CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- The United Service Organizations (USO) officially opened its newest expansion, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Maude Hall, Dec. 11.
USO Operations and Program Manager Minnie Tanner opened the event, followed by remarks from USAG Humphreys Commander Col. Michael Tremblay and the USO President and CEO Dr. JD Crouch.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Michael Bills and Deputy Commanding General-Operations Brig. Gen. Patrick Donahue, were also in attendance.
"We needed this move," said Tanner. "The increasing volume of service members visiting the prior location, required that we expand to provide more services and amenities."
USO, at Maude Hall, serviced approximately 11,000 service members in October and November. The expansion will help accommodate the growth of service members, families, and employees assigned here.
The new space provides a multimedia and gaming area, large lounge area with a separate dining room with tables and chairs, to name a few.
"At the new location, we have the ability to provide meals in a café area, instead of the hallway and a more comfortable lounge area, as well," said Tanner. "Service members also have an expanded gaming area. Korean Telephone (KT) phone service also relocated to the new area and has a more conducive space to service our service members and families."
Tremblay also recognized the new facility and thanked everyone for supporting the USO and its mission.
"More than 40,000 Soldiers, civilians and their family members call Humphreys home, but we know, Humphreys is our home away home," said Tremblay. "The USO is the multiplying factor that makes Humphreys our home away from home.
"I had the opportunity to tour the new facility earlier and again another fantastic achievement, just really pulling in all that is USO and putting it here at Maude Hall," he said. "Thank you for the bottom of my heart and Garrison. I'm sure all the Soldiers will enjoy all the great amenities for the years to come."
Crouch emphasized the meaning of the USO mission and appreciates the 79-year partnership between the USO and the U.S. military.
"Without you guys this would have never happened," Crouch said to the USO staff, volunteers and leadership. "We are invited guests on your base, but on the other hand, we have been doing it for 79 years. We have a relationship that is unique between the civic organizations and our military.
"We pledge that we will always be by your side," he said. "USO helps strengthen our service members by keeping them connected to their family members all over the country. That's what we do.
"And we are here for you. This investment is natural for us, it's an incredible site, thank you for the real estate, thank you for the expanded real estate," he added. "It is considered the most used USO facility in Asia; it's breaking records, because it is where it needs to be. Thank you for doing the good in the world in you're doing."
The initial location has been converted to a business center and is equipped with 28 computers, compared to the 13 computers that were previously there.
"Thirteen computers was insufficiently fulfilling the needs of the service members, therefore we added more and created a business center that offers copy, print, and scan capabilities," said Tanner. "The lounge area offers fax capabilities and a dedicated phone for service members to phone stateside."
Tanner also mentioned the USO Humphreys' dedication in keeping service members connected to family while away from home.
"The expansion in Maude Hall is a great location for all transitioning and assigned service members to get a piece of home away from home," she said. "Thank you staff and volunteers. They have put in a lot of work, a lot of work to make this happen. Thank you all for helping me out and for making this expansion happen."
The event concluded with a cake cutting and tours of the new facility.
USO also has a second location, at the Humphreys Sentry Village, located in Bldg. 301, across the street from the 2ID Museum, with many of the same amenities.
For more information and hours of operation, please visit: https://korea.uso.org/humphreys-onestop; and https://korea.uso.org/humphreys-sentryvillage. For more photos, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaghumphreys/albums/72157712220146202