Korea (Osan or Kunsan) advice

Looking to change career fields or contemplating to request a new assignment? Here's where you find out if the grass really is greener on the other side...
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SaulGood2021

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Unread post01 Feb 2005, 12:53

I'm an F-16 crew chief stationed at Luke AFB AZ, a friend of mine got orders to Korea (Kunsan) recently and he wasen't too happy about it. I would be pumped up if I got orders to Korea, I was wondering what do you guys think about your time in Korea (Osan or Kunsan). Any advice on volunteering? I've heard many things, like you have to be on station at least 12 months before volunteering...is that true???

Thanks,

Phase Crew Dawg
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IDCrewDawg

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Unread post01 Feb 2005, 18:13

My experience in Korea was one of my best work experiences EVER. As far as volunteering, you have to be on station one year before PCSing if your first term, two years if your second term. Back to how it was, the work enviorment there is very much like a large family. Everyone works together and parties together since there aren't that many dependents, at least at Kunsan where I was 13 years ago. It can be your worst assingment ever if you make it that way, even Luke could be this way if you let it. Just remember to do two things, work hard at working and you will make the most of that part of the tour, also work hard at enjoying your time off. If you had to leave family behind that will definitly make a drag on your tour, but since you can't do much about that do your best to get off base (other than A town) and visit the country. There are many things to see and do, so get out and do them!
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wwb23

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Unread post01 Feb 2005, 18:40

I agree with IDCrewDawg on Kunsan being probably the best work environment out there, especially for F-16 Crew Dawgs. You will work hard and play hard. The amount of knowledge that you can pull from there is absolutely amazing!!! You can also score a lot of lewt for cheap, cheap! There is a very rich culture there, if you get to experience it.

On the flip side, there really isn't a lot to do on the base that doesn't include drinking. (They seem to not want to add anything that might be a stress reliever besides drinking) If you are less than a Tech, expect to share your room with someone as there is a very major issue with lack of quarters. I believe they currently have an outrageously early curfew (and you will always have to deal with having a curfew there.) And, expect to have to stay on-base for housing. There will be several weekends that you will be confined to base (these will normally pop up without much, if any, notice, due to riots or protests that are suspected.) Oh, and you won't be able to drive off base if you are below Staff (heard that restriction is going to Tech and the taking a vehicle thing is going to Master, but that's just rumors as far as I know.)

All in all, it depends on how you take your assignments and on what other problems are happening on/around the base at that time. Most of it deffinately depends on you, though.

If you do go there, get out and see things. Enjoy the country/people/culture, not just A-Town and the juicies. Make it a great tour!
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ViperEnforcer

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Unread post01 Feb 2005, 21:02

Oh yeah, I am missing the Big O right now!.

As I've been to both the Kun and Osan, I can say that Osan was the best one by far. Of course I had a place off base and my own car, so that made things that much better at Osan.

I was stationed at the Kun in 94. Hours were very long (some 14-15 hour nights, before the 12 hour rule took effect!) and not much going on with such a small base. Morale fluctuates as much as J-Lo's ***** life, but none the less comradely was one of the best. Besides the club, you have the Rec Center that used to stay open all night and the Hooches, like CE Hospital, Cops. These are shop oriented base like pubs. The CE hooch used to be the liveliest.

Then there's A town, which I spent very little time considering the distant location (compared to Osan) and is on a smaller scale. I would take "Wolf Pack Wheels" bus up to osan once or twice a month from the Kun. It was worth the trip to get away. The last 6 months of my Kun tour, I stayed off base in Rainbow village. They were about that of the projects I lived in as a kid, but hey, it was off base!

My Osan tour was a much better experience. main reason being I had a kick a$$ job as QA inspector. Even on the line I would of been happy there! I ended up with a 3 bed apartment, just 2 blocks away from Aragon Alley! Yeah, if was Shizzz-Nit! Everything is right there for you, right out the gate, shopping, bars, restrants. Not only that, but Osan has so many places to eat on base and there's just allot more going on. I'd have no problem going back!.

As said, it is what you make of it. I did enjoy my time at the Kun, making some good friends, learned allot, model building, and shrapened my pool game up some. Osan though, was a much better expeirence.

If you have a wife, girlfriend or a relative you will most likely frequently call, you might want to look into a long Distance package deal then can offer for just that country. It worked for my 1st wife and I , as she was able to call for only $00.25 a minute! Also check into "local" (ROK) phone cards! Some had some bitchin deals on time! When I as at Osan, I rarely used a card, since my from my office I could make direct morale calls to home.

While there, take advantage of the shopping (but do shop around!) and get your leather. I left there with 5-6 new shoes/boots, 7 leather Jackets (most custom taylored), lots of new threads, Bo-Ku coins, and lots of other cools things.

When you get there, pick me up some of the Academy 32nd scale F-16 kits when they are finally released, LOL! Another benifit, Academy model kits are dirt cheap on home turf!

Mike V "You aint been Packed, till you've been Wolf-Packed!"
If it yanks, banks, turns, and burns, Crew Chiefs made it happen!
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SaulGood2021

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Unread post01 Feb 2005, 21:25

Hey thanks for all the input, I am a first termer but I know I'm going to Korea sooner or later (hopefully sooner) I'm having a helluva time here at luke, good friends, good times, but still I can't wait to get to korea.
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flanker_hater

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Unread post02 Feb 2005, 02:19

Piggybacking off of ViperEnforcer a bit, rather then getting the calling cards, a lot of people at Osan are getting DSL and paying $20 to get VoIP through broadvoice.com or Vonage which gives you a phone number back in the states so people can call you for free, not a bad deal in my opinion. Osan also just got a pretty sweet BX that opened up in December.
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vinnie

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Unread post02 Feb 2005, 02:34

I was at the Kun 90-91, Learned alot as a new Staff, the jet and the human side. You can get into alot of trouble if you do not have good friends to keep you straight enough. Watch out for the SP's , had one try to arrest my pilot for peeing in the open before a sortie. They tend to be bigger A holes when at the Kun. People are under more stress too, attempted suicides, drinking deaths, divorces, and the "if i'm having a bad time so is everyone under me" syndrome. I'm retired now but ran into one of my old assistants last year at a resturant, he got out after ten years because of the Kun, 3 tours in ten years, only one as a volunteer. Another victim of the great drawdown of the 90s, of course that would be a good thread in it's own. Go Juvats
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wwb23

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Unread post02 Feb 2005, 18:50

Yeah, as a crew chief on 16s, I think the average times in Korea is up to about three or four in 20 years. This could deffinately go down since we've opened Techs up to all F/A/Os, or it could go up after we drop the 20K personnel that we are trying to from the AF. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...
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vinnie

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Unread post03 Feb 2005, 00:39

Make sure your reasons for going are good ones. Have seen first hand the bad reasons, can drink under 21, girls and A-town, a party every night. As a Tech, I escorted many "sundowners" out the gate. Believe me , they can seperate you before the sun sets!
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SaulGood2021

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Unread post03 Feb 2005, 13:50

:lol: I'm probably the only crew chief that doesn't drink or smoke, and I have a girlfriend so the whole girl thing isn't really a factor, I really just wanna go for the experience and a chance to serve at one of the last of the "warrior bases". I love being a crew chief and Korea is a big part of the F-16 world.
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SwedgeII

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Unread post04 Feb 2005, 21:08

Dude if you have a GF back home you DONT want to gp to Korea!! unless you like being alone! and you dont drink. My advice would be to get a GOOD MTB and go to Kunson as the riding is much better!! Nothing else really to do around there that doest involve Beer and or Jucy Girls. also DONT ride over the "Lumps" when on the hils around the Kune!! Its actually a neat place if you manage to stay off the base as much as possable!!
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SaulGood2021

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Unread post05 Feb 2005, 09:48

Thanks for the advice!
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Elvis

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Unread post09 Feb 2005, 11:06

As a Panton '90, I met and worked with people whom I still keep in touch with, even after 15 years. Echoing others, it'll be exactly what you make it!! I managed to travel around practically every week-end, mostly by the standard-standee train!!
It'll be a life-changing experience being on the pointy end of the spear.
Elvis..
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92-886CC

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Unread post09 Feb 2005, 11:30

Kunsan was my best assignment second only to Misawa!!! I would go back there just to visit and hang out, I liked it so much.
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kar343

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Unread post10 Feb 2005, 21:48

Although I only did a short eight years in the AF as a weapons director, Osan was the best year of my entire enlistment! If I was still in, I would volunteer to go back in a heartbeat! Also, Osan has one of the best running groups I've ever been involved with - the Hash House Harriers - look em' up if you end up at Osan and tell them Crackerjacks sent ya.
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