CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – The smell of freshly-baked cake wafted down the hall as people headed to the well-manicured courtyard dotted with freshly-planted foliage and wooden gazebos.
The Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment “Stallions,” 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were not on vacation, but moving into their new living accommodations on U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea.
From July 12 – 15, approximately 750 Stallion Soldiers made the historic transition south from Camp Hovey and Camp Stanley near the North Korean border to just south of Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
The 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., moved everything, ranging from Soldiers to M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to containers, mostly at night to avoid causing disruptions to the Korean population. On July 18, the battalion uncased its colors at Humphreys.
One of the highlights for the Soldiers of 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., was the newly-built buildings, to include new barracks, a new dining facility and a large, well-stocked physical fitness center.
Soldiers from throughout the brigade worked prior to Stallion’s arrival to ensure that everything was ready to go and that all of the facilities and infrastructure were in place to deal with the large number of Soldiers coming in at once.
“The Ironhorse Brigade made sure the quality of the facilities we signed for were online and ready to receive a battalion’s worth of Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Coffey, 1st ABCT. “To be quite frank, the facilities down here have probably exceeded my expectations.”
This sentiment is echoed by many of the Stallion Soldiers that are living in these facilities now. Some are taking advantage of the kitchens that come equipped with each suite to cook, or using the newly-built sports fields near the barracks for games.
“The rooms here are actually really awesome,” said Spc. Kellee Torrey, an intelligence analyst with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg. “Being able to have your own room is great just because of the privacy that comes with it.”
Each of the eight-story barracks that the battalion is currently utilizing consists of 19 suites per floor, with two bedrooms per suite and is capable of housing up to 302 soldiers.
Laundry rooms with new high-efficiency washers and dryers are available on each of the floors and 20 American Forces Network channels come standard with each bedroom.
“Humphreys has definitely set the standard for barracks Army-wide, in my opinion,” said Sgt. Isaiah Burton, a motor transport operator with Forward Support Company J, 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg.
Most of the buildings on Camp Humphreys are located very close to one another with vertical construction, typical of the Korean culture, creating a more centralized area for Stallion Soldiers.
“This layout will be great for team building,” said Coffey. “For the last five months the battalion has been split between Camp Hovey and Camp Stanley, so being part of a battalion team has been a little difficult for them. This is the first time since we’ve left Fort Hood that the entire Stallion Battalion is back together.”
The improved facilities are not lost on the Soldiers either.
“I got to go to the gym earlier to and it looks pretty cool,” said Burton. “I’m excited to use the racquet ball court and the climbing ropes when I get the chance.”
Stallion Soldiers were proud of their role in the move of the 2nd Infantry Division to Camp Humphreys.
“I think it’s important to realize that the Stallions were at the tip of the spear for the 2nd Infantry Division and the Eighth United States Army, who will eventually move down here, and that fact will never be forgotten,” said Coffey.