Retreat ceremony honors 100 years of the Grafenwoehr Training Area
July 1, 2010
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - The Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC) hosted a retreat ceremony and traditional German Army Tattoo, June 30, at the Grafenwoehr parade field on main post, marking the end of the Grafenwoehr Training Area's 100-year commemoration events.
Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Europe and the 7th United States Army, presided over the ceremony, which was attended by many distinguished guests, including the Honorable Greg Delawie, the deputy chief of the mission to Germany, the mayor of the city of Grafenwoehr, Mayor Helmuth Wachter, and several past commanders of the installation.
"From the earliest days, Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) has always been on the cutting-edge of change, said Ham. "To provide Soldiers the best training possible as technological advances change military equipment, this training has also adapted to provide realistic and challenging training.
The economic impact of the Grafenwoehr Military Community on the local market is estimated at more than 610 million euro, which includes civilian pay, contracts, maintenance and repairs, services and utilities, rental and leased housing.
"Grafenwoehr Training Area continues to be the best place for Soldiers to train in Europe because of the outstanding relationship between the United States Army and the German people, who live outside our gates, he said. "A relationship that remains as strong today as ever."
The GTA was established 100 years ago, under the Bavarian Government. In 1945, America's Third Army, under the direction of Gen. George Patton entered Grafenwoehr following the surrender of the Soldiers based here, liberating prisoners of war from all over Europe, since then, the Grafenwoehr Military Community and the local government have worked together to provide an environment where Soldiers can train, but also a community that's good for families too.
"It's been a great week. Like everything here, this celebration has been a tremendous team effort between the city of Grafenwoehr, the Bundeswehr, the Federal Forestry and the State of Bavaria, and so many great community organizations, Soldiers and family members." said Brig. Gen. Steven L. Salazar. "To all the families, I thank you for what you do to make Graf Great, and as always our Soldiers are ready through training."
Today, the training area is the U.S. Army's largest overseas training facility, and one of the few places where U.S. military members regularly train with multinational partners from Europe and Africa.
"Training would not happen without our friends and gracious hosts," said Ham.