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News | Nov. 10, 2021

Far East District achieves a first for U.S.-ROK construction history

By Susan Lee Far East District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District commemorated the successful completion of its latest project, C4I090, a secure facility, with an Acceptance Release Letter ceremony at USAG Humphreys, Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea, Nov. 5.

FED Commander, Col. Christopher W. Crary gave opening remarks, “I can’t think of a better way to start the weekend than with an ARL ceremony…this has been a model project with few challenges. As with any project, it’s a tribe of communities that gets it done.”

Crary recognized the construction contractor (BLHI), security contractor (PAE), ROK Ministry of National Defense U.S. Forces Korea Relocation Office (MURO), and the FED project delivery team for their hard work.

C4I090 will contribute to increased security operations for U.S. Forces Korea. The new facility will support operations of the Battle Command Training Center, which was completed in May 2019. The 10,523 square foot facility valued at approximately $30M, which is adjacent to the BCTC, meets protected building requirements for a secure facility and is equipped with anti-terrorism measures. Construction began September 2019.

On the sunny Friday morning, the Deputy Commanding Officer – Transformation and U.S. Design and Construction Agent (DCA), Col. Garrett B. Cottrell, formally accepted the facility on behalf of the U.S. government from the ROK DCA, Col. Pyo In Tae, who acts on behalf of the ROK government. This event signifies a major project milestone for C4I090 and demonstrates the strength of the US-ROK alliance.

Pyo, who has been the ROK DCA for nearly a year said, “This is the first secure facility construction we’ve completed in Korean construction history. I can’t think of a better example that demonstrates the strong teamwork of all parties involved to accomplish a project.”

This particular project is of special significance for the District. It’s the first construction project, awarded by the U.S., to be completed under the Yongsan Relocation Plan, whereas most projects are awarded by MURO.

Despite challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic and a blackwater overspill incident brought, the project delivery team worked harmoniously with construction partners to overcome and complete the project with minimal schedule delays.

Robert Zhang, C4I090 project manager, reflected, “despite a few challenges, the team developed solutions and mitigation efforts to prevent further delays, and as a result, we added several new tools to our toolbox while delivering the facility on time and within budget.”

“This was a united effort by the team, ROK and US project delivery team and contractors, who worked hard together to accomplish the project goals,” said Zhang. “Katchikapshida!”

USACE Far East District is the premier engineering, design, and construction agent for all DoD agencies in the Republic of Korea. Since its inception, the Far East District has played a critical role in the security and stability of the region and in strengthening the alliance between the US and the ROK. As such, it also fulfills a unique mission; the only “maneuver” district within USACE, FED must always be prepared for war, even while building for peace on the Korean peninsula. The Far East District is responsible for executing a multi-billion dollar program, the largest construction program managed by the U.S. Army.