US Army shows Korean ally how it preserves land
September 3, 2012
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- A group of South Korean troops were guests of the U.S. Army in Area I recently for an on-post tour that showed them how the Army helps preserve Korea's environment. It included a look at how Area I "grows" dirt on a land farm.
The 20 Soldiers who made the Aug. 16 tour were from South Korea's 65th Infantry Division based in Yangju.
The U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I hosted the tour under the Green Neighbor Initiative, a program developed by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Pacific in cooperation with Eighth U.S. Army and implemented Korea-wide.
"All U.S. installations in South Korea have this program with the goal of illustrating and demonstrating to the local communities how we do things," said Lt. Col. Steven Finley, commander USAG Casey.
Besides the land farm, the Korean troops visited a motor pool, the post's wash rack and bulk fuel point, and got to see how Area I stores and recycles hazardous materials.
"The primary purpose of the day was partnership," Finley said. "We wanted them to experience the environmental relationship of how we do things on the installation to preserve the environment."
"It [land farming] is a unique process and we are one of the very few locations that actually have one," said Roland Langford, Ph.D., chief of the environment division at U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud's Directorate of Public Works.
The Area I land farm, which the environment division manages, reduces concentrations of petroleum in soil through biodegradation. It allows natural microbes to eat pollutants in the soil. It can "grow" 1,050 cubic meters of "clean" dirt per year.
On Camp Castle North, they were shown the "Bulb Eater" which crushes fluorescent bulbs while removing mercury vapors. And they saw a machine that removes the toxins from used antifreeze, resulting in fewer toxins to dispose of and "clean" antifreeze for distribution to unit motor pools.
"I was very impressed by the fact that the U.S. Army is taking care of their environmental elements from the very bottom," said Lt. Col. Jeong Hyeon-sung, the 65th division's chief of staff for logistics.
"They are preventing oil leakage by putting pans below the vehicles and furnishing ground connection to keep liquid tanks from exploding," he said.
Jeong said the drip pans are one of the most "practical lessons" of his visit.
"They were a little surprised at some of the things that the U.S. Army does," said Langford.
For the next Green Neighbor Initiative visit, Jeong has invited Langford and others involved in Area I environmental matters to the division to see how it manages the environment.
"The main thing for the GNI program," said Langford, "is that we work closely with the ROK Army and possibly help them with environmental programs. While at the same time letting our Korean counterparts know what we are doing to protect the Korean environment we are calling home."