Key marks closure for Kilbourne
Kilbourne Kaserne and Tompkins Barracks Installation Coordinator Rob Floyd chats with U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg Commander Col. Bryan DeCoster during a key return ceremony on Kilbourne outside of the Site S Data Center in Schwetzingen Feb. 6.

SCHWETZINGEN, Germany-There wasn't a lot of fanfare among the small group of civilians and Soldiers who gathered on Kilbourne Kaserne in Schwetzingen Feb.3, but their feelings of pride and accomplishment were no less apparent as they stood inside the shell of what was once the Site S data center.

Members of United States Army Europe, 5th Signal Command, Installation Management Command Europe and others came together to mark the closure of the center and Kilbourne Kaserne during a key return ceremony. Attendees bundled in their winter coats, chattered and shook hands as they spoke fondly of the center, its mission and the installation.

"It will definitely be missed; It was one of the first joint data centers within the European theater," said William Glass, deputy division chief of the joint coalition information systems. "We had Army; we had Air Force, 5th Signal Command, 21st TSC, United States Army Europe staff and some [combatant command] things in here. So it was a very good facility. From personnel to hardware and software, it did it all, and there were a lot of people who put a lot of time, energy and money into this place to make it what it was."

The center served about 40,000 users and operated as a back-up facility for the USAREUR's main server and was one of the last facilities to vacate Kilbourne. At one time, the installation was also home to 1st Personnel Command, IMCOM-Europe Family, Morale and Recreation, 5th Signal Command and others throughout the years.

Maj. Gamaliel Rosa, USAREUR G6, led the team of engineers, managers and other support staff, tasked to close the center by Jan. 1. Together they were able to transfer some 80 services and redistribute more than $8 million worth of equipment back into surrounding communities by their deadline.

"It's an incredible feeling to see this completed and I'm proud to have been a part of it. I could not have done it without my team. They really pulled through," Rosa said. The group began planning for the transition in the summer of 2010.

During the brief ceremony, Col. Mark D. Baxter, USAREUR G-6, praised the group for their hard work, perseverance and professionalism.

"This was more than just simply turning off the equipment and putting it into a van and driving it to another location. With the Army's data center consolidation, we were also truly folding all of this into the Enterprise network, and so it's a technical change of how it's all hosted in the area processing centers," Baxter said.

U.S. Army Garrison Baden-W├╝rttemberg Commander Col. Bryan DeCoster also extended his thanks to those who helped close both the center and Kilbourne Kaserne.

"In the larger picture this means a lot to the garrison and to IMCOM ... By accelerating this closure, it allows installation coordinators to focus on one closure at a time, rather than 10 or 15 at one time. It also saves IMCOM Europe and USAREUR at least $1.7 million annually in operating costs," DeCoster said. "But as with all of our facilities, there is history behind them and we hate to see them go," he added.

"Members of 1st PERSCOM, IMCOM Europe FMWR, Signal and all the people who had wonderful relationships with the city of Schwetzingen really hate to see these facilities go," he said.

DeCoster added that Kilbourne was the seventh of 32 facilities in the Heidelberg and Mannheim community returned to the host nation as part of the Army's ongoing transformation efforts in Europe.

The group plans to host a larger ceremony sometime in late March.

Page last updated Thu February 16th, 2012 at 00:00