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Old 07-06-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default osan afb

has anyone lived in the housing on base there? did you like it/dislike it?
how did you like the school?

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: osan afb

Most of the tours to Korea are short (1 to 2 years) and just recently they started letting spouses etc go along. And many times the service members prefer to let their families at home, because of the whole situation there.

For how long are you going to stay? If it's just for short tour, I would rather stay at home and wait for the follow-up-assignment.

Here is an e-mail about Osan AFB collected by a co-worker of my DH:

I'm going to begin with the beginning:
This should be your first source, and you can gleam a large amount of info from here.
This is basically all the sponsorship stuff you'll ever need, online. The AFRC is a great place for info on family stuff and they offer STUPID cheap trips, like overnight trips for $25 (which usually costs like $75 or $100 at the ITT)

here is a little supplimental information-
Living Arrangements
As of right now, almost all the NCO's have to be moved off-base. There is a large amount of renovation going on to the NCO dorms (A whole floor was evacuated because of flooding). Most SrA becoming SSgt are being encouraged (almost forced) to move out of the Airman dorms because of over-crowding (Depending on when you put on SSgt in relation to your DEROS).
With that in mind, you may have more give to as what to bring with you. I know that my TSgt here (NCOIC) is at the on-base dorms, and has to share a dorm room. They are the separate room/joined bathroom and kitchenette type dorm rooms.

The Base Housing Office is located in Bldg. 765, across from the chapel. The telephone number is DSN: 784-6791/1840, Fax 784-2800.

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. The housing office closes at noon for training every first and third Thursday.

The housing office maintains a waiting list by date of sign-ups. Advance sign-up applications are not authorized. Pets are not authorized in any of Osan's unaccompanied dormitories.

Airman dorms and NCO dorms are decently sized, with a twin-sized bed, desk, dresser, and (sometimes) a TV Armoire.

You may want to consider bringing the following items to minimize initial expenses:

Vacuum cleaner
Small area rugs (for vanity, shower, latrine area)
TV / VCR / Stereo / Radio
Coffee Maker
Bedding ( pillows, blankets, sheets, mattress pad )
Iron board and Iron

There is always room for gaming systems, and almost all the Airman/NCO's end up getting some form of big-screen TV- just note that Household goods can't ship any TV that is over 26" so plan accordingly.

IF you do end up living off base, a good guide to read is listed here:

Doing research of my own while looking for a place to live is the only realtor to avoid is "Korea Realty", which is located down the street from 'Happy Teriyaki' and across the street from 'Pizza Club'. I don't know the specifics, but the information I found made it sound like they werent very helpful or courteous to the military members. Personally, I went with 'Smile Realty' and they were really nice, drove my husband to a couple apartments to look at, and when the time came for the inspection, were available to go with us and talked to the Housing Office Inspector.

I would bring only enough stuff to get you buy for your tour length.
If you want to bring your family, read this:
and If you want to bring your spouse but DON'T want to spend 3 years here, then read this:

And also, don't worry. I brought my husband, and two other Airmen (A1C and SrA) I know also were able to bring their spouses over without any concerns. If more information is requested about non-command sponsored dependents living in Korea, I will make an extra section concerning this.

Shipping Things/Post office Box
As soon as you get your orders, fax a copy over to your sponsor. They will be able to get an APO Box for you 90 days prior to your arrival.

PLEASE NOTE: There have been some issues with items going missing in transit to APO boxes in PACAF. People aboard the transit boats shipping out from San Francisco have been found pilfering and stealing. If you want to send a high-value item, always put it in a plane, non-marked box. Be very vague on your import declaration, and try not to have anything that will draw attention to your box in particular.

What to bring as for Clothes:
Regardless of when you get here, you will be here for 365 days.

You WILL need warm clothes, as it gets VERY cold in the winter. It snows from around January 3 until Mid-March. It actually snowed up until March 18 this year, but May first brought warmth and sunshine. If you snowboard, there are always snowboarding trips every weekend, so feel free to have your snowboarding gear and clothes shipped along with TMO.
There is a lot of clothing stores around the base (and the BX itself) so you can always top off your supply, but having a nice selection to choose from will be helpful for your transition period between seasons. It goes from being VERY hot to very cold quickly.

As you may well know, Vonage does not work in Korea. Yes, there are rare cases where a certain floor on a certain building have been un-effected, and certain areas off-base will work, but for the most part, you can generally bank on NOT having Vonage. Voice Stik has been experiencing some issues as well, so I would look into a monthly plan with Skype. You can always use Skype for free, or like I do, put $10 on whenever I need to make calls back home. I don't have a call-back number, which has saved me from getting night-time calls that wake me up.

NO, you can't use your old cell-phone from back home. Koreans don't believe in SIM cards, and you can actually buy a used cell-phone for about $30, or a new one for $50 or $60 depending on how stylish/advanced you like it. You buy minute cards, where its around 30mins for 10,000 WON (about $7) for local calls, and more expensive for International Cards. I don't like to use my cell for international calls, but some people like the convenience to be able to call during lunch.
After your tour, you can sell-back your cell phone for a couple bucks.
I suggest using the main cell-phone place off-base, its about 3 blocks down the "main drag" on the right side, its where the majority of the military goes and they are very good about not ripping people off.

Do note, that at SOME not ALL phone shops, for the first year you have to go "re-activate" your cell phone every 3 months, which just consists of going back to the store with your ID and phone and they will copy it, and put your phone number on the paper...I guess its their way of making sure you don't move out of the area with your phone???? Not sure. But around a week before your de-activation they'll send text messages (in Korean) so I just go down pre-emotively and have them re-activate it. It is FREE to re-activate.

Arriving into Osan:
As your sponsor will (hopefully) brief you on, Korean cabbies will try and SCAM you.

As you exit the terminal with your luggage, you will be directed to the declaration area. There should be a guy there that will ask "you military?" answer honestly, and he will give you a free cart to put all your crap on, and should hand you a card directing you to the USO. This guy is ok, you can trust him. But ONCE you leave the inside area of the terminal, and exit out to the waiting area, put your guard on, and make a bee-line to the USO.

To get there, as you exit the terminal doors and enter the "lobby" area where people are waiting to pick up their friends/family, take an immediate right. Keep going this way until you run into the very end of the terminal. On the left will be the USO, and you can purchase your bus ticket to Osan. Make sure you have $35 in CASH on hand to purchase your ticket-- this will be re-imbursed when the time comes.

IF ANYONE KOREAN STOPS YOU and asks if you are going to Osan or if you are Military, keep walking. I have a personal friend who took a $500 cab ride to Kunsan, and there was nothing he could do but pay it. The cabbies will do ANYTHING to score a military member into taking a cab to the base. It is close to a 2-hour ride (depending on traffic) to the Base, and NOT a cheap taxi fare.

When boarding the bus to Osan, keep out a copy of your orders and your ID card, everything else (except maybe an iPod or DVD player) you can stash under the bus. Once at the base, they'll check ID's and Orders, then to Terumi Lodge. Here you will have to wait for your supervisor, and get signed in.

Recently, there has been a lot of incoming NCO's that have to stay off-base during in-processing, but that really depends on when you get here. If Terumi is full, you'll take a cab with your sponsor and stay offbase. If your an SrA and below, your supervisor will take you to your room and help you get settled in. Generally, they'll assign a near-by Airman (since your supervisor is almost always a NCO) to help get you to work the next day, or show you where you will be in-processing.

Travelling Off Base
After Inprocessing, I suggest utilizing the off-base bus system to get around to Seoul and Incheon. To get to the Bus Station, just hop in a Osan Taxi and say "Songtan Bus Terminal". To get to the Subway station, just ask "Songtan Metro Station".

I'm a huge advocate for using the Metro, but if you are going specifically to Seoul, catch a $4 bus ticket to the Nambu Bus Terminal, which takes roughly 40mins. The bus terminal is right outside the Nambu doors, and you can take that to any of the Seoul area. The great part of this is you can sleep the whole way and you don't have to deal with drunkards, mama-sans, or not having a place to sit on the Metro while you stop-and-go the entire way to Seoul. is THE BEST resource you will have while in Korea, in that you can map out your entire trip to where ever you are going...whether via bus, metro, or KTX (bullet train).

Click the "subway" link on the left-hand side, then click THE PICTURE of the Subway Map...for some reason the 'Seoul' button is broken. Once it pops up, click the departing station (Songtan- page 4) then your arriving station. Not only will it give you an estimated arrival time, but also the estimated cost.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: osan afb

Dare I chime in on this discussion? My dh is at Osan right now. We opted to stay in Utah and do a follow-on to Aviano.

My husband is an E-6 and lives in a previously condemned dorm (they just decided one day that because they need it, that they'd re-open it ) and no one, regardless of their rank, is authorized by the Maintenance Squadron Commander to live off-base.

Here is a link to the housing page at Osan: It give you pictures and floor plans.



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