US Soldier Climbs Water Pipe to Rescue Family from Apartment Fire In Daegu

Great job by this soldier in Daegu who climbed a water pipe to assist a family during an apartment fire in Daegu:

A routine trip to the commissary turned into a lifesaving mission, Feb. 5, outside of Camp Humphreys. Staff Sgt. Victor Gomoimunn and his wife, Nicole Lysiak, were on their way to do their grocery shopping when she noticed smoke coming from a building just down the street from their home.

Gomoimunn, a petroleum supply specialist from Waterford, New York assigned to 339th Quartermaster Company, immediately ran towards the smoke filled building asking the gathering crowd if there was anyone left inside. Upon receiving reports that there was a woman and her young child still in their apartment on the third floor he ran into the building through the front door searching for a way to get upstairs to them.

“I saw the children standing outside and I was worried about them,” said Lysiak. “We know many of the residents in the neighborhood and when I looked up he was gone.”

“The building was filled with black smoke,” said Gomoimunn. “I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t breathe.”

Knowing that someone may still be trapped inside he began searching for another way in, explained Lysiak. He ran around the side of the building searching for another entrance before spotting water pipes going up the side of the building. They happened to run near a third floor window.  []

You can read the rest at the link, but Gomoimunn climbed the water pipe and helped a family get on to a balcony and was prepared to help them down the water pipe when the fire department arrived to fight the fire.

Inflight Emergency Causes F-16 to Drop 600-Gallon Fuel Tank into A Korean Lake

Considering how the Korean left went irrationally crazy about 20 gallons of formaldehyde that went through not one, but two water treatment plants before entering the Han River I can only imagine what they can dream up with 600 gallons of fuel dropped into this lake outside of Kunsan:

A U.S. fighter jet jettisoned its auxilliary fuel tanks into a lake near Kunsan Air Base after suffering an in-flight emergency during a training mission.

The pilot of the F-16, which was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, released the drop tanks Wednesday after receiving an indication of an oil system malfunction, a spokeswoman said

“The pilot safely executed the established emergency procedures, which included releasing the fuel tanks before landing unharmed,” Lt. Col. Michal Kloeffler-Howard said Friday in an email.

The tanks fell into a lake in an area owned by the Saemangeum Regional Environmental Office under the Ministry of Environment, about two miles west of Kunsan Air Base, the 7th Air Force public affairs officer said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link.


Two US Soldiers Arrested for Smuggling Drugs Inside Cereal Boxes Into Korea

These idiots just never learn that Korean customs inspects the military mail and many people have been caught and arrested for mailing drugs into Korea:

Prosecutors on Wednesday arrested U.S. soldiers and their Korean accomplices for smuggling bags of philopon methamphetamines worth 13.6 billion won ($11.9 million).

Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office arrested an American private, 20, and two Korean-Americans for infringing Korean narcotics laws. Prosecutors also booked without arrest another American private, 20, stationed at K-6 base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, for providing an address to where the contraband could be sent.

They are also searching for four Korean-Americans.

An accomplice in California sent the drugs to Korea in December, prosecutors claim.

They weighed 4.1 kilograms ― enough for 130,000 users.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but I hope they are sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed by Korean law.

USFK Security Guard Believed to Have Committed Suicide While On Duty

This is the first time I have heard of something like this happening:

A 57-year-old South Korean security guard was found dead in an apparent suicide at a U.S. military base in Ujeongbu, South Korea, on Thursday, police said.

The officer, identified only by his last name Cha, was found with a gunshot wound in his head by a colleague at a guard post in the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, at around 1:20 a.m.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead.

In the 3.3-square-meter sentry post, a 45-caliber revolver provided by U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) for security purposes was found, they said. Cha was working alone when the incident took place.

He left what was seen as a suicide note at the site, referring to debts he was suffering from, according to police. Police said they will investigate the details of the incident based on testimonies from Cha’s colleagues and the bereaved family.  [Korea Times]

Apache Helicopter Conducts Emergency Landing In Rice Paddy In South Korea

So I wonder what the smoke was to cause him to do an emergency landing?:

An Apache helicopter made an emergency landing in a rice paddy south of Seoul on Wednesday evening as a precaution, after the pilot detected smoke in the cockpit.

No injuries or damages were reported, a 2nd Infantry Division spokesman said.

The crew did a systems check after landing the AH-64 helicopter in the city of Asan, Chungcheongnam-do province. Maintenance staff from Camp Humphreys also traveled to the site to inspect the aircraft but found nothing wrong, Lt. Col. Chris Hyde said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

US Soldier Accused of Raping a Korean Woman in Busan

Considering that the suspect is an ethnic Korean it will be interesting to see if the Korean media tries to keep a low key approach to this case or not:

An American soldier of Korean ethnicity has been charged with raping a Korean woman at a Busan guesthouse.

Busan Jungbu police have charged the man, 21, with raping the woman, 24.

The soldier, from a U.S. Forces Korea camp in Gyeonggi Province, made the woman’s acquaintance through an online dating app.

On Feb. 18, he met her in person in Busan while on a brief vacation. At about 4:30 a.m., after they had been drinking, the soldier took her to a guesthouse, where he allegedly raped her.

Police said the man had denied the charge.

The police plan to refer the case to U.S. military police, who will deal with it according to the Status of Forces Agreement between Seoul and Washington.  [Korea Times]

Camp Humphreys Commander Concerned About Government Hiring Freeze

I know a few people that have been impacted by this government hiring freeze.  It will be interesting to see how long it lasts:

Col. Joseph Holland, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, says the federal hiring freeze is having a big impact on military operations in South Korea, despite exemptions.

 The Trump administration’s hiring freeze has left key jobs vacant and could jeopardize readiness at this U.S. base, the commander said Wednesday.

“The hiring freeze that we’re under right now … is having a big impact on us in Korea writ large,” Col. Joseph Holland, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, said in an interview in his office.

President Donald Trump ordered a government-wide hiring freeze on Jan. 23, just three days after taking office. He excluded the military and allowed the Office of Personnel Management to grant exemptions elsewhere.  [Stars & Stripes]

Here is an example of some of the impacts the hiring freeze is having on Camp Humphreys:

For example, the air field, which is active around-the-clock, is relying on an acting manager because officials were unable to push through a final offer to fill the role on a permanent basis before the Feb. 22 cutoff date, Holland said.

“We have a final offer given to a gentleman coming from the United States, but he can’t come here because of the hiring freeze. He fell outside of the window,” he added.

Holland said other vacancies stranded by the hiring freeze included directors for the Army’s substance-abuse program and the community service program, as well as the garrison sexual-assault response coordinator and victim advocate.

You can read more at the link.

Report Says Secretary Mattis to Keep General Brooks as USFK Commander

In this Yonhap article about Secretary Mattis’ recent visit to South Korea, there is blurb that states that General Vincent Brooks is likely to stay on as USFK commander:

Another military source said that during the visit, Mattis also expressed his confidence in the U.S. Forces Korea commander, Gen. Vincent Brooks, who was named under the Obama administration and is likely to continue in his current position after the recent administration change in the U.S.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but I hope General Brooks stays on since I believe he has done a great job as the USFK commander.  However, my concern is that President Trump is known for holding grudges and General Brooks did testify to Congress with information contrary to what President Trump claimed during his campaign.

ROK JCS To Lead Key Resolve 2017 Military Exercise

This year’s Key Resolve exercise will have a little twist with the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff leading it:

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff will lead a combined military exercise with the U.S. from a new command center in March amid growing threats from North Korea, military officials said Monday.

“During the upcoming Key Resolve exercise, Seoul’s JCS will be responsible for exercise planning and control, operation of opposing forces, and after-drill meetings,” an official at the defense ministry said.

The exercise’s command center will be set up in an underground bunker of South Korea’s Capital Defense Command, as the JCS will lead the annual exercise with the U.S. staff playing a supporting role, according to the ministry.

When the U.S. side led the exercise, the command center used to be set up at the bunker of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command.

The JCS led the Key Resolve drills in 2013 as South Korea was scheduled to regain wartime operational control (OPCON) from Washington in 2015. But the OPCON transfer was pushed back amid Pyongyang’s provocations. Seoul and Washington agreed on the “conditions-based” transfer, which observers say could come in mid-2020s.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

President Trump Confirms Defense Commitment to South Korea

It appears everything went well with the phone call between President Trump and acting ROK President Hwang:

President Donald Trump reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to the alliance with South Korea during a phone call Monday with the country’s acting president.

The leaders also agreed to strengthen joint defense capabilities as they face a growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea, the White House said in a statement.

The call — the first time Trump and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn have spoken — offered much-sought reassurance to South Koreans nervous that the new U.S. administration might change longstanding policies toward the divided peninsula.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.