U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys hosted 25 members of Association of Korea-America Alliance for a four-hour Strategic and Security Alliance Tour, Feb. 28, 2023.
The SSAT is a monthly program aimed at strengthening the ROK-U.S. Alliance by informing various stakeholders about the installation and its tenants, and their history along with their past, current and future missions.
The tour opened with a few stops at key monuments on USAG Humphreys. The group first visited the U.S. Eighth Army Memorial Monument, which honors U.S. Army Soldiers who were among the nearly 40,000 U.S. service members who died during the Korean War. The guests then stopped by the Gen. Walton H. Walker statue, a nearly 10-foot-tall bronze statue honoring the commanding general of the Eighth Army at the start of the Korean War. Lastly, AKAA members made their way to the Korean War Memorial Monument adjacent to the U.S. Forces Korea headquarters. The main tower symbolizes the Korean War and Operation Chromite, while the base of the monument details major land, air and sea battles during the Korean War.
The next portion of the visit included a brief stop at the USAG Humphreys headquarters building, where Col. Seth C. Graves, the USAG Humphreys garrison commander, met them.
“Welcome to Camp Humphreys,” said Graves when meeting the AKAA members. “I hope you can take this opportunity to learn more about USFK and USAG Humphreys, and why the U.S.-ROK Alliance is so important to all of us.”
The group also visited the 2nd Infantry Division, Eighth Army and Korean Theater of Operations Museum, where they saw historical photos and artifacts from various U.S. conflicts, including World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Many AKAA members were surprised to learn the museum, which initially opened at Camp Casey in 1965, moved to Camp Red Cloud in 1993 before finally moving to Camp Humphreys in 2022.
The tour concluded with a stop at Beacon Hill Memorial Park, which honors those who lost their lives while serving at Camp Humphreys. The park consists of several monuments, including one honoring Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin K. Humphreys, who was killed in a helicopter accident during a mission on Nov. 13, 1961, and the namesake of the installation. Another monument is dedicated to Capt. Reginald B. Desiderio, who was killed in action Nov. 27, 1950, and whom the USAG Humphreys airfield is named after.
“Col. Graves was so kind and nice – we appreciated his warm welcome,” said Mr. Song-Young Gyu, AKAA president. “This tour was a great opportunity for us to learn more about Camp Humphreys and the history of USFK. Hopefully, this tour can be extended to others.”