• A construction worker shifts mounds of dirt outside of the new Defense Logistics Agency's administration building on Germersheim Army Depot  in Germany Oct. 4. The new facility will house the agency's transport, distribution, safety, storage and command sections. It is scheduled to be completed in early January and fully operational by August or September.

    Germersheim Army Depot marks 60 years

    A construction worker shifts mounds of dirt outside of the new Defense Logistics Agency's administration building on Germersheim Army Depot in Germany Oct. 4. The new facility will house the agency's transport, distribution, safety, storage and...

  • Alexander Forest, a supply clerk with the Defense Commissary Agency European Region Central Distribution Center located on Germersheim Army Depot, inspects a box containing salt and dog bones. The box is part of a larger shipment that will be sent to a commissary in Europe. Forest must look through each shipment to ensure  stores receive the right items in the right amounts to match their  order  requests. The CDC is open Mondays-Saturdays year-round and stocks more than 8,000 semi-perishable items for distribution to commissaries,  U.S. embassies and other agencies across Europe and the Middle East.

    Germersheim Army Depot marks 60 years

    Alexander Forest, a supply clerk with the Defense Commissary Agency European Region Central Distribution Center located on Germersheim Army Depot, inspects a box containing salt and dog bones. The box is part of a larger shipment that will be sent to a...

  • Andrew Washington, base manager for the Germersheim Army Depot  in Germany and Daniela Health, facility engineer for the Defense Logistics Agency, take a look at the ongoing construction on DLA's new administration building located on Germersheim Army Depot Oct.4.

    Germersheim Army Depot marks 60 years

    Andrew Washington, base manager for the Germersheim Army Depot in Germany and Daniela Health, facility engineer for the Defense Logistics Agency, take a look at the ongoing construction on DLA's new administration building located on Germersheim Army...

GERMERSHEIM, Germany - Back in 1951 miles of military tanks, trucks, equipment and other remnants of World War II filled nearly every inch of Germersheim Ordnance Vehicle Park.

The park, located on an old German training ground in Germersheim near the Rhine River, was created to store, receive and issue equipment and supplies in support of the U.S. Army in Europe.

The area's close vicinity to railways and a river port, made it ideal for a host of logistical operations.

But these days, you'd be more apt to spot bulldozers and brightly colored shipping trucks from all over the world crowding the small winding roads of what is now known as Germersheim Army Depot.

The installation will mark its 60th anniversary Tuesday.

"This base is the starting point for all logistical support in Europe and the Middle East and it provides numerous support services to Soldiers and their family members," said Andrew Washington, base manager.

"For 60 years the mission has continued and that's something we are all proud of. This installation is going through a major restructuring and as a result of transformation our mission has now increased and so has the activity on base," Washington said.

The depot is now one of the few select military installations in the area that Army officials have marked as enduring.

Some of the most recent activity includes the construction of the Defense Logistics Agency's new administration and distribution building, scheduled for completion early next year and the movement of the Exchange's (formally known as the Army and Air Force Exchange) headquarters from Giessen to Germersheim next year.

A road construction project is also planned near one of the base's entry gates.

Arthur Eschenbach, Chief of the Defense Commissary Agency Central Distribution Center, another GAD tenant organization, has worked here for the past 41 years and recalled the first time he stepped foot on the installation Feb. 1, 1970.

The DeCA distribution center ships more than 8,000 different products to commissaries across Europe, the Middle East and U.S. embassies.

"At that time the depot was full of hardware and trucks all over. There were thousands of pieces of equipment. It was a hectic place," Eschenbach said.

"Fifteen hundred people were working here including Soldiers, and at that time they started building up the main warehouses here in 1970. I remember getting off the bus and sinking in the mud because the roads were not done and there were wooden sheds as offices," he said. "I look at it now and I'm amazed at all of the changes over the years."

As the number of units, Soldiers and employees increased, a 1,200 person dining facility, chapel, gymnasium, several barracks buildings, a child care center, commissary, library and a movie theater were added.

Today, many of those facilities are closed and the majority of GAD's population is now made up of civilians and less than a dozen Soldiers continuing the overall mission to support the military and its assets.

Page last updated Fri October 14th, 2011 at 02:53