USAREUR celebrates transformation milestones in Wiesbaden
June 18, 2012
- Army.mil: Europe News
- Herald Union Online
- USAREUR Strong Week
- U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden
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- U.S. Army Europe
- U.S. Army Europe on Facebook
- Wiesbaden ceremonies mark key milestones in U.S. Army Europe transition
- Ceremony marks opening of new state-of-the-art Wiesbaden housing area
WIESBADEN, Germany (June 18, 2012) -- It was a grand celebration shared by honorees, German and American military and civilian leaders, the first family to move into Newman Village and all those who dedicated the past several years to transforming the Wiesbaden military community.
June 14, the Army's 237th Birthday, marked the naming of two preeminent new and old landmarks -- the General John Shalikashvili Mission Command Center and General Lucius D. Clay Kaserne -- and the opening of the new 326-unit Newman Village housing area.
"Together, we've laid a new foundation for the future," said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe commander, praising the decades of German-American friendship and close cooperation of all those involved in bringing the future home of U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden to fruition.
"Every building has a story; just ask the people who built it, or the people who conceived of the project, or those who hope to be served by it in the future," Hertling said. "If you were to talk to the thousands of people who played a role in bringing this building to life, you would hear thousands of different stories of what happened here."
More than two years in construction, the new "Shali Center," named in honor of the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was born in Poland and served many years in U.S. Army Europe, will play a vital role in future operations, Hertling said.
"As you will soon walk through the halls of the 'Shali Center,' think about what you are seeing -- think about the future," he said, describing the strengthening relationships of partners working "side by side," the "operations that will be planned to bring relief to populations around the world from tyranny or natural disasters" and the importance of Soldier and civilian partners serving together to neutralize future threats.
Pointing out how the Army has transformed in Europe from the end of the Cold War through the present -- from more than 200,000 Soldiers on hundreds of different installations to a projected 30,000 Soldiers in "seven remaining communities by 2015," USAREUR's commander in chief said, "USAREUR has become an organization which is all muscle, no fat, and we partner with our European Allies to build forces that fight above our weight class. We do that through training, exercises, exchanges and by building trust."
Hertling was joined by Joan Shalikashvili, the 38-year veteran's widow, in unveiling the new center.
But before the unveiling and guests getting a look at the interior of the 285,000-square-foot facility, they witnessed the day's two other milestones.
On monitors in place at the Shali Center, guests were able to watch as Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, was joined by special guests at the front gate of Wiesbaden Army Airfield in uncovering the new sign dedicating the installation to General Lucius D. Clay and handing over the keys to the first Army family to move into Newman Housing.
"In a very real sense, he was the father of a free West Germany," said Carstens, detailing the vital role Clay played in the crucial years following World II as military governor of the U.S. Zone, helping launch West Germany's Constitution, feed Berlin's citizens during the Soviet Blockade and later during the Berlin Crisis in 1961.
USAG Wiesbaden's commander was joined by Clay's grandchildren Cathleen Ketcham and Lucius D. Clay III in the unveiling ceremony. He noted that Cathleen attended military dependent schools in Germany and now resides in Germantown, Md., -- yet another connection between the two nations.
The opening of Newman Village, named in honor of Col. James R. Newman, the military administrator of Hesse in post-World War II Germany "who worked vigorously to assist in rebuilding the German civilian government and the German economy," marked a milestone in the construction of the new $133 million housing area.
Like USAREUR's new Mission Command Center, Clay Kaserne housing area was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, to exceed strict German energy standards and to be extremely environmentally friendly.
"With the opening of the Newman Village, we are not just opening better quality housing, we are signaling a choice to remain strong partners with our German hosts not only today, but into the future," said Kathleen Marin, Installation Management Command-Europe director.
"As the Installation Management Command-Europe director, I don't see houses before us, I see homes," said Marin in welcoming Newman Village's first residents -- Sgt. Robert Tickle, wife Katherine and their children Jordan, Riley and Matthew.
"Today your family stands for all the families who will feel at home here in Newman Village in the state of Hessen," said Elmar Damm, Hessen State Assets, Construction and Facilities Management chief, thanking all of the engineers, construction crews and others who ensured the housing area was built in record time and to high standards.
While it was a joyous occasion, the welcoming of the first Family to Clay Kaserne's new housing area, it was also a sad reminder of the cost of war and the sacrifices Families continue to make to ensure freedom around the globe.
Among the guests on hand to celebrate Newman Village's opening were members of German Dr. (Maj.) Thomas Broer's Family. Broer, one of four German Soldiers killed on April 15, 2010, while serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan, was honored with a street designation in the new housing area.
USAREUR's commander presented the doctor's mother, Angelika, with a special commemorative plaque during the event.
Throughout the ceremony speakers noted the rich history of the area uncovered during the construction project, thanks to the dedicated efforts of German and American volunteers and archaeologists (see page 18 for story) who spent many months sifting through soil to uncover Roman and Celtic relics.
"Normally this leads to construction delays," said Wiesbaden Lord Mayor Helmut Müller, "but in this case it was different. With German-American cooperation, the excavations were exposed. A multitude of Americans offered their help and assisted in moving the excavations forward quickly."
Streets and locations in Newman Village pay tribute to these early warriors who long ago served on the same soil and to German and American veterans who served with distinction.
The move of USAREUR headquarters from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden is expected to be completed by the fall of 2013. At that time the Wiesbaden military community's population is expected to increase to about 18,500 people, including Soldiers, family members, civilians and retirees.
Other upcoming transformation-related projects on Clay Kaserne include the construction of a $91 million Consolidated Intelligence Center, planned to start this fall, and a $30.4 million Information Processing Center.
When transformation is completed and installations are closed in Heidelberg, Mannheim and Darmstadt, Army officials expect to save about $112 million annually in operating costs.