By Clint Stone, USAG Humphreys Public AffairsFebruary 29, 2016
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea - An M88 Recovery Vehicle from Task Force Ready holds the honor of being the first U.S. Military vehicle to drive off of a railcar and onto the new Railhead during the ribbon cutting ceremony here on Feb. 17.
Task Force Ready is a rotational Engineer Battalion comprised of units from Hawaii, Texas and Louisiana. The unit's M88 and four M60 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges (AVLB) traveled by rail from Camp Casey to Camp Humphreys.
Before the M88 arrived Col. Joseph Holland, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys commander, Maj. Gen. Theodore D. Martin, 2nd Infantry Division commanding general, Mr. Choi, Deok Ryul a Senior Executive Director for Logistics for Korean Rail delivered brief remarks and then cut a red ribbon marking the opening of the facility for operations.
"This day and this event would not have been possible without the combined effort so many teammates across the Republic of Korea," Holland said. "From the engineers who designed this spur, to the incredible coordination to create the five kilometers of elevated track that connect this rail spur to the main switch in Pyeongtaek."
Over 150 U.S. and Korean military and civilian personnel attended the ceremony.
"It is fitting today that engineer vehicles, a recovery vehicle and armored vehicle launched bridges are the first of over 390 tracked and 950 wheeled vehicles from our division that will eventually call Camp Humphreys home," Martin said.
"Without any further ado we need to cut that ribbon and get that armored vehicle on the ground here, so we can get about the business of bringing the entire Division to Camp Humphreys. We are on our way."
The Railhead is the linchpin for a unit's ability to move north to train or fight as needed; equally important is the ability to receive vehicles and equipment onto the installation as units from Areas I and II relocate to Humphreys in the next few years.
"Before today we were reliant on the airspace and the road networks to be able to move into and out of Camp Humphreys," Holland said.
There are nine rail spurs or tracks on the site, six are for general cargo, such as flat cars for wheeled or armored vehicles. Two are used for departures and arrivals -- or used to quickly switch empty cars onto the general cargo tracks after full railcars have been pulled from one of the six general cargo tracks to Pyeongtaek station. The final rail is for petroleum operations or fuel tanker cars. The facility can host a 70 rail cars at a time, triple the capacity of any other military railhead in theater.
The Railhead is a small part of a larger whole--the rail bridge spanning the Anseong River and over five kilometers of elevated track connect it and Camp Humphreys to the Pyeongtaek train station and the rest of Korea.
NOTE: the project was completed at a cost of over 51 million dollars. The coordination with our partners at KORAIL have made sure that this important link is positioned to benefit everyone well into the future as we transition into the premiere power projection platform on the peninsula.
"On behalf of Korea I deliver my sense of gratitude to Maj. Gen. Martin and Col. Holland and the staff of USFK for putting strenuous efforts to open this rail terminal. I promise that KORAIL will be fully committed to supporting your transportation needs," Choi said.
As the ceremony ended the train departed to its next destination as a demonstration of the capability to deploy heavy forces throughout the Korean Theater.