SEOUL, Republic of Korea — K-16 Airfield, which sits right outside of the Seoul city limit, has been in use by U.S. Forces Korea for decades but has always been without a commissary.
Soldiers had to commute to U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan for their commissary needs, but this is no longer the situation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District, delivered a new commissary to the airfield May 17.
“This will be the Defense Commissary Agency’s 248th store and although it is one of DeCA’s smaller stores, our mission here is just as important,” said Keith C. Hagenbuch, Executive Director for Store Operations Group, Defense Commissary Agency. “Operating commissaries for military service members and their families overseas is a vital part of the DeCA mission.”
The construction of a commissary is on line with U.S. Forces Korea’s command priorities; one of which is to improve quality of life for the USFK community. Funds were made available through the Republic of Korea Funded Construction program to build this $3.5 million facility.
At first, the K-16 community had hoped that an older building could be renovated into a commissary. FED gave them even more than what they hoped for by constructing a new facility from the ground up.
“We realize that what you cherish most about having a commissary at K-16 Airfield may be the convenience of being able to purchase the brands you enjoyed in the U.S. here in Korea,” said Hagenbuch. “That’s why we’ve customized the stock assortment in this store to provide you with the products our research says you want most.”
The facility is about 8,100 square feet and has all of the amenities found in any other commissary throughout Korea including cold and freezer storage, electronic checkout area, parking, sidewalks, and canopy. The Defense Commissary Agency also intends to keep it stocked with the same products that would be available at all of the other commissaries.