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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CajunMaintainer

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Unread post23 Mar 2005, 12:23

You will like it, but it gets old just like everything else. I am currently at Osan. All I have to say is that if you plan on doing things while you are here do them quick. TIME GOES BY SO FAST!
Geaux Saints!!!
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WorksOnRealjets

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Unread post31 Mar 2005, 03:34

Well I'm not a 16 crew chief. I'm an a-10 crew chief but I was at Osan as my first base and since the 1st day I stepped foot on Nellis AFB I've been trying to go back to Osan.
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F-16Instructor

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Unread post12 Jun 2005, 03:11

wwb23 wrote: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...


Actually it is more like the two time 'rule'. I spoke to an old supervisor before leaveing the crew chief assignments position (new him when he was a MSgt, now a Chief) and he said after two times he does not look at you. But then there are those few exceptions, but two is a good number to go by....
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Davis83

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Unread post10 Aug 2005, 00:35

Either location will give you alot of work and experience. I prefer Osan as it only has 1 F-16 unit - the other is A-10. Cuts down on the competition between units which tends to drive alot of silly stat chasing as we all have experienced.

Kunsan has a better "community" atmosphere - the people there seem to get along better because all they have is each other.

Osan has alot - and I mean alot of distractions and potential to lose $$$$

My advice - - 1st time, go to the Kun. Get older and wiser, go to Osan - go back as soon as you can if you get sent to an F-15E base as a follow on.

I just returned from a 2 year tour at Osan (wife&kids too). Not easy to get, but there are ways to get there with family. New BX and they are bldg all new base housing (appts). This base will grow over next several years and 7 AF is considering an expansion of the Command Sponsor Billits by 25% in the future.

Rick
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cdhstang

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Unread post10 Aug 2005, 05:13

I had a good time there. The only thing that sucked was being away from my family for a whole year.. Other then that take a spare liver with you cause you are going to need it..
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BlueFoxGuitar

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Unread post09 Nov 2008, 14:30

Well I got orders to Osan, and this was right after I got back from my "deployment" to Kunsan. I got a taste, but I'm about to go for the plunge.

A little nervous about it, I don't know why, but I just am.

I'm not by far the best mechanic, but I do what I can to get the job done. I've heard that I will have a hard time over there because I'm not extremely fast at fixing jets.

Family life will be hard because I will be leaving my wife with two kids, one will be about 3 months by the time I leave so yeah not looking forward to that one. I know its what I have to do and I got my follow on back to Alaska, so I'm all good in that department.

Does anyone have any tips about what to expect over there, not the drinking and off base stuff. I'm talking about supervision, overall work ethic, Kunsanisms, living conditions in NCO dorms

Any and all responses will be well recieved.
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dsawyer

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Unread post22 Apr 2010, 00:05

My son left for Kunsan in December last year (4 months ago), before he left he was a good husband, model airman and very proud of what he did. He communicated with his family regularly and was very cautious about his bills and paying them on time. Since leaving for Kunsan he has started drinking heavily and out every night. He overdrafts their checking account leaving his wife nothing. Although she was able to find a job waitressing it still doesn't always cover all the needs. They used to talk all the time, but now he sets it up and never calls until days and days later and then this last time it was to ask her for money because he couldn't pay all the bills and then instead of paying bills he spent most of it. Last paycheck he overdrafted to a total of 191 dollars in overdraft charges. I thought this wasn't allowed, at least when I was in the airforce if you overdrafted by 100 dollars you were in trouble?? His commanding officer has talked to him indicating he was concerned about his behavior and although he was listed to go on tdy to Alaska - his name was removed because of his behavior. I used to love the fact he was in the air force as his dad was in it, his uncle retired from it and so did his aunt, but now I can't believe what is allowed. I do not know what to do or what she can do to help herself and him. He insists it is his money. He spends over 1,000 dollars a month on his friends and drinking. What can she do?
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Davis83

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Unread post22 Apr 2010, 01:10

dsawyer,

Sorry to hear that is happening. Its no excuse - but it happens alot over there. I was an E7 (supervising) over there and saw this scenario on too many occasions - the reasons vary and the excuses as well.

As for the money - yes, he earns it - but his benefits are based upon his having dependents back home. She has a right to consult some of the organizations on base that deal with these kinds of issues and get some counseling. A trip to the base Chaplain can work wonders - every counseling agency on base has seen this scenario before - they all have the direct line to their counterparts in Korea. I would have her start there.

As for financial failures - in the past the military stepped in and "man handled" people for small debts. Now with electronic banking and direct deposits, they normally do not even know anything is wrong untill a missed payment or bounced checked on base (BX, Commissary or the all ranks clubs). Landlords can report late/missed rent payments to the base housing office, but the Fair Debt Collection act has made it illegal for a debt collector to contact the employer - it still happens, but only occasionally as the debtor has many rights under the act and can sue the debt collectors for doing it.

I really hate to hear about these - they tend to leave a negative impression on an assignment to Korea. Korea has so much to offer beyond the bottom of a bottle - its a darn shame so many people do this and then later in life they look back and only have bar pictures to show for it.

I was very blessed to be taken under the wing of a wise ole veteran and shown the beauty and adventure beyond the bar districts.

I have a wonderful wife thanks to him.

Good luck to you and your family - hope it all works out for the best
City Of Goldsboro Public Utilities
614AMU,17AMU,77FS,51OSS,20OSS,51MXG,336FS
F-16 blk 15/25/42/50. F-15E
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Davis83

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Unread post22 Apr 2010, 01:45

Let me say this to anyone going to Korea and wants to:

1. Make it fly by (for the sake of being away from family)
2. Get the most from the experience of being in a foreign country
3. Get the most from the opportunity of broadening your career experience.

Go there with an open mind - do not listen to the pre-conceived notions and negative impressions from others before you. Stay busy - not drunk. As soon as you arrive and settle in, find a supervisor that has been there multiple times (if they have a Korean spouse all the better). Be direct and tell them you are there to get the most out of your tour - ask them for advice on things to do and places to see. You might be very surprised at the opportunities they present. Seek out a friend that is looking for the same goal - team up so you have a wing man to keep you out of trouble.

MWR - go there! Lots of cultural/historical things to see and do realtively cheap - and then do them!

Education office - if you intend to go further than E7 in your career then you will need a degree to compete for E8/E9. Here is a golden opportunity to study and occupy some time.

When you are at work - work! Its possible to gain an immense amount of knowledge and experience in 1 year. You will see maintenance performed that you may never have the opportunity to see any where else. Don't be a "pretty boy" crew chief - just waiting to get off of work. Look neat and clean when its time to be neat and clean, but get dirty when the opportunity comes around. Many veteran mechanics here will tell you that their tour in Korea was some of the best experience they got - dont let the opportunity pass you by. There will always be work to be done - long hard hours. Buck up and muscle through it. When it comes to war games, PLAY! We all played war as kids - PLAY! When you go back to the dorm worn out - you sleep really good and another day goes by!

Tagging on work - you might arrive expecting to go straight to crewing a jet - the possibility exist that you get sent to a non-sortie production job. Yes, we all call them non-ers, but I can tell you that even maintenance has its paper pushing side. Don't go into these jobs with blinders and negative attitudes - give them a try. You will be exposed to a bigger picture of how it all works than you had before. You might hate it at first, but eventually you will see the many doors and opportunities that could be opened in the future.

I got yanked from an expeditor job and sent to OSS (Osan 1998). Hated it at first! But that job opened so many doors for me later in my career that I couldn't thank the Chief that yanked me enough. That job led to me being yanked to another job, another job etc etc... I established a pretty impressive network over the years. Was the flight chief for that job when I returned to Korea in 2004. The experience I gained from multiple non-maintenance jobs helped me greatly when I sought a job after I retired - I had much more than "worked on F-16's" for my resumee.

I know I am not hitting everything - I'm sure others here have some great advice to add. From experience I can say this - staybusy and mid-tour will be upon you before you know it. After that, the final 5 months fly by.
City Of Goldsboro Public Utilities
614AMU,17AMU,77FS,51OSS,20OSS,51MXG,336FS
F-16 blk 15/25/42/50. F-15E
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cutlassracer

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Unread post22 Apr 2010, 04:32

My time at Osan was spent on base detail, or mowing the areas around the flight line, and spending 12 hour shifts on the perimeter of the base in a bunker with a 16. The M type, not F. I was, on occasion, detailed out to crew my jet. My overall Korea experience? A year of my life I'll never get back. Orders back to that crap hole is what made my decision to leave at 9 years.
Torrejon, Homestead, Moody, Osan, Holloman
USAF Crew Chief 89-99
F-16D 90-0794/90-0779
F-117A 83-0807
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