Hohenfels springs Super Bowl surprise on deploying Soldiers
February 6, 2014
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Soldiers from the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade were treated to a private, big-screen viewing of Super Bowl XLVIII, here, Feb. 2.
The battalion arrived Jan. 13 from Fort Hood, Texas, to take part in the Kosovo Force training (KFOR 18) before deploying to Kosovo later this week.
When battalion leadership determined that their nearly 400 Soldiers might overwhelm Hohenfels' traditional Super Bowl party held at the bowling center, the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation brainstormed options for a private party.
With a 429 person seating capacity, the Hohenfels theater seemed a likely venue. Unfortunately, there was no AFN (Armed Forces Network) reception.
"Our task is to synchronize services in support of the JMRC (Joint Multinational Readiness Center) rotation and the rotational units, as well," said Lt. Col. John J. Strange Jr., U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels commander. "I'm very proud of my team because it might seem like a simple thing, but the Exchange Theater is not wired in such a way that it can easily portray AFN."
The 5th Signal Command installed a high-definition satellite disk on the theater, which routed the signal through garrison computer equipment and beamed the image onto the theater's screen.
"It's a nice time to be able to get together and have everybody join in the shared experience and be in one place and enjoy the game," said Capt. Joshua Fix, 504th BSB.
Of course, no Super Bowl party is complete without barbecue and beverages. Hohenfels' Greller's Kantine Casino catered a steak semmel sandwich and two beers or sodas for the nominal price of five euros.
"The price is outstanding and they get to experience real Bavarian food," said Strange.
"This is great, it's been motivation for these Soldiers," said Sgt. Maj. Jeff Tolliver, operations sergeant major of the 504th BSB. Tolliver said timing has been great for the deploying Soldiers as they were home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. "And now to all of a sudden catch the Super Bowl on the way to Kosovo -- I don't think it can get no better than that."