It has been coming but now Camp Page has officially been closed.
The base, it’s major feature an airstrip built after Chunchon was recaptured from communist forces in March 1951, is due to close by the end of next month, officials have said. The U.S. 8th Army announced this week that one of the Camp Page units, the 542nd Medical Evacuation Company, including about 120 soldiers and their equipment, will move to Fort Campbell, Ky., by April.
Another Camp Page unit, the 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, will move to Camp Eagle, near the South Korean city of Wonju, about an hour’s drive south of Chunchon, according to an 8th Army statement.
Some people are happy about this:
People living near the base, some of whom have filed a lawsuit seeking damages for severe noise from U.S. aircraft, will be happy about the base closure. So will landlords who have faced height restrictions on buildings near the base, he said.
However, others are not:
U.S. Forces Korea Korean Employees Union Kangwon chapter representative Yi Un-song said the ceremony was nice, but that it was not a good feeling to see the city spend $30,000 on a party when it had done nothing to help South Korean employees losing their jobs at the base.
Only 80 out of about 270 Camp Page South Korean base workers have had job offers from USFK so far, and all those offered jobs will have to relocate, he said.
Kim Yong-bak, a chief of the planning section for Chunchon City Hall, confirmed the cost of the ceremony but said it is not the city’s responsibility to help laid-off base workers.
Most Chunchon locals will miss Camp Page, which contributed greatly to postwar restoration in Chunchon during the 1950s and 1960s, Kim said.
Maybe the 8th Army worker that defected to North Korea was one of the guys who got layed off? Who knows? But it was time for Camp Page to close though. Camp Page is actually a good place to be stationed because it is located so far away from the rest of 2ID and is in a great area of Chuncheon. However, the base is located in the middle of the city near the river which has become a burden on the city with the continued development of Chuncheon. The noise of the helicopters, on this former aviation base, coming and going every day from this location in the city probably does get annoying after a while for nearby residences. Expect more base closures to come.
UPDATE: For those interested I have since published an up to date profile about Camp Page at this link.