NEWS | Jan. 7, 2019

Cooperation, Commitment, Partnership keys to Far East District Alliance

By Antwaun Parrish

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED) has diligently worked alongside its Republic of Korea (ROK) partners in support of one of the largest transformation, re-stationing and construction projects in Department of Defense history. The Yongsan Relocation Plan (YRP) and Land Partnership Plan (LPP) signed in 2004 formally designated a new footprint for the American military in the Republic of Korea, with the main hubs located at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys and U.S. Army Garrison Daegu.

Colonel Garrett Cottrell, USACE FED deputy commanding officer- Transformation/USDCA, has worked meticulously over the past two years alongside Col. Park Jong Yeon (left), Republic of Korea DCA, MND-DIA, and other ROK officials to ensure completion of construction projects related to the transformation.

Garrett contributes the success of the development of Camp Humphreys to a few factors.

"History and longevity are key components of the relationship," said Garrett. "More importantly the commitment by both parties to be aligned and the commitment by the ROK."

For Garrett, his passion for working alongside the ROK has come full circle for him and his family.

"My grandfather fought in the Korean war in 1952," said Garrett. "That's another aspect which, for me personally, reinforces and intensifies the alliance in what we're trying to do here today."

The two entities often celebrate the success of construction completion with a formal Acceptance Release Letter memorandum signing. The signing of this memorandum releases the facility over to the director of public works, in order to complete the work for facility usage.

"The signing is another step in a long process," said Garrett. "Each time we execute one of these ceremonies, it gives an opportunity to recognize the great work of the team. Without the combined effort at all echelons we wouldn't have the success that we have here today."

Garrett stated that in construction there are always friction points in projects and when all the stakeholders from a project come together, to include the two nations, it can sometimes be difficult.

"Because of the strong partnership and commitment from the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, it allows us to get to where we are today," said Garrett.

Looking forward, Garrett stated that we must continue to remind ourselves of what we're doing and what's our goal.

"I appreciate the opportunity to highlight the relationships and what we've been able to achieve through this process," said Garrett. "It's only through those successes and commitment that we are able to get to the end state."