The U.S. Eighth Army’s 64 years at the Yongsan base in Seoul is now part of history.
On Tuesday, they began service at the newly built Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek.
“Today’s ceremony marks the Eighth Army’s execution of its move from camp Yonsan to Camp Humphrey’s and is the beginning of the rest of the moves of all of the Eighth Army units which also include U.S. Forces Korea and elements of Combined Forces Command. Over the next year you will see continuation of these movements.”
The relocation is based on the agreement made in 2004 between U.S. Forces Korea and the South Korean government to make the new base an operational hub for some 28-thousand U.S. forces stationed in Korea.
“The Pyeongtaek base is the largest overseas U.S base in the world and will become home to over 43 thousand people including U.S. military personnel and their families.”
The move comes at a cost of ten.seven billion dollars and it will unite 173 military camps across South Korea and many of the bases near the inter-Korean border.
The commander of the Eighth Army, Thomas Vandal, said on Tuesday that the new base is more effective and efficient in countering North Korea’s threats.
“”What has changed for us is that we no longer have to defend 173 camps and installations we now have it consolidated so it allows us to maximize our force protection. And as I described, with assets like Patriot batteries, you can now better protect from ballistic missile threats from North Korea.”
Vandal says the construction of Camp Humphreys is 80 percent complete and is expected to be finished, with most troops relocated, by the end of 2018.