U.S. ARMY SUSTAINMENT COMMAND
Feb. 25, 2008
AFSBn-NEA dedicates new maintenance facility
By Galen Putnam
ASC Public Affairs
Rock Island, Ill. – Another jewel was added to Camp Carroll’s crown
Tuesday as a new maintenance facility was dedicated in honor of a
Korean War Medal of Honor recipient.
The U.S. Army Field Support Battalion – North East Asia conducted a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for its new $15 million, 26,000 square-foot maintenance facility named for Pfc. Melvin L.
Brown, who was killed in hand-to-hand combat near Daegu in the early weeks of the conflict.
The facility boasts 16 maintenance bays, four 30-ton overhead cranes, eight 50-ton floor lifts, centralized lubrication and compressed air. The facility also has space for offices, small arms storage, conferencing and includes an employee break room. In addition, the facility boasts a state-of-the-art communications system.
Previously, mechanics had only six undersized bays with limited equipment in which to work. The organization also had to rely on diverted warehouse space.
That’s no longer the case, according to Lt. Col. Karl Bopp, AFSBnNEA battalion commander.
“Opening this maintenance facility is a proud moment in the history of this battalion,” he said to the crowd of distinguished visitors, guests and employees gathered for the event. “This state-of-the-art facility provides capabilities that are commensurate with our world-class workforce. This facility will enable us to continue to maintain Army
Prepositioned Stocks-4 at the highest level of readiness and ensure our equipment is ready to fight tonight.”
The facility was built by NAMWHA Construction Co., LTD, of
Kwangju under the guidance of the Far East District, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Seoul. Project funding was provided by the Korean
Government under the Logistics Cost Share Program.
Namesake of the facility, Pfc. Melvin L. Brown, Company D, 8th
Engineer Combat Battalion, was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy forces near Kasan (just north of Daegu), Korea
Sept. 4, 1950. (See sidebar article for his complete Medal of Honor
“Pfc. Brown was in Korea for only about a month, but while here, he gave his all – literally. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his friends and fellow Soldiers, for his country, for the Republic of Korea and for freedom,” Bopp said. “While his heroics are, indeed, the stuff of legend,
Pfc. Brown was selected from among many very fitting candidates – in part because he is one of us – he was a combat engineer and diesel mechanic. How fitting is that? In addition, he died just a few miles away from here near Daegu. It is truly fitting that Pfc. Brown be memorialized indefinitely, as we dedicate this facility in his honor.”
Brown’s sister, Sylvia Rich of Moline, Ill., was guest of honor at the ceremony. -more-
“Yesterday, we visited the battle site where Melvin was killed. The area is now a park – a quiet, peaceful park. I can hardly imagine what it was like so many years ago when Melvin and his friends were fighting for their lives,” she said. “Over the years I have often thought about the sacrifice that so many young Soldiers like my brother made in the name of freedom. It is still painful to think about it after all of these years, but it helps to know that what they did helped lead to such a prosperous nation and freedom for millions of Koreans.”
Rich was particularly pleased the building bearing her brother’s name is a maintenance facility.
“Who would imagine such a beautiful maintenance facility being named after my brother,” she said. “It is fitting though, if you think about it because he really was quite the mechanic. If he had a place like this to tinker as a boy, I’ll bet he never would have come back out!”
Design on the project was initiated in Jan. 2006 and ground was