The Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a non-taxable allowance designed to offset the higher overseas prices of non-housing goods and services. In Korea, the COLA amount is calculated in Korean won, but paid in US dollars. Overseas COLA is intended to equalize purchasing power so that Service members can purchase the same level of goods and services overseas as they could if they were stationed in CONUS. It is calculated by comparing the prices of goods and services overseas with average prices for equivalent goods and services in CONUS. The result of this comparison is an index that reflects a cost of living. If prices in CONUS are rising at a greater rate than those overseas, COLA will decrease. If prices overseas are rising at a greater rate than those in CONUS, COLA will increase. Similarly, if overseas prices rise or fall at the same rate as CONUS prices, COLA will stay the same. In an overseas market, the COLA rate is also influenced by the local currency exchange rate. If the value of the local currency decreases in comparison to the US dollar (meaning that you get more local currency for each US dollar) your COLA payment will go down. If the value of the local currency increases in comparison to the US dollar (meaning that you get less local currency for each US dollar) your COLA payment will go up.
Overseas COLA is not a fixed amount. COLA adjustments are either immediate or made incrementally, depending on whether the payment will increase or decrease, as well as whether the change is based on currency or data. For COLA changes based on data, increases are made immediately, but COLA reductions based on the annual cost-of-living assessment (greater than two index points) will be implemented in 50% increments to help minimize the impact. COLA changes based on currency are effective immediately for both increases and decreases to COLA. COLA reductions become final following review and approval by the Military Advisory Panel (MAP).
Two surveys determine the relative cost of living overseas compared with CONUS. The Living Pattern Survey (LPS), conducted every three years, captures input from Service members and their families to establish where and how they purchase goods and services. The Retail Price Schedule (RPS), conducted every year, collects prices for a market basket of approximately 120 goods and services. Service members play a critical role by participating in the surveys.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. DSN area code for Korea is 315, dial 315 + DSN number.
USAG Humphreys provides and integrates community services, facilities, and infrastructure for Service Members, Civilian Employees and their Family members while supporting transformation efforts in order to enable tenant units to "Fight Tonight." On order, establish Base Defense, and provide support to Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) and Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (RSOI).
Pyeongtaek Airfield was constructed in 1919, by the Imperial Japanese Army, during their occupation of Korea. With the outbreak of the Korean War, Pyeongtaek Airfield was repaired and enhanced by the U.S. Air Force, to accommodate a Marine Air Group and the 6147th Tactical Control Group. During and after the war, it carried the simple designation of K-6 on military maps. In 1962, it was renamed Camp Humphreys, in honor of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin K. Humphreys, a pilot with the 6th Transportation Company, who died in a helicopter accident, in 1961. Today, Camp Humphreys is home to the Army’s most active OCONUS airfield and one of the largest construction and transformation sites in the U.S. Department of Defense’s history.
USAG Humphreys currently hosts a combined population of approximately 36,500 Department of Defense Service Members, Civilians, Contractors, and their Families. The installation is expected to continue to grow over the next three-to-five years to roughly 45,000 total personnel.
The greater Pyeongtaek area is currently home to about 567,000 people (as of March 2022). That number is estimated to grow, to more than 1 million, in the coming years.
Now the Army’s largest installation in the Pacific, encompassing 3,000 acres, Camp Humphreys is located about 40 miles south of Seoul, the Republic of Korea’s capital. The local cities surrounding USAG Humphreys have grown to help meet future demands, and offer a variety of housing options and living areas. To reach the base operator dial DSN 315-723-1110 or from commercial line dial 011-82-503-323-1110.
Incheon International Airport, located approximately 150 km from USAG-Humphreys, has over 70 airlines supporting OCONUS travel.
Arriving in Incheon: Personnel will land at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 (15km from Terminal 1). Both terminals have personnel from 19TH HRC that operates the Joint Personnel Processing Center desks 24 hours daily. The Terminal 1 desk is located near Exit 1 of the Arrivals floor, where there are Korean Service Corps employees located as well to assist. The Terminal 2 desk is located at Gate A near the escalators. The military personnel present will gain accountability of all inbound personnel and escort individuals onto the buses headed to Camp Humphreys. To gain access to the bus, personnel will need to show their Common Access Card, Orders, Letter of Employment (for civilians arriving for a DOD job), and absence request form (or DA Form 31). If proper documentation is not provided, access will be denied onto the bus to USAG-Humphreys.
Arriving in OSAN: Personnel arriving will be guided through customs by the 138TH Movement Control Team (138TH MCT). A 19TH HRC representative will meet all arrivals. Please have the following documents: Absence Request or DA Form 31, a copy of military orders, and CAC readily available. Following the arrival brief and customs, arrivals will be escorted on the bus to Camp Humphreys Maude Hall (BLDG 6400).
Once arrived, a 19TH HRC representative will guide all personnel into Maude Hall, take accountability, and provide a welcome brief. All Permanent Change of Station personnel will immediately be found and arrived into IPPS-A, including deferring, curtailing, and/or extending dates to satisfy the appropriate tour length. 19TH HRC will collect a copy of the military orders to Korea, amendments to orders, and a copy of the absence form (or DA Form 31).
Taxi Service or Privately Owned Vehicle
PCS arrivals are authorized to take a taxi or POV from the airport. It is still encouraged to utilize government-provided transportation to Camp Humphreys.
Public transportation in Korea is very easy to use. There are several buses and public transportation options that service USAG Humphreys. Travel to and from Incheon Airport for TDY or leisure travel use the Incheon Airport Express Korean Public bus. It stops in front of the K6 bus stop right outside the Pedestrian Walk-in Gate and travels six times a day to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The cost is approximately ₩17,750 one way.
Public bus #1220 departs from the walk-in gate also and connects the base to The Seoul Subway, Korean Bullet Trains (KTX) and Super Rapid Trains (SRT), as well as several hospitals and the Pyeongtaek Bus terminal. The fare is approximately ₩1,500. From Incheon, you can take the subway to the Seoul Station and transfer to Subway Line 1 getting off at the Pyeongtaek Station. From there you will transfer to the #1220 bus that will drop you off in front of the Walk in Gate.
Operator Call Contact Center, South Korea.
Local Cell:: 0503-323-1110