PACOM commander visits Osan, inspects dorms

by Capt. Robert Howard, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., U.S. Pacific Command commander, met with wing leadership regarding the condition of the Osan dormitories, and inspected dorm 708 during a visit here Oct. 31.

Adm. Harris' visit to Osan coincided with senior-level, bilateral defense talks between the U.S. and ROK at the 40th Military Committee Meeting and the 47th Security Consultative Meeting held in Seoul, Nov. 1 and 2, respectively.

The admiral expressed his gratitude as he met with Airmen dorm residents immediately after his arrival. Harris stated that he was happy with what he saw, specifically in regards to the regular upkeep of older dorm facilities.

Col. Andrew Hansen, 51st Fighter Wing commander, highlighted the importance of maintaining the dorms in order to provide service members a home comparable to other Air Force installations.

"Overall, the condition of our unaccompanied dormitories is good," said Hansen.  "Of course, there are some areas that are problematic due to aging infrastructure; however, the vast majority of our residents, which include Airmen, non-commissioned officers, and officers, are satisfied with their accommodations. Our dorms are adequate and enable us to maintain our fight tonight readiness at all times."

Osan Air Base operates a total of 35 dormitories, including two dorms owned by the Army.  Osan is second only to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for the largest dorm inventory in the Air Force.

The base has a 5-year dorm investment and renovation plan that continually focuses on sensible improvements intended to replace older building materials and appliances, improve Airmen and Soldiers' quality of life, and save the Air Force and taxpayers' money.

"Our investment and renovation plans focus on building better communities for our residents," said Lt. Col. Andrew Sheehan, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "The plan has bilateral support and reflects the Republic of Korea's commitment to the success of Osan's mission and personnel."

"The recent construction of Osan's senior noncommissioned officer dorm in November of last year, as well as our continual work to renovate older dorms first, ensure our resident Airmen and Soldiers sleep well and remain ready to complete the mission, each and every day," he added.

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