Far East District History



      Early construction at Camp Humphreys.

The U.S. Army Engineer District, Far East was established in June 1957 pursuant to Office of the Chief of Engineers General Order No. 11. It is an operating component of the U.S. Army Engineer Division, Pacific Ocean. Initially established to assume the construction programs of its predecessors, the U.S. Army Construction Agency Korea and the U.S. Army Construction Agency Japan, the District's mission is to support the U.S. Forces in Korea by supervising military construction.


Since its inception, the Far East District's work has involved a wide variety of design and construction projects including complex construction on mountain-top sites, sophisticated well-drilling operations all over Korea, tunnel neutralization projects in the demilitarized zone (Panmunjom), and a host of projects to improve the life of American Forces residing in Korea. Among the Far East District's significant accomplishments are the rehabilitation of the Inchon Tidal Basin, construction of the USIA Pavilion at EXPO 70 in Osaka, Japan, construction supervision of the 258-mile trans-Korea pipeline communication, medical and support facilities as well as military family housing all over Korea.


From 1963 to 1970, the Far East District was DOD's design and construction agent in Korea and Japan. However, due to the reorganization of the Corps elements in Northeast Asia, the Far East District lost its responsibilities in Japan and became a semi-autonomous, augmented area office in 1970. The District returned to being a full-service district in 1982 under the leadership of Colonel Frederick A. Perrenot and enjoys that status today. With 744 employees the Far East District enjoyed its peak performance in 1986 during the Reagan Administration.


During more than 60 years of its existence, the Far East District has met diverse challenges resulting from fluctuations in the annual workload caused by ever-changing national and international events. The District has designed and constructed more than $10 billion worth of facilities consisting of thousands of projects. The size of the District has fluctuated throughout the years in accordance with world and national events. There are, currently, more than 400 dedicated District employees that include U.S. Department of the Army Civilians, U.S. Army Soldiers, and Korean national citizens. District's major activities today include responsibility for project design, contract administration for architectural and engineering services, construction, and maintenance and repair in support of the United States Forces Korea as well as design and construction surveillance for host nation projects funded by the Republic of Korea.


Amidst the fluctuation in workload and personnel, one theme in the Far East District's history has remained constant: the desire to provide quality construction at a fair price, safely completed and on time, to provide its customers with the best possible service anywhere in the Republic of Korea, and to provide those serving in Korea with a good quality of life.  We are Building Strong ® in Korea!

The Corps of Engineers History




George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution, and engineers have served in combat in all subsequent American wars. The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Since then the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has responded to changing defense requirements and played an integral part in the development of the country. Throughout the 19th century, the Corps built coastal fortifications, surveyed roads and canals, eliminated navigational hazards, explored and mapped the Western frontier, and constructed buildings and monuments in the Nation’s capital.

From the beginning, many politicians wanted the Corps to contribute to both military construction and works "of a civil nature." Throughout the 19th century, the Corps supervised the construction of coastal fortifications and mapped much of the American West with the Corps of Topographical Engineers, which enjoyed a separate existence for 25 years (1838-1863). The Corps of Engineers also constructed lighthouses, helped develop jetties and piers for harbors, and carefully mapped the navigation channels.

In the 20th century, the Corps became the lead federal flood control agency and significantly expanded its civil works activities, becoming among other things a major provider of hydroelectric energy and the country’s leading provider of recreation. Its role in responding to natural disasters also grew dramatically.

Assigned the military construction mission in 1941, the Corps built facilities at home and abroad to support the U.S. Army and Air Force. During the Cold War, Army engineers managed construction programs for America’s allies, including a massive effort in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the Corps of Engineers also completed large construction programs for federal agencies such as NASA and the postal service.. The Corps also maintains a rigorous research and development program in support of its water resources, construction, and military activities.

In the late 1960s, the Corps became a leading environmental preservation and restoration agency. It now carries out natural and cultural resource management programs at its water resources projects and regulates activities in the Nation’s wetlands. In addition, the Corps assists the military services in environmental management and restoration at former and current military installations.

When the Cold War ended, the Corps was poised to support the Army and the Nation in the new era. Army engineers supported 9/11 recovery efforts and currently play an important international role in the rapidly evolving Global War on Terrorism, including reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stands ready to support the country’s military and water resources needs in the 21st century as it has done during its more than two centuries of service.


 For more USACE history