Camp Hovey is one of the few US military bases hosted by South Korea. The name was given in the memory of Howard Hovey, who died during the Korean War. This camp is not independent and cannot be seen as a base. It is mostly a complementary camp for the more advanced Camp Casey. Both bases are connected through a recently built road. The camp is spread over 4000 acres and is close to Tongduchon, 66 km from Seoul. The initial objective of this place – as described by the US Army – was to deter the hostilities, tension and aggression in South Korea. It hosts about 2500 American military troops and a few hundred civilians.
The camp used to be one of the multiple bases that were introduced in the Hardship Duty Pay program, set up to motivate the troops with extra wages. The troops hosted at this camp used to get extra $150 per month. In order to be eligible for a program, the troops must be dispatched permanently or serve for at least 30 consecutive days. Other reasons to make a camp eligible included the lifestyle, the climate, the social boom, the medical and housing facilities, the crime levels or the quality of food. In other words, the camp had to be under the US general standards to get included in the program. Among the missing facilities, the soldiers had to get over the lack of a community service, a housing office or a family quarters.
The units hosted at Camp Hovey were always on a temporary “trip”. Due to the harsh living style, most of them were kept at the camp for not more than a year. After the initial year, they were sent back to their original bases on the US territory. However, with the new conflicts striking in Afghanistan or Iraq, many of them didn’t get to pick the lucky ticket for home. Instead, they were sent straight to the desert to fight in a so called War on Terror.
The units that currently live in the camp are the 1-15th Field Artillery and the 4-7th Cavalry.
The facilities in the small Korean camp are not among the most advanced ones in the world. The inhabitants benefit from a local hospital mostly based on emergency care. They also have a library, a couple of gymnasiums, a swimming pool, more courts for basketball and tennis, a library and a club for officers. The recreational center is also worth mentioning for the stressful or boring days. As for other activities – fishing, skiing or hunting, there are no facilities nearby.
The housing system at Camp Hovey doesn’t imply too much work. When relocated here, most troops benefit from an automatic housing opportunity. There is no such thing as a privatized system or a hotel. You don’t need to fill up an application to get a home. You will be hosted along with your mates in specific buildings, regardless of your preferences.