Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by tomahawk6, Apr 11, 2005.

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  1. April 11, 2005

    USAREUR headquarters to move

    By Vince Crawley
    Times staff writer

    The U.S. Army in Europe plans to move its headquarters from the picturesque university town of Heidelberg, Germany, to more utilitarian quarters in Weisbaden as part of consolidations aimed at cutting its number of Europe-based soldiers from 62,000 to 24,000.

    The Army also wants to bring the 1st Infantry Division home from Germany as early as next year, USAREUR commander Gen. B.B. Bell said in a message to his troops. The 1st Armored Division would return to the United States in 2008, Bell said April 7 in one of his periodic messages, known as “Bell sends.”

    “We hope to begin moving the 1st Infantry Division back to CONUS [the Continental United States] as early as 2006 and the 1st Armored Division back to CONUS starting about two years later,” Bell said.

    The shifts have long been in the works, though Bell’s message offers the most details to date and puts an official stamp on plans that until now existed mainly in draft form. The Army Times first reported on draft plans to withdraw from Heidelberg in late 2001.

    On March 1, Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, chief of the U.S. European Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that his preference was for the 1st Infantry Division to leave Europe about 2007. In addition, Jones said the Army plans to consolidate its Europe-based helicopter assets into a “multifunction aviation brigade” in the Ansbach/Illesheim area of Bavaria in Southern Germany.

    Jones has been one of the main drivers in the Pentagon’s push to remove about 40 percent of U.S. forces from Europe and create multiservice forces that are more agile and less tied to Cold War-era bases.

    Bell’s message said the Army in Europe will consolidate around four hubs — Grafenwoehr, Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden in Germany, and Vicenza, Italy.

    Wiesbaden, west of Frankfurt, is expected to be the future home of a new headquarters that will combine USAREUR with its major subordinate command, V Corps. The new headquarters will include a deployable command post and other subordinate “theater-enabling commands,” Bell said.

    Wiesbaden is now the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division.

    Bell stressed that the unit moves and their dates have not yet received final approval.

    Heidelberg, with its narrow, winding medieval streets, is now home to about 16,000 U.S. service members, family members and defense civilian employees.Iit has hosted U.S. forces for 60 years, in part because it was one of the few German cities to be virtually untouched by the devastation of World War II.

    It became headquarters for U.S. constabulary forces after the war. Famed wartime commander Lt. Gen. George Patton died in the Army hospital in Heidelberg following an automobile crash in 1945. U.S. Army Europe was formally established in the city in 1952 as part of the Cold War buildup of forces.

    In Grafenwoehr, near the Czech border, the U.S. Expeditionary Training Command will work with the militaries of foreign allies, including forces from new NATO members in Eastern Europe. The area will also be home base for an Army Stryker brigade, Bell said.

    Kaiserslautern, near the borders with France and Belgium, “will constitute our major service-and-sustainment hub,” Bell said, “where theater logistics and medical support will be concentrated.” Kaiserslautern is co-located with the Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base and the Army’s Landstuhl medical center, the first stopping point for most service members who have been wounded in and evacuated from Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The Vicenza area in northern Italy will include an expanded 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team as well as a deployable command post of Task Force 5, the new designation of V Corps headquarters. “Over time, our soldier population could increase by more than 1,000 in the Vicenza area,” Bell said.

    The 24,000 Army soldiers remaining in Europe after the restructuring “will be stationed with families on modern, full-service bases,” Bell said.

    However, the Army and U.S. European Command are “working to establish a rotational force (without families) presence in Eastern Europe,” Bell said. “Our vision calls for up to brigade-sized rotations of various types of forces (heavy, Stryker, airborne). We expect to have this rotational force fully operational in the 2008 timeframe.”

    These forces would rotate from the United States on short-term missions and will be overseen by a “small, deployable command post similar to the one we will have in Vicenza,” Bell said.
  2. Pity the grunts who get stationed in Wiesbaden. It's a pretty city, but it also happens to be the most boring city in the universe. At least it's close to Frankfurt, but even that place is a letdown once you get to know it.
  3. The 1st Armored Division would return to the United States in 2008, Bell said April 7 in one of his periodic messages, known as "BELL SENDS"

    Fnar, fnar, etc.
  4. Hey, don't diss General Bell. Just because he commissioned into armor in 1969 and didn't manage to go to Vietnam, just because he's never commanded a Bn, just because he was a staff wheenie in Desert Storm and still managed to win the Bronze Star, doesn't mean he can't have a great sense of humour.
  5. Should have moved it to Hamburg's Herman Gasse Great place to have an HQ :D
  6. I lived in Frankfurt 1999-2000 & you couldn't move for dodgy Yank mil-types in Alt Sachsenhausen at the weekend. According to German friends, there were local 'issues' with the number of girls who were getting knocked up by their US boyfriends (who had omitted to tell said girls that they were married :roll: ) & then as soon as these pregnancies were announced to the boyfriends, they were rapidly shipped out of Germany. I don't know whether these tales were just hearsay, but if it was / is true, it's pretty low of a government to bail out a bloke who can't keep his knob in his pants.
  7. Cheesy I just dont know where you get your info from. No one makes flag rank in the US Army without command time. If you dont command a battalion you wont make Colonel. You must command a brigade or equivalent to get a star. It's the way things are. Here is Gen Bell's bio. He is highly regarded by many in the Army.
  8. Tomahawk,

    Ah, stupid me, I keep forgetting that your squadrons are our battalions, (our squadrons being companies and platoons being troops) - am I right about that? That would solve the piece in the puzzle.

    Anyway, I like to keep myself informed about the guy who's commanding US troops on my doorstep, and I found it rather easy to get info about him while I was serving. Here's what I know about B.B. Bell, both good and bad, that should be in the public domain:

    1. He vetoed the introduction a combat badge for Armor MOS back in 2001, pre-9/11.
    2. He has been openly critical of the Army's increased emphasis on wheeled vehicles and wants the Army to acknowledge the value of armor in OBUA.
    3. Him and his wife have shown great concern for wounded soldiers passing through Germany.
    4. Soldiers in Wiesbaden think he gives a damn about them - which they didn't necessarily think of the last bloke.
    5. When an ex-military pundit managed to offend the whole of Germany, he stood by him instead of bowing to political correctness (said pundit had offered to withdraw as speaker from a conference in Germany).
    6. He's an absolute brain bug.

    So, overall a good egg. Does that mean I won't take the mickey out of him? Hell no - not while he authors "Bell Sends", hehe.