News: Gyeonggi officials, Soldiers tour together
Story by Pvt. Sang Woon Hong
CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Gyeonggi province officials and 2nd Infantry Division soldiers toured the Songam Stars Valley Observatory, camps Casey and Red Cloud Nov. 23 as part of the Gyeonggi and 2nd ID Friendship Program.
The Korea officials arrived at Camp Red Cloud in the morning and visited the 2nd ID museum where they followed the curator as he explained the history of the Division.
“It was an eye opening tour; it wasn’t the usual exhibits I see in museums,” said Kim Ki-Jun, a Gyeonggi province official who works for the North Korea/South Korea cooperation section. “I had never gone inside a U.S. military camp before in my life. And I was impressed by the 2nd ID museum curator’s story.”
After the museum tour, they went to the Camp Casey Warrior Club to have lunch, where they met with soldiers.
After eating together, they went to the Close Combat Tactical Training center where soldiers normally do simulation training. At the facility, soldiers can do several simulations such as Humvee, M1A1 tank and squad leader simulations. The officials got a chance to do all three simulations.
Kim said the simulation training exceeded his expectations.
“I knew the U.S. military had powerful firepower but it was better than I had expected,” he said.
Their next destination was the Songam Stars Valley Observatory in the city of Paju. Soldiers and the officials took a lift to the mountain where the telescopes are located.
“People from my unit told me about this tour and I thought it would be interesting,” said Spc. Stephen Adams of F Battery, 333rd Field Artillery. “I didn’t even know this place existed before I heard about the tour. There aren’t too many tours that take you to a place like this. I enjoyed the scenery from the mountain and it was a good chance to interact with the Korean people.”
At the observatory, the tour guide spoke about the sun and then gave soldiers and the government officials a chance to look at the sun through a sun-filter attached telescope. After that, they all went to the main observatory where they took turns viewing space through the main telescope.
Pvt. Irving Huerta of 210th Fires Brigade said, “I was curious about the observatory and I wanted to meet some Koreans in person. I had a lot of fun especially when I could see the sun with a telescope. I have never done that before.”