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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — U.S. military officials Wednesday gave 2.6 acres of land at the heliport here back to South Korea to make way for an entrance for the new Korean national museum, according to U.S. Forces Korea.

USFK is building a new, but smaller, helicopter landing site across from Collier Field House on Main Post, according to Cmdr. Joseph E. Grealish, who is in charge of real estate matters for USFK.

The new site will have only one landing pad, down from six at the current site, Grealish said. The smaller heliport likely will restrict most helicopter flights to and from Yongsan to flag officers, he added.

“We’ve been trying to find a new home (for the landing pads) for several years,” Grealish said shortly after a ceremony that returned the land to the Korean Ministry of National Defense and the museum.

To make room for the new landing site, USFK razed 20 senior housing units, Grealish said. The South Korean government will pay for those houses to be rebuilt, most likely at Pyongtaek, where American military forces plan to relocate in the coming years. The cost of replacing those houses was unavailable Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, USFK transferred about 30 percent of the 8-acre site at the current heliport, which is near the 121st General Hospital and Gate 17. In May, USFK will give back the entire heliport site for the museum entrance and begin running helicopter flights across from Collier, Grealish said.

South Korea is building its new national museum, which is scheduled to open in October, on the site of the former 8th Army golf course.


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