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SPEECH | June 29, 2018

GEN Brooks Remarks - Headquarters 20 Dedication - 29 June 2018

안녕하십니까? 저는 UN 사령부, 한미연합사령부, 주한미군사령부 사령관, Vincent Brooks 대장 입니다. 반갑습니다.
Thank you for gathering today for an historic and exciting event. Today, we officially open the new headquarters for UN Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

First, I want to thank the Minister of Defense for the Republic of Korea, Minister Song Young Moo, for honoring us with his presence as the senior representative of the Republic of Korea, and also Dr. I Sang Cheol, the first Vice National Security Director from the Blue House.

To all of the members of the South Korean government who are present and the members of the national assembly, as well as the provincial and city governments, thank you very much for your presence here today.

And thank you, most sincerely, for creating the expanded base, Camp Humphreys, which we believe to be the largest overseas U.S base in the world. And this headquarters building, within the headquarters complex that surrounds it, represents the significant investment in the long term presence of US Forces in Korea.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was a project that cost nearly $10.8 billion to build over ten years. And the ROK investment was over 90 percent of the costs. For that 90 percent the U.S. Remains with you 100 percent!

I want to thank also, the members of the diplomatic corps, especially the representatives of the United Nations sending states and enabling countries, for joining us today. The service and sacrifices of your countrymen will be remembered within this building and thus, this headquarters is your headquarters as well.

We are also honored to have so many former deputy commanders, senior members of the UN Command Military Armistice Commission, and present day members of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command. As the partners to the U.S. Forces here in Korea, and as members of the United Nations Command, you are part of the history that brings us to this day.

All of the subordinate commands of U.S. Forces Korea are present today, and I want to thank you also for your presence and for your service here in the Republic of Korea.

Let me also extend my thanks to the UNC Honor Guard, the 8th Army band, the salute battery for your performances today, and to the USFK protocol team and ceremonies team for the hard work that went into making this opening ceremony a success.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give them a big round of applause!

Honored guests, ladies and gentlemen. Today marks an historic milestone in the history of United Nations Command which began in 1950, and the history of the ROK-US alliance with its two key events in 1957 with the activation of United States Forces Korea, and in 1978 with the activation of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command.

It represents the start of a new era and a new set of relationships, as, for the first time, the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, an outgrowth of the United Nations Command, will be geographically separated from the headquarters of the UN Command, and from the headquarters of the U.S. Forces in Korea.

Our relationships, and our histories are intertwined. And they are strong enough to support this separation without weakening any of the three commands. Indeed, today, United Nations Command will continue to be the home for international commitments, with a mandate to restore peace and security in defense of the Republic of Korea. And U.S. Forces Korea will remain the living proof of the American commitment to the alliance.

In time we will become accustomed to geographic separation between Seoul and Pyeongtaek, and we may even forget what is was like when we were all in one place, but we will never forget that no matter where we are, we go together.

Today, some may feel uncertainty about that because we are making a step in a new direction. But let me set that feeling at ease because we have been through this before.

That feeling was probably similar, I would imagine, to the historic creation of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, and the opening of the new headquarters “The White House” within Yongsan Garrison in 1978.

Recognizing the similarity between that time and the present day, we have chosen to name the new headquarters for the commanding general who put us on the new course in 1978, and that is General John W. Vessey, junior, and we recognize also his teammate – The First Deputy Commander of CFC – General Lee Byeong Hyun who will share his remarks on this occasion.

You will hear a number of General Vessey’s significant career achievements later in the program, and you will hear from his son, Mr. David Vessey, who also served here in Korea with the U.S. Army.
David, thank you for your presence today to represent your father and the Vessey family, we are honored by your presence, and we are grateful that your family accepted our request to name this building after General Jack Vessey.

In a few moments, we will dedicate this building to general Vessey, and ceremonially open it by cutting a ribbon. We will also make several dedications to remind us that everywhere we go in this complex and in this building, we go with the legacy of those who came before us.
We will dedicate not only this building, but also we will dedicate this field in honor of Private First Class Charles Heyward Barker who earned the highest American award for valor in combat – the Medal of Honor.

We will dedicate the main auditorium in the name of ROK army general and gallant UN Command Fighter, General Paik Sun Yeop.
We will name two command conference rooms in honor of patriots – Korean-American patriots – who served with distinction and whose accomplishments made history – Colonel Kim Young Oak, who during the Korean war became the first Asian American to command a battalion in ground combat; And, Susan Ahn Cuddy, who was the first female gunnery officer in the United States Navy.

As each of these two legendary individuals were Korean and American – they symbolize the permanent connection between the Republic of Korea and the United States while in service among the sending states of the United Nations.

Finally, we will also highlight the coming placement of an extraordinary monument to our histories, which in a few months will be emplaced at the corner of this building and to my left for every eye to see and to take in the spirit of devotion and sacrifice – the spirit of katchi kapshida.

I want to thank Lieutenant General (retired) Kim You Geun, Chief Director of the Ministry of National Defense USFK base relocation office; and Mr. James Kim and Mr. Jeffrey Jones of the American Chamber of Commerce for providing the monument which will add a place of contemplation and reflection to these grounds.

Honored guests, ladies and gentlemen – thank you again for your attendance today to make this a special and memorable event. I hope you enjoy the rest of the ceremony and that you are able to tour the building and Camp Humphreys after the ceremony ends.
감사드립니다! Katchi kapshida!
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