Just wanted to add that you want to be careful when buying a 'beater', most aren't Seoul-worthy (meaning they can't make the drive to Seoul). If you're going to get out and explore Korea, you want a reliable car, with good seatbelts and AC. You may have to pay a bit more, but it's worth it to not break down everywhere. As an example, when our sponsor picked us up at Incheon, his car broke down 3 times on the way back to Osan. UGGGGH!!
We took our brand spankin new car there, drove everywhere-Busan, Seoul, Suwon, Daegu, and everywhere in between and never had so much as a scratch. Koreans must pay on the spot for accidents, so they're pretty careful, even though they are crazy drivers!
I agree with catlassie, the humidity is horrific. We planned trips during the month of July to get out of there!!
6/24/09 11:50 A
If you're CS, you can ship a car, I think. The rules just changed in the last 1-2 years. I know he can drive if he's CS. Winters can get bitter, but summers are SO BAD, like 10x worse than Panama City, FL's worst summer. It gets so darn humid. You get through it though. You'll taxi it all the time in the winter if you don't have a car. Koreans drive their motorcycles on the sidewalks off base...be prepared and WATCH OUT! They'll hit you and never look back. LOL. Sometimes I miss it. I just got back from there in Jan 2008 so if you have any questions. I know the curfew was extended and the driving rules changed for CS families since I left. Good luck getting CS! Its an experience I wouldn't take back for anything.
6/24/09 9:39 A
Thanks CatLassie, we were told that you could only ship a car to Korea if you were E7 or above. My husband is only E5. I heard there was no parking on base but I didn't think the driving off base would be that bad. My husband was thinking about buying a bike when we get there and riding it to and from work then just taking a taxi or bus if we want to go anywhere else. I'm just worried about how cold it gets during the winter. We are living in Arizona right now so we will be freezing in even the slightest bit of cold. I guess we'll just have to see when we get there.
6/24/09 6:09 A
As for your car, there's plenty of opportunity to get a beater over there, with enough room for 4 people comfortably (2 car seats and 2 adults if need be). I personally don't suggest taking a nice new shiny American car as Koreans as well as other military folks could care less about your vehicle. Roads and parking spots are very narrow and getting in an accident off base is only a matter of time. Koreans are fairly new drivers (in the last 50 years or so) and the technology in the world today causes them to be more distracted than anything while driving. They are very offensive, rather than defensive drivers. I had to learn how to read their minds basically because turn signals aren't used at all. They also run red lights like its nobody's business and don't expect their police to do anything about it. While having a car is a convenience, especially when you're grocery shopping or buying things at the BX, it isn't a necessity especially since parking is very very limited on and off base. There are plenty of inexpensive (and I mean inexpensive!) and convenient ways to get around Korea, whether it be by bus, taxi or train. Anyways, I know you didn't ask about driving or cars, but for what its worth...
6/22/09 8:53 P
Your husband can call his unit in Korea and find out the CS spot situation. What does he do?
For the CS, my husband's squadron CC called the CC of his unit in Korea and it was a done deal. The rest was just on the orders that went through MPF. MPF took forever though and made some major errors that had to be corrected twice.
You'll need a lot of lead time to get your medical clearance (you and your child) and your passports and Visa taken care of. All require appointments, and it seemed like they only had appts on certain days and were booked for several weeks. If you're taking your car, you'll want to ship it out fairly early; it took almost 60 days to get our car. Furniture takes a while too, but they have loaner furniture to use until your stuff gets there.
6/19/09 6:22 P
How can I find out how many CS spot my husbands unit has.
also we would like to leave around January, what do you think would be a good time frame to start submitting paperwork
6/19/09 6:07 P
It didn't take long to get the command sponsorship, but getting the orders in hand did take about a month. My husband's unit had tons of CS spots though, so it may be entirely different with your hubby's unit.
The base is really nice, especially compared to other overseas bases. The BX is large, decent commissary, several American-style restaurants at the NCO and O Clubs and a Chili's and Burger King. They also have an indoor pool with a kiddie pool, and outdoor pool and a nice fitness center. The area right off base is very Americanized, with lots of shopping and restaurants.
I don't know much about the FCC situation, as my son was born a few weeks before we left Korea.
The tower housing is pretty nice. It was built in 2006/2007, so it's still really new. Lots of closet space. There's also a storage room on each floor (tower is 8 floors) with a locked cage for each apt where you can store bikes, luggage, etc.
Loved Osan, it is a great assignment!!
6/19/09 5:36 P
My husband is a SSgt, we have one daughter and another one on the way (due in November)
Travelgirl - How long did it take from the time your husband submitted the paper work until you got orders. My husband was told that it happens pretty quick but with a new baby on the way I would like to wait till he is at least a couple months old. Thats why he hasn't submitted anything yet.
I was also told that the CS tour is 3 year instead of two. Thats ok with us. From what I've heard its a pretty good base. I was also told that they were going to start the FCC (family child care) program over there. do you know if they have yet? I'm an FCC provider now so it would be nice to continue working over there.
6/17/09 10:32 P
Yes they are making this an accompanied tour. We have a Major just go out there with his family. What rank are you and what are the ages of your children?
My husband is a Shirt and I am an TSgt. We plan on putting in for an accompanied later this year!
Have your Functionals call AFPC to see if they will consider you going.
DS-Alexander 6 yrs
The day you deliver, outside will be overcast. Your baby will arrive at night.
After a labor lasting approximately 8 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 8 pounds, 12 ounces, and will be 20 inches long. This child will have dark brown eyes and dark hair.
6/17/09 6:08 P
No clue... everyone I know is still going unaccompanied.
January 3, 2012
7 lbs, 1 oz
April 6, 2008
7 lbs, 15 oz
6/16/09 1:20 P
actually Osan AFB has two newly built family housing towers as well as medical and schooling for military children. They have also just started a new incentive program offering extra pay for anyone doing a 3 year accompanied tour. You must apply for the 1 year unaccompanied tour 1st and then after you receive your orders you can apply for the accompanied tour. I'm just wondering how long it usually takes to get accompanied and how often do they turn down people that have applied for the accompanied tour. I know there are several people never get accompanied but they bring their family with them anyways but it would be easier if we were.
6/16/09 10:57 A
It's going to be a while before we see any accompanied tours to Korea in the Air Force. There is just not the infrastructure to support accompanied tours yet, ie housing, medical...
January 3, 2012
7 lbs, 1 oz
April 6, 2008
7 lbs, 15 oz
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