By Bob McElroy | U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Public AffairsMay 9, 2017
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- For the second time in as many weeks U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys cut the ribbon on a brand-new child development center here May 9 and greatly increased the daily care available for children on post.
The new CDC supports children ages six-weeks to five years old. The garrison opened the new Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno school age child development center on April 27.
Humphreys garrison commander Col. Joseph C. Holland called it a great day for the garrison and Eighth Army.
"Opening this CDC is pivotal to supporting not just a better quality of life at USAG Humphreys, but this facility directly supports our kids and the families here, and directly contributes to keeping our Soldiers focused on their tasks and missions" Holland said.
Holland said the center's opening was fortuitous too because the number of children the center supports is expected to grow by nearly 500 by the end of the year. It augments the existing Bang Jeong Hwan CDC which is located in the older part of Camp Humphreys.
The new CDC has 37,298 square feet and 22 classrooms; it can provide child care to more than 338 children. The Bang Jeong Hwan CDC provide space for 275 children.
Holland said that only when there is a dedicated, trained staff in place can you call a facility a child development center.
"Our staff includes both Korean and American men and women who have dedicated themselves to the care for our most vulnerable population -- our infants and small children, before they go to elementary school," he said.
Holland said the staff includes many military spouses, many of whom have kids at home, and have volunteered to take care of the community.
Before anyone can work in the CDC they must pass a rigorous series of background checks to ensure their reliability. Holland said that in many ways the background checks are more rigorous than the one that grants a top secret security clearance.
"It's no joke, and it's because one of our garrison's core precepts is care for the kids so the Soldiers can maintain their focus," he said.
Following Holland's remarks he, Humphreys Command Sgt. Maj. Willie F. Pearson joined Eighth Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, Eighth Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard E. Merritt, Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General-Sustainment Maj. Gen. Tammy S. Smith, U.S. Forces Korea Director for Transformation and Restationing Maj. Gen. James T. Walton, CDC Director Monica Naputi-Duchene and John Stambach to cut the ribbon and officially open the new center. A tour and open house followed.