Installation Overview – Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae, S. Korea

 Commander, Fleet Activities (COMFLEACTS) Chinhae, is adjacent to the Republic of Korea Naval Base, Chinhae, Korea. Chinhae is a port city located in the province of Kyong Sang Nam Do on the southeast coast of Korea.

Chinhae is a small city on the southeast tip of the Korean peninsula, surrounded by the beautiful Jahng Bok San Mountains with a population of around 140,000 people. The language of Chinhae is Korean. Hangul is the written Korean alphabet, which is easy to learn. English is the second language but in the smaller and less cosmopolitan areas, it is rarely spoken.

The Korean currency is the Won, which you can exchange your dollars for at the Community Bank on-base. The city has a very mild climate. Chinhae is a tourist city and is especially busy during the springtime when some 160,000 cherry trees blossom. The Chinhae Cherry Blossom Festival is famous worldwide. The city is steep in history and there are many cultural assets to the locality, such as temples, museums, and monuments. The region has many parks and sites of natural beauty, such as the Pugok Hot Springs (45 mins drive approx).

There is a large naval population, of both Korean and U.S personnel. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and US sailors are made to feel very welcome by the locals.

The primary mission of COMFLEACT Chinhae is to maintain and operate facilities, to provide services and materials in support of tenant shore activities and units of the Operating Forces of the U.S. Navy, and to perform such other functions or tasks as may be directed by higher authority. The mission includes the responsibility to serve as an effective instrument of U.S. foreign policy, by initiating and continuing action programs which promote positive relations between the command and foreign nationals; and assisting individual Naval personnel and their family members to work effectively, live with dignity and satisfaction, and function as positive representatives of the Navy and of the United States while overseas.

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Location and Driving Directions

Aerial view of Chinhae
Jongcheol Park / EyeEm / Getty Images

Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae (CFAC) is located on the southern coast of Korea, about 40 minutes from Pusan.

When making arrangements through your servicing PSD for transportation to Chinhae, ensure they are aware that COMFLEACT Chinhae is located about 250 miles southeast of Seoul and Osan Air Base. Passengers with travel destinations to Chinhae should be routed from Conus/OCONUS locations to Chinhae via Pusan International Airport, located 28 miles from Chinhae. The sponsor will meet you at Pusan International Airport (Gimhae).

All incoming personnel is met by their sponsor at Gimhae International Airport (Pusan). If for some reason you are not met by your sponsor, it is crucial that you hand-carry your Welcome Aboard Packet. In the Welcome Aboard Packet, there is a Taxi guide that will assist you in making your way to CFAC.

You may enter Korea in Incheon but need to take a domestic flight from Seoul GIMPO to Pusan GIMHAE. Transportation from Incheon to Seoul; Military shuttle bus, AFEES taxi (approximately $75-$85) or commercial taxi (gray or white color / Korean Money 55,000 Won - 65,000 Won). The ride to Seoul can take up to one hour. On arrival at Incheon contact your USO representative for any advice.

Airport tax at Incheon: 

  • Korean nationals: 28,000 Won
  • Foreigners: 28,000 Won

The tax fee is included in the ticket price.

Please ensure that you contact your sponsor before arriving in Korea and inform them of delays or changes in flight details. It is advised that you take a carry on with a clean uniform and essentials in case of lost or delayed luggage.

Should your flight from CONUS arrive too late for the last flight to Pusan at 2030, contact an airline attendant prior to landing in Seoul and ask for overnight lodging assistance. Normally airline policy is to arrange to lodge if they deem their late arrival caused your missed connection.

Never take a taxi in Korea without first agreeing on the fare unless it is a black AAFES taxi. Hotels in Seoul are expensive, if you are forced to stay in Seoul overnight, call the COMFLEACT OOD in Chinhae (011-82-55-540-5111) as soon as possible. Let them know when you expect to depart the Seoul Domestic terminal the next day. Call the COMFLEACT OOD the next day at the boarding gate and reconfirm your departure time.

Passports are not needed for active-duty personnel. Your military ID card and orders are sufficient to pass through customs. Passports and visas are required for family members.

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Main Phone Numbers

Exterior of traditional buildings in Chinhae
Clifford Daugette / EyeEm / Getty images
  • Billeting 011-82-55-540-5336 DSN: 762-5336
  • Branch Medical Clinic 762-5415
  • C. Turner Joy American School 762-5466
  • Medical Clinic 011-82-55-540-5415/5417/5451 DSN: 762-5415/5417/5451
  • MWR Office 762-5221
  • Pusan American School 763-7521/7528
  • School 011-82-55-540-5466 DSN: 762-5466
  • Youth Center 762-5381
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Population and Major Units Assigned

CFAC sailor offering candy to a local child during a parade at Chinhae.
 Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae

CFAC is a small remote base consisting of approximately 150 military personnel, 100 family members, 12 DoD personnel, and 143 KGS employees.

Reorganization in 1984 established Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae with Commander, US Naval Forces, Detachment Chinhae as a tenant activity.

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Temporary Lodging

Navy Hotels in Chinhae
Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae

The Navy Gateway Inns & Suites facilities are for authorized military, DoD civilians, and contractors on official travel orders. Active duty military on leave and their dependents and retirees may stay on a space-available basis. All rooms have a kitchenette, equipped with electrical cooking stoves, microwave, refrigerator, TV set, and every other attempt has been made to fully anticipate your needs and providing you with a variety of services and amenities.

There is no wait for housing. All accompanied and unaccompanied personnel are assigned immediate housing.

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Fleet and Family Town Center
Federal file photo / U.S. Army  

To apply for Government quarters at Chinhae, submit an Application and Assignment to Military Family Housing, DD Form 1746, along with a copy of orders to the housing organization at the Field Activity. Application forms and orders may be submitted by mail, in person by the sponsor, or by a member of the sponsor's immediate family. The application may be submitted at any time following the receipt of homeport or permanent change of station (PCS) orders. The housing organization, upon receipt of a member's application, will immediately provide the member with a Status of Housing Availability, (DD Form 1747), to inform them of the conditions of assignment to, or the availability of, family housing.

There are 50 family housing units available for military personnel. The units are fully furnished and have standard 120V/60 Hz electrical power. Playgrounds are located within the housing areas. Youth Center, picnic areas, gym, bowling center, commissary, exchange, chapel, library, and school are all within walking distance to base housing.

On-base housing is generally available to all command sponsored active duty personnel, in the rank of E1 to O5, with minimal or no waiting periods.

Single Service Members can stay in the Base Bachelor Housing. Please make sure your orders and information are emailed/faxed in as soon as you receive orders.

Service members checking into Bachelor Housing (BH) must report to the Combined Bachelor Housing front desk to get a room key and to finish the necessary procedure. All residents are required to complete the Registered Sex Offender Addendum and BH application. Combined Bachelor Housing front desk is open from 07:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. 7 days a week.

All BH rooms are completely furnished and centrally located for quick access to most facilities. BH requirements by rank:

* E1-E4: shared room and bath 90 SF
* E5-E6: private room, shared bath 135 SF
* E7-E9: private room and bath 270 SF
* O1 and above: private room and bath (O1/O2: 250 SF, O3 and above: 400 SF)

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Happy kids in classroom at C. T. Joy Elementary School
C. T. Joy Elementary School

C. T. Joy Elementary School provides cost-free education to military and DOD civilian family members. The curriculum is well rounded, American style and offers a variety of extracurricular activities. C. T. Joy Elementary offers kindergarten through eighth grades.

The following options are available for families that are stationed at Chinhae with high school-age children in grades nine to 12:

1. Busan Foreign School, a fully accredited international school in Busan located approximately one hour and 10 minutes away, with tuition paid by DODDS.
2. Taegu American School, a DODDS school located approximately one hour and 30 minutes away.
3. Home school with DODDS support.

Families will be free to choose an option. Those who choose to enroll in command-sponsored family members in Taegu may either live in Chinhae (children commute to/from school) or live in Taegu (sponsor commutes to/from work).

Daegu American School (DAS) has been serving family members of military and civilian personnel for over 30 years. It serves grades Sure Start through 12 with an enrollment of approximately 600 students. The elementary section (K through six) has about 400 students, while the junior high and high school section has approximately 200 students. A comprehensive program of sports/extracurricular activities is offered.

Military and civilian command-sponsored dependents are eligible for enrollment. Limited enrollment in grades K-12 is available to dependents of non-command-sponsored personnel. Though DAS has excellent facilities and programs, there are space-availability constraints. Required documentation for registration is:

  1.  A DoDDS registration package.
  2. A copy of the sponsor's current orders.
  3.  A copy of the child's birth certificate or passport.
  4.  All hand-carried school records and transcripts.
  5. Validated immunization record. If you are a civilian, get all immunizations before you arrive as in Korea, off-post are costly.

Students (grades 9-12) that live at CFAC commute by bus to Camp George (1 1/2hrs one way).

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Child Care

Chinhae Gym, Library and Youth Center
Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae

The lack of organized childcare makes it very difficult for a single parent, especially those with pre-school children. For school-aged children, the challenges of single parenthood are less severe, since school runs from 0800-1440, followed by additional youth center programs. Ah-joo-mahs (Korean married women) are available for childcare at a set fee.

Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae has Child Development Group Home available for childcare located in Building 702 FPO, AP 96269-1100, Phone 011-82-55-540-5381 Phone (DSN) 315-762-5381 Fax 011-82-55-540-5966 Fax (DSN) 315-762-5966.

The Child Development Group Home is a Child Development Center developed to work with children from infants to five years of age as the primary users. The Group Home atmosphere works with multi-age classrooms that create a small home-style child development center. There is no waiting list, which means there is no waiting for care (everyone can use the service).

The fees are standardized within Navy programs worldwide.

A free recreational Youth Center is open to children ages six to 12. The Center provides after school activities such as games, arts, and crafts, a reading program, movies, and karaoke. The Center is also open on the weekends. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Youth Center Staff provides age-appropriate activities such as bowling, karaoke, movies, and arts and crafts for our on-base teenagers A Recreation Program, available to teenagers 12 to 18 years of age, is available from June to August. There are weekly field trips and BBQs during the summer.

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Medical Care

chinhae medical clinic
Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae

The Branch Medical Clinic Chinhae is a satellite clinic of the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan. It provides outpatient medical care (adult, pediatric, and OB/GYN) to the active-duty servicemen and women, their dependents, retirees, civilian contractors, and Americans working abroad in Korea.

In-patient care is provided at one of four accredited local Korean hospitals. Routine surgery and referrals for specialty care are done at the 121st Army hospital in Seoul and at Samsung Medical Center in Masan.

Emergency care is provided at Samsung Medical center in Masan or Fatima Hospital in Changwon, about 25 minutes away.

Obstetric emergencies are seen by a local Korean OB/GYN at Samsung Medical Center or Fatima Hospital. Routine pregnancies may deliver at the 121st Army Hospital in Seoul or a local Korean Hospital. Those who choose to deliver at the Army hospital in Seoul will be transferred to Seoul at 38 weeks gestation. A Stork’s-nest (temporary quarters) are available for expectant mothers transferred to Seoul. Complicated pregnancies may require referral earlier. Single members who become pregnant will generally be transferred from Korea before 20 weeks of gestation. This is USFK policy which has precedence of OPNAVINSTR. All routine prenatal care is provided in Chinhae, while complicated OB is referred out to the 121st Army Hospital or local Korean OB/GYN.

Medical screening for overseas duty is required for both family and active-duty personnel prior to transfer. Members will be denied orders to Korea only if they or their dependent's medical condition requires access to specialists or facilities that are not readily available. There is a full complement of Medical facilities available similar to most Stateside Naval Installations, even though we are an isolated duty station. However, certain conditions requiring extensive specialist care may be determined to be incompatible with this isolated location.

There is no dentist stationed in Chinhae. A Dentist from the U.S. Army or U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka comes at least quarterly. For that reason, members and their dependents must have their Dental Status updated prior to departure and are encouraged to have any issues addressed at that time. Emergency visits are seen at Camp Walker, an Army base in Daegu about 1 and a half hours from Chinhae, or Dr. Woo’s Clinic in Chinhae, which is affiliated with the Tri-care dental program.

Please come with two pairs of eyeglasses or adequate contact lenses, gas mask inserts (command requirement) and a written prescription for your eyeglasses in case you need to replace them while in Korea. This can be done at a low cost on the economy.