Leaders celebrate, vow to continue to promote German-American relations
Jan 27, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany – German, American and international guests gathered at the Community Activity Center Jan. 23 to celebrate past successes and vowed to continue working closely together in the future.
More than 300 people heard speakers, networked and shared social time during a New Year’s reception co-hosted by the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, 1st Armored Division and 5th Signal Command.
Deployment, redeployments, transformation and friendship were among the main topics.
“This past year has been a very busy one for U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden,” said Col. Jeffrey Dill, USAG Wiesbaden commander. “We successfully deployed and redeployed an armored division headquarters and its Special Troops Battalion from Iraq; we have successfully deployed and redeployed numerous subordinate units from the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade to Iraq and Afghanistan; and we have successfully deployed and redeployed a number of individual augmentees who contribute significantly to the overall wartime effort to combat terrorism. All the while we did our very best to take care of the families left in our care.”
Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, 1st AD commander, praised the outstanding support rendered by host nation officials and the garrison while division Soldiers served for a year in Iraq. “We’re glad to be home,” he told the guests, thanking those who provided for the safety, security and well-being of families who remained behind in Wiesbaden.
“At U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, taking care of our people – Soldiers, families and civilians – is our primary mission and one that we take very seriously,” said Dill, looking back at some of 2010′s highlights including massive construction efforts to build new Army family housing and U.S. Army Europe’s new Command and Battle Center at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, cooperation with the Hessen state Archaeology Office to unearth Roman ruins, the opening of the new Wiesbaden Entertainment Center in Hainerberg Housing and successful simulated and real-world emergency response efforts involving U.S. and host nation responders. “We have also been upgrading our infrastructure all over the garrison footprint. It has indeed been a very busy and a very successful year.”
“We Hessians are particularly happy that the U.S. Army has decided to relocate its European headquarters – USAREUR – to Wiesbaden,” said Axel Wintermeyer, chief of the Hessen State Chancellery, speaking on behalf of Hessen Minister President Volker Bouffier. “We are pleased with the very high level of cooperation that our state agencies enjoy with their U.S. counterparts in the many complex undertakings involved in this effort.”
After expressing his gratitude that members of the 1st AD returned safety to Wiesbaden from “its very important mission in Iraq,” Wintermeyer added that the citizens of Hessen “will be sad to see you go” when the division relocates to Fort Bliss, Texas, this summer.
“Like Minister President Bouffier, I look forward to the continuing close cooperation of our nations, here in Hessen, in Germany, and Europe, as well as in those troubled regions around the world,” said Wintermeyer, “from Afghanistan to the coast of Somalia in the hope that by working together and with our other partners we can continue to make a positive difference in the interests of peace, freedom and prosperity.”
Other speakers included Wiesbaden Lord Mayor Dr. Helmut MÃ¼ller and 2nd Signal Brigade commander Col. Mitchell Kilgo, who represented Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smith Jr. Both praised the close working relationships between the U.S. military and host nation.
Besides noting ongoing efforts to maintain German-American relations, the lord mayor praised school partnerships which encourage the establishment of lifelong relationships and understanding.
“We now call Wiesbaden our home away from home,” noted Kilgo.