Working on U.S. Bases in South Korea
United States Forces Korea (USFK), is a sub-unified command of United States Pacific Command (USPACOM). USFK is the joint headquarters through which U.S. combat forces would be sent to the South Korea/US (ROK/U.S.) Combined Forces Command’s (CFC) fighting components – the combined ground, air, naval, marine and special operations forces component commands. Major USFK elements include Eighth U.S. Army (EUSA), U.S. Air Forces Korea (Seventh Air Force), U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), U.S. Marine Forces Korea (MARFORK) and Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR). It was established on July 1, 1957. Its mission is to support the United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command by coordinating and planning among U.S. component commands, and exercise operational control of U.S. forces as directed by United States Pacific Command.
USFK has Title 10 authority, which means that USFK is responsible for organizing, training and equipping U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula so that forces are agile, adaptable and ready. With 28,500 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in South Korea, U.S. forces in South Korea are a forward presence in the region and a key manifestation of the U.S. government’s rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific. Given the threat that North Korea poses to South Korea and the region, the USFK mission also includes planning Non-combatant evacuation operations to ensure that if the need arises, U.S. and other previously agreed-upon countries' citizens are removed from harm’s way. To this end, USFK conducts routine exercises to ensure that this process is effective, efficient, and orderly.
Last year defense contract G4S came under fire for it's contract to guard U.S. bases in South Korea took effect. Most guards who worked for the previous security provider, Joeun Systems Corp., initially refused to work for the new firm, claiming they were being offered longer hours and lower pay. Many demonstrated outside USFK bases for months. Because G4S didn’t have sufficient manpower, the military was forced to close or limit hours at some gates and, until later that year and have soldiers temporarily staff some gates.
There are 3 kinds of living accommodations in Korea. 1 - house. 2 - Villa (which is what they call a low-rise apartment so therefore less spacious than a house). 3 - apartments (or condos). Most Expats live in villas because they are more affordable, which is not a bad idea since to heat everything during those cold korean winters would be ridiculously expensive. Korean houses have floor heating and a villa and apartment could benefit from the floor heating of the upstairs.
One expat said "Korea is a VERY homogenous society, so diversity is rare and uncommon, especially outside of Seoul. Those who are not Korean can expect the typical stares that are ubiquitous throughout Korea, and the uttering of "waegook saram" which means foreigner, is also quite common. That said, overt racism is almost non-existent in Daejeon and those of non-Korean descent typically enjoy a high quality of life. The expat community in Daejeon is relatively small and it is possible to go about your day without seeing another foreign face. However, within the expat community there is an array of cultural backgrounds present, mostly due to the large international student presence at Daejeon's universities, and the science and technology sector, which attracts people from around the world, particularly India. Diversity is most noticeable in the Oeun/Gung-dong neighborhoods on Daejeon's west side. These two neighborhoods are sandwiched between Chungnam University and KAIST, both of which have considerable international student bodies. These neighborhoods, especially Gung-dong, are also popular EFL teacher hang-outs. Here you can find a variety of foreign food, such as North African and Pakistani, plus a variety of businesses that have an expat friendly vibe. There is also a Muslim place of worship here (just a small room), the only one in the city," explained on expat in Korea.
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