It looks like this may be further evidence that the USFK transformation may not happen as originally planned:
A report by the Government Accountability Office shows the realignment of forces in South Korea, Japan and Guam could cost the United States and its allies more than $46 billion this decade. Military estimates of the various components have been inaccurate or nonexistent, the report said. (………….)
The report adds to growing doubt in recent weeks over the long-planned overhaul in the region, which could eventually allow servicemembers in South Korea to bring families along for three-year tours, reduce the controversial presence of Marines on Okinawa, and turn Guam into a major military hub in the Pacific. (………)
In South Korea, the DOD has so far identified $18 billion in costs but does not know the full price tag of the realignment, which includes consolidating forces south of Seoul and giving soldiers longer three-year tours so they can bring along families, the GAO said.
The accompanied tours will mean moving thousands of DOD civilians into South Korea and require the construction of schools, hospitals and other facilities to support them. At Camp Humphreys, where most of the new residents would live, the military plans to add more than 1,000 new structures, including five new schools and assorted housing plus 2,320 acres of new land at an estimated cost of $13.1 billion, according to the GAO. But the increase in population will require seven additional schools and additional increases in housing, post offices and commissaries. The plan may also requiring buying even more land, the GAO said.
Work has already begun on the project without considering the addition needs and costly modifications could be needed after major construction begins, according to the report.
The longer tours could also require U.S. pilots to travel to Alaska for required training because Osan Air Base is shared with Korean forces and cannot provide enough flight opportunities to train during a three-year deployment, the report said.
DOD is moving thousands of dependents to South Korea and building hundreds of new facilities “without fully understanding the costs involved or considering potential alternatives that might more efficiently achieve its strategic objectives,” the report said. [Stars & Stripes]
It is surprising that USFK planners apparently didn’t consider the costs of all the infrastructure to support bringing families to Korea. You would think this would be one of the first things they would have taken into consideration before making such a decision to bring more families to Korea?