If you're stationed in the Camp Casey area of South Korea, you probably already know the plan to relocate U.S. troops in that part of the country south to the Camp Humphreys area. It's why Camp Humphreys has been the site of a huge expansion, and why no new accompanied tours have been approved for Camp Casey since 2014. It's also why the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school at Camp Casey is closing this month, and why youth services there are ending next month.
Also as part of the transition, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is planning to shutter the four commissaries in that region. In 2017, they said, the commissaries at Camp Casey, Camp Red Cloud and Camp Stanley will be closing.
That will leave the few folks still in that area traveling south to Yongsan if they still want to use the commissary. And in fiscal 2018, when all U.S. personnel should have already moved, Yongsan's commissary will also close.
DeCA said they are coordinating the closures with actual troop relocation.
"DeCA will keep commissaries open as long as feasible when troops are departing," said Kevin Robinson, a DeCA spokesman. "As DeCA scales back services at one location, services will increase at locations where units are moving."
As part of that, DeCA is opening a brand new commissary building at Camp Humphreys next year, with the goal of having a better facility to serve the new, larger population at that base, officials said.
Defense Department officials said in a new report that these closings will help them save some coin on running the system, which currently costs taxpayers around $1.4 billion a year and is a constant source of debate for lawmakers.
These last four commissaries closures are the final holdouts from a Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) process that also closed nine other locations at bases that are no longer used -- Heidelberg, Germany; Fort McPherson, Georgia; Bitburg, Bamberg and Schweinfurt in Germany; Sagami, Japan; Hannam Village, Korea; Illesheim and Sembach in Germany, commissary officials said.