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Old 05-30-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
fickle
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Default Osan?

Hello!

My husband is in the Air Force and we have been stationed in Clovis NM for almost 3 years now. We think we just got paroled! lol BUT!! His new orders are for Osan ... so this will be his 2nd tour in Korea!

I have some questions about command sponsorship... How long does it take to get it done? What is it like living there? When my hubby 1st went in 05 I came over and visited him.. but 2 weeks isnt 2-3 years. Is the Yellow Dust really bad? Do you think we should ship our POV there? I know the driving is crazy there.

Honestly I just want some information. Any info would be awesome. We are trying to see if him going over there for a year... if that would be worth it for base pref. OR us trying to get command sponsored and go with him.

Thank you!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Osan?

We are Army but currently stationed in Korea at Yongsan, about an hour North of Osan. Command Sponsorship took awhile for us to complete because we kept running into unexpected problems. I am not sure if it is just the Army but I know in the past year they changed the rules on sponsorship because the posts are overcrowded which is effecting everyday life (long wait times for medical appointments, limited housing, schools overcrowded, etc) Some people I know have been waiting 12 months for approval to come over

The Yellow Dust isn't that bad. If you have bad allergies then I recommend stocking up on plenty of medication. When the levels get super high they tell you to stay indoors or wear a mask over your mouth if you have to go out. Thankfully it hasn't been that bad since we got here in October, I think we have had a handful of days where it was slightly elevated and it was only a recommendation not to go outside.

We shipped our POV here. It took about 45 days for it to get here. We don't drive many places since parking can be difficult to find. We also own a SUV so it is even harder to find a parking spot that we can fit in when visiting smaller areas. We take the buses, subways, and taxis when we are going to unknown areas or far distances, other than that we walk. We mostly only drive our car to and from post since our housing area is detached from the main post. Driving here is much like any major city driving. People tend to think traffic signs and signals are optional. People on motorcycles and scooters zig in and out of traffic so always be on the lookout. Highway driving is alot of the times a dead stop or driving at 5mph.

We are enjoying our time here and it is definitely a great experience!
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Osan?

Sombody correct me if I'm wrong, but command sponsored means automatically 2 years in Korea. And then you don't have the right of choice where you want to go.
I don't know which is more important to you and how you going to feel if you don't like it in Korea and at the end you don't like the next base.
DH volunteered for Korea just so we can go to place we both want to live and it will be his final assignment before retirement, so it was extremely important to us to get situated in place we want to stay.
As far I know is not that hard to get CS, because most of the airmen there are unaccompanied (due to lack of proper housing).
Here at MSSN there is one family which is in Korea, but I think they decided just to follow the service member on their own expense...
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Osan?

We are an Air Force family here Non-command sponsored (which really isn't expensive OR hard by the way!) because we sat on the command sponsorship waiting list for over 8 months. They have changed the way that command sponsorship is given out, and if your husband was not offered a command sponsored billet when he was given his orders- you could be looking at a pretty long wait. It also seems to me, based on what I've heard from my Army wife friends that are here, that it is a little easier to get CS from the Army than from the Air Force. There are many more Army families here than AF families. Command Sponsored slots are now 2 or 3 years. There is a Priority category given to every job here, and Priority 1 jobs are Mission Essential and automatically command sponsored. Priority 2 jobs are not mission essential and offered command sponsorship based on availability. Priority 3 jobs are rarely offered command sponsorship, only when all the other slots have not been filled, at the Commander's discretion. My husband is an E-5, 1N1, and a Priority 3. I know his squadron only gets 10 command sponsorship slots and has well over 100 airmen in the squadron. (And that is counting the Commander's family-automatically get CS, the DO's family- automatically gets CS, and the Superintendent's family- also auto CS). So really they give out 7 slots.....and those slots are decided by the Commander. And the timing has to be perfect....someone with a CS billet has to be leaving right as your husband gets his orders, otherwise you wait.

We were told they are trying to do away with the waiting list, so the best thing for your husband to do (if you decide you want CS) would be to contact his gaining squadron, let them know he is interested in getting CS, and then see what they say. We volunteered for a Korea tour (it is my husband's second remote as well) so that we could hopefully get an overseas follow on. When we didn't get CS we decided to go non-command sponsored, having already done one remote and a deployment in our 4 year marriage....coming here NCS was the best thing we've ever done as a family. I see my husband every day, we get weekends/time off together, we can travel. It has been great. We paid for our plane tickets out of pocket- but you are also authorized Space A travel on the Patriot Express, so that is an option. For some people, coming here without CS is not an option and they won't even consider it- they'd rather just stay in the States and be apart for a year. It's really a personal choice of what you are comfortable with.

Message me if you want more info about coming NCS....I don't want to talk your ear off. As far as the Yellow Dust- no it is not that bad. If you or any children have asthma, I have heard it can make it worse. There is a website: http://www.usfk.mil/usfk/weather-yellowsand
where you can see the current and past yellow dust levels in the air. It is not that hot right now, in fact it is about 15 degrees cooler here right now than it is back in Virginia where we were stationed before. It does snow here in the winter but it is tolerable. We don't have a car and walked everywhere, even with a baby, a 3 yr old, and snow on the ground. If you get CS you are authorized ONE car. There is a shortage of parking on base, and they are pretty strict about it. Depending on your husband's rank and how full the dorms are, he may have to live off base (sometimes the dorms are full when people arrive, so they send them off base). The drivers do seem crazy sometimes, but people manage. It is aggravating for us not to have a car, but the taxis here are VERY cheap (less than $3) to get just about anywhere around town or on base. The walking has been great for losing weight!

There are a lot of family centered activities here and they really are doing a good job of making this a nice place to live. The gym and fitness center is nice, and has a great Mom gym with a play area. The commissary is big and has a good selection. The BX is big and has everything we had back home basically. When you are on base you really can't tell you are in a foreign country.

I guess it comes down to what you want more. If you want a good follow on (you are not guaranteed your choice of follow on by the way!) then it's a risk you take. For us it paid off because we got Ramstein, which was our #1 choice. If you accept the command sponsorship then you get back into line and see what's available when it's time for you all to PCS. Once we got the Ramstein follow on we took our name off the CS waiting list and said "No thanks!". Message me if you have more specific questions!
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Last edited by MGMama; 06-01-2011 at 12:33 AM. Reason: adding info
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Osan?

@MGMama, If you don't mind, I would love to hear more about your experiences moving to Korea NCS.

My Husband recently got orders for a short tour, but we are hoping he can extend to do 3 years as we have family in Korea and it is a place we've both been hoping for. We are going to try and put in for CSP, but whether we get it or not I'm going.

I'd also love to hear more from other spouses who have tried to get CSP, whether they received it or not. It would be nice to get an idea what to expect and what sort of hang ups people ran into.

Someone told us that there is a slim chance we could manage to get CSP simply because I have no health concerns, we have no kids and DH wants to extend and stay for as long as possible. Are these actually things that will be considered at the gaining Commander's discretion?
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Osan?

If you are NCS, you aren't allowed to live on base right? Do you find living off-base to be fairly decent? One of my friends is coming into a similiar situation and she's under the impression living off-base isn't going to work out to well.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Osan?

Well we found out that his orders just got canceled!!!
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Osan?

Is there a reason (that you can share) as to why they got cancelled? If not, that's okay :-)
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Osan?

Yeah that is odd - I know they are cutting back on allowing dependents to go. I will post an article... also spending 3 years at a stateside base isn't that bad - in fact I've heard that 4 is the minimum now, so staying for 4 at LEAST is not unusual at all. Most people I know are staying longer.

Here is the article: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/20...seiEU;facebook
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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Oh he tested out of cycle and made Master Sgt. His orders dropped before the test results were out. One of the Cheif's here asked him if he wanted to go or if he wanted the orders canx. He said he would rather stay here and become a 1st Sgt.

So about a week later his orders were canceled... STRANGE!!!

We are happy about it
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