FED engineer ensures Korean helipads structurally sound for USFK aircraft

Far East District
Published Sept. 25, 2019
FED engineer ensures Korean helipads structurally sound for USFK aircraft

Ajou Hospital Rooftop Helipad in Suwon, South Korea.

Young C. Jung, Structural Engineer, Far East District, recently finished an assessment of the Ajou University medical center helipad and his analysis led to it being certified for use by United States Forces Korea (USFK) aircraft.

The helipad, located in Suwon, South Korea, was dedicated Sept. 6 as the Col. Brian D. Allgood helipad, in memory of the former commander of the 18th Medical Command and 121st General Hospital who made the ultimate sacrifice when his UH-60 helicopter was shot down, by enemy fire, while deployed to Iraq in 2007.

The dedication was in conjunction with the introduction of the first and only 24-hour medical evacuation helicopter in the Republic of Korea.

The head of Ajou University Medical Center’s Trauma Center had been requesting an air ambulance capability. In response, the Republic of Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare provided funds allowing the University to purchase an Emergency Medical Services Helicopter (‘Doctor Helicopter’) dedicated to providing 24 hour MEDEVAC coverage for Gyeonggi province. 

Jung is in the process of assessing nine other helipads in Korea to determine their accessibility for aircraft from USFK. He said the work is different from most military construction projects he has worked on since coming to the Far East District.

“These particular assessments help me a lot in the other jobs I do,” said Jung. “For this helipad there was no design code so we had to develop it. We can do any structure from beginning to end. The customer (Eighth Army) was very happy.”

Jung hopes to have the remaining nine helipads assessed by next September.