Work to start soon on 35th Air Defense brigade’s new home
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An Army Patriot missile brigade in South Korea that’s run its headquarters out of a set of modified shipping containers for several years is getting a big new home.
Workers at Osan Air Base will take the first steps next week to build a new headquarters building for the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
The project also calls for construction of a nearby five-level parking garage that will help ease Osan’s chronic parking space crunch, said Air Force 1st Lt. Lucas Smith, project manager with the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron.
The brigade headquarters and garage will be about a block from the base exchange complex and just a few blocks from several key operational centers that would play central roles in a war or other military contingency.
The Patriot brigade maintains eight missile-firing batteries at several points across the peninsula and plays an important role in the air defense of South Korea.
Until now, the brigade’s headquarters has been housed in a set of steel shipping containers that were welded together to create a two-story interim headquarters situated in relatively remote part of Osan. Some of its subordinate elements and equipment are elsewhere on base.
The new headquarters will bring under one roof vital offices, people, communications and other equipment, and bring it much nearer various key operational buildings, said Army Maj. Albert La Bella, the brigade’s deputy commander.
“All of that coupled together increases the brigade’s combat capability,” he said.
Workers over the next two months will raze three vacant buildings to clear room for the two new structures, Smith said.
The headquarters is slated for completion by May 2012. The 96,306-square-foot structure — huge compared with the barely more than 6,000 square feet of space the headquarters occupies now — will have five stories above ground and a two-story bunker below ground. It’s projected to cost $20.5 million, Smith said.
The garage is to be completed by September 2011 at an expected cost of $3.5 million, officials said.
The headquarters also will have room for the Army’s 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment, officials said.