Osan Air Base cuts ribbon on $17 million chapel in South Korea

By YOHAN ANMarch 11, 2024

Osan Air Base cuts ribbon on $17 million chapel in South Korea
Maj. Gen. Randall Kitchens, U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains, and Col. William McKibban, 51st Fighter Wing commander, cut the ribbon on Feb. 29, 2024, inaugurating the Osan Air Base Chapel. This event marks the opening of the new facility constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Far East District and Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense – Defense Installation Agency under the Yongsan Relocation Program. (U.S. Army photo by Yohan An) (Photo Credit: YOHAN AN) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea —Osan Air Base recently unveiled its $17 million chapel, heralding a new era of spiritual vitality, community connection, and enduring service. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 29, led by U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Randall Kitchens, brought together representatives from many units and the community to celebrate the new center of worship.

Col. William McKibban, 51st Fighter Wing commander, expressed gratitude for the collective effort that brought the chapel to life.

“It’s finally ready, and a job extremely well done,” he said. “This beautiful new chapel appropriately sits at the center of our community and promises to enhance not only our experience in worship but also our social connections, resilience, and education efforts.”

Constructed over three years, the 24,000-square-foot complex stands as a beacon of faith and partnership. The Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense – Defense Installations Agency (MND-DIA) served as the contract executer, ensuring the facility's seamless integration into the Osan Air Base community. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided oversight, guaranteeing compliance with U.S. life, health, and safety standards and offering chaplains the necessary resources for a smooth transition into the new space.

The state-of-the-art chapel boasts a myriad of features designed to foster spiritual, mental, and social readiness. A cutting-edge audio-visual system, two classrooms, and a fellowship hall contribute to the multifaceted role of the chapel as a hub for various community activities, accommodating 306 individuals with overflow space.

Reflecting on the legacy of the previous chapel that served Airmen for over 50 years, Col. McKibban underscored the commitment to providing unwavering support to service members and their families.

“Symbolizing an investment in Osan today for the Airmen of tomorrow, it’s an honor to open the chapel with you all today,” he said. “May it remain a place of peace forever.”

Maj. Gen. Kitchens, whose connection to Osan dates back to his tenure as the Deputy Wing Chaplain from 2005 to 2008, celebrated the dual significance of the day.

"We’re here to celebrate not only the ribbon cutting of this beautiful facility that will be a place of worship and a place of peace but also to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Air Force Chaplain Corps," he said.

Maj. Gen. Kitchens highlighted the enduring legacy of the Air Force Chaplain Corps, emphasizing its role in providing comfort and hope in challenging times.

"Thank you so much for this opportunity, for the unity that we have because I truly believe we are better together for a time such as this. May God bless you," he said.

As Osan Air Base stands united under its new chapel, the $17 million investment echoes not only in the architecture but in the hearts of the Airmen and their families.