By Dijon Rolle, USAG Kaiserslautern Public AffairsAugust 2, 2013
HEIDELBERG, GERMANY - Soldiers, civilian, families and friends from U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg gathered on Patton Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, to deactivate the garrison's Headquarters, Headquarters Company. The ceremony took place near the Patton flag pole July 31.
A small platoon of HHC Soldiers stood silently as Company Commander Cpt. Edina Na-Songkhla and 1st Sgt. Tony Hockensmith cased the company guidon for the last time.
"This is a bittersweet moment for many people, because of the long-standing history that this organization has had, but as they say all good things must come to the end," Na-Songkhla said. "I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this community. Not just because of its location, but because of the Soldiers."
Afterwards, HHC Soldiers conducted the final flag retreat for Patton Barracks. The installation is scheduled to close in early September as part of the Army's ongoing transformation efforts across Europe.
USAG Baden-Württemberg Commander Col. Bryan DeCoster reflected on the retreat and the impact the installation's closure is having on the local community.
"As we performed retreat for the last time on Patton Barracks, it was symbolic of the end for a proud high-performing garrison," DeCoster said. "Whether you have served in our garrison for a long time or short time, you have been a contributor to its history. Heidelberg and Patton Barracks have held a unique place in the history of German American relations following World War II," he said. "As members of this garrison, it has been our honor to support the community members, military and civilian, American and German, throughout the past 68 years."
Prior to the deactivation ceremony and retreat, garrison leaders hosted a special luncheon for current and former employees. DeCoster also presented them with a commander's coin prior to the ceremony in honor of their time with and service to the organization.
The origins of Headquarters Headquarters Company, USAG Baden-Württemberg can be traced back to May 1936 when it was first constituted as the 26th Quartermaster Regiment and activated Dec. 30, 1941 at Fort Ord, California.
Later on In 1966, the regiment was re-designated as the 26th General Support Group and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington and deactivated in 1972.
The unit moved to Heidelberg in 1978, where it was reactivated as the 26th Area Support Group. It was re-designated as USAG Baden-Württemberg in 2007.
The garrison itself is scheduled to deactivate in September.