<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-yongsan/2864699561/" title="USAG-Yongsan Commander Col. Dave Hall by usag.yongsan, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3190/2864699561_94840091a9_m.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" width="192" height="240" alt="USAG-Yongsan Commander Col. Dave Hall" /></a>I don't think it's a surprise to anyone, Yongsan is growing this year! We continue to stand ready to accept more Family Members with the command's move toward tour normalization. So, just What is tour normalization, and what does it mean to you'

The U.S. Forces in Korea commander directed the availability of more command-sponsored positions to make serving in Korea more like other overseas assignments. This is a good move that will help us meet the promises of the Army Family Covenant for those families coming to Korea.

For Yongsan, tour normalization means the construction of additional classrooms, enhanced parking and housing improvements. The flip side of this means parking challenges, additional traffic congestion, and guaranteed "wait-time" for on-post housing.

We have a great-many vehicles on Yongsan Garrison every day. In fact, there are more than 16,000 vehicles registered to operate on Yongsan! Safety is so crucial to normalization, folks. Drivers need to be aware of the speed limits at all times, and respect the right of way for pedestrians at our crosswalks, while at the same time, pedestrians must be cognizant of motor vehicles and inherent pedestrian dangers throughout this community.

As we all know, parking is a challenge! With tour normalization, there will be more Family Members who operate motor vehicles. Although we have added almost 350 parking spaces since the start of last school year, parking will continue to be a challenge, particularly around our schools and our service areas.

With regard to illegal parking, my guidance is that we need to ensure our emergency vehicles have access to fire hydrants and fire lanes. Our military police will strictly enforce this guidance. Please do not illegally park where it creates a safety hazard for others.

As the Hannam Village renovation project continues, the garrison is anticipating an additional 264 units, exceptional housing for our junior enlisted and officers. The phased construction project is transforming the high-rises into large, modern quarters that our Army Families richly deserve. We anticipate that much of this renovation will be completed next spring.

Yongsan is one of the top installations in the Army today. For the last two years we have placed third and seventh respectively out of 179 Army installations world-wide in the Army Communities of Excellence competition.

We continue to engage in quality of life improvements, recently completing the new community dog park, the Yongsan driving range, and nine playgrounds in our housing areas, just to name a few. In the coming weeks we will complete a new Family Park, six additional school classrooms and lighting for the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation field adjacent to Seoul American High School. These sorts of improvements will continue throughout the year.

Tour normalization at Yongsan means "bridging the gap" for the next several years. Yes, we will transition to USAG-Humphreys in the near-future, but for the time being, we will continue to make Yongsan one of the very best communities to live and work. You have my promise! As always, this garrison is "Here For You!"

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Page last updated Tue June 16th, 2009 at 20:14