close to several ranges north of the Imjin River, live in tents heated in winter by pot-bellied stoves, he said.
“In the dead of winter when you come in off the field you can never warm up in those tents,” Encinas said. “When you are out there trying to concentrate on the task you are being trained on, worrying about setting up tents, getting kerosene for the stove and keeping a fire-watch at night are training distracters.”
The construction project will replace the tents with four two-story barracks, two latrine blocks and a battalion headquarters, he said.
“When soldiers are up here instead of living in field conditions they will live in a climate controlled hard building,” he said, adding that the new facilities will “eliminate a lot” of training distractions.