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Military To Concentrate on Combat Preparedness By Scaling Down R...

Civilians to replace soldiers in weeding and cleaning work by 2021

Snow removal equipment to be expandedless labor and higher efficiency

Job creation effect in areas near military units

The Ministry of National Defense announced on August 16th, that civilians will be replacing soldiers in performing general labor, such as weeding and cleaning, by 2021. Regarding snow removal, the military will move beyond the current labor-dependent structure by expanding its stock of the relevant equipment.


"Starting next year, the measure will first be introduced at Army GOP divisions and Naval Operations Command, Naval(1st, 2nd, 3rd) Fleet Command, Air Force Airfield Runway and Fighter Wing, and Marine frontline units," the ministry added. This will be expanded to the Ground Operation Command and other Naval combat units in 2020, and to all units nationwide in 2021. Contracting out soldiers' fatigue duty is part of the military's efforts to implement 'Defense Reform 2.0'.


The ministry's measure aims to concentrate all efforts on combat preparedness by scaling down soldiers' fatigue duties, which are commonly performed in their daily routine and rest time. In addition, the ministry expects that this will lead to a job creation effect for about 3900 civilians in the areas along the frontline.


“It is the duty of the state to help soldiers not feel ,” a ministry official explained the purpose of pushing forward the measure.


According to a survey by the Army, the annual mean area of weeding done by a single GOP Division is 930,000, almost equivalent to 110 soccer fields. Even the results of a survey targeting soldiers showed that 66.4% of the respondents identified weeding as a chore that should be contracted out. Cleaning of communal areas is another one of the difficult and time-consuming fatigue duties performed by soldiers.


By actually contracting out the cleaning of communal areas on a trial basis, each soldier could secure an additional 148 hours a year of free time.


Regarding snow removal, the ministry plans to reduce soldiers' physical labor and increase the efficiency of snow removal by supplying additional snow-removing equipment suitable for narrow roads and slopes, as there are some limitations when it comes to sending civilians to frontline GOP areas. In many cases, there is no way other than manual labor to remove snow in the frontline because it is rough and it is impossible to send civilians right after heavy snow. The ministry also plans to continuously supply snow removal equipment, such as snow plow trucks, to the rear.


“If fatigue duties, such as weeding and cleaning, are contracted out to civilians, it is expected that soldiers will be able to commit themselves more fully to their combat duties, and there will be an enhancement of service conditions, including sufficient rest after daily routine, which will contribute to preventing safety accidents. This will also stimulate the stagnant regional economy and pave the way for the coexistence of regional residents and military units by providing stable jobs on a certain scale for communities near military units every year,” a ministry official said. The ministry will make thorough preparations to push forward the measure, by working in cooperation with other relevant authorities.



By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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