By Mark Iacampo, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, HohenfelsMay 13, 2014
HOHENFELS, Germany (May 13, 2014) -- U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels officially cased its colors in a ceremony here yesterday, formally marking the dissolution of the garrison and reorganizing its workforce as an integral part of USAG Bavaria.
"Today is a bittersweet one," said Col. James E. Saenz, USAG Bavaria commander. "Today, we case the colors of an organization that supported and defended our great nation for years. But we're also forging ahead as we finalize our transformation into a single command under U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria."
The consolidation is part of U.S. Army Europe's ongoing transformation, and follows the casing of USAG Garmisch's colors, in July of 2012.
"These actions result in the Grafenwoehr,Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch Military Communities now forming one USAG Bavaria," Saenz said.
"It produces a streamlined structure for a leaner, more adaptable force," he explained.
Kathleen Y. Marin, Installation Management Command-Europe director, said that while Hohenfels' designation and scale will change, the impact on Soldiers, families, and workforce will be minimal.
"Although some administrative support will come from USAG Bavaria, front door services like I.D. cards will remain local and they will remain responsive," she said. "Many of you, if we do this right, will not notice a significant change in customer support."
As part of the transformation, the community also bid farewell to the garrison command team, Lt. Col. John J. Strange, Jr. and Command Sgt. Major Kenneth McKoy.
"As the last garrison commander and command sergeant major, John and Mac always put the well-being of their community first and foremost," said Saenz. "They faced every challenge as a team. They never met an obstacle they could not overcome. Their commitment never wavered."
Speaking on behalf of McKoy and himself, Strange said it was an honor and privilege to serve as the command team for USAG Hohenfels.
"But also to be members of this special community and this team of teams," he added.
Strange is headed to the Pentagon, where he will serve as the Executive Officer for the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. This is McKoy's last assignment in uniform, and he will retire Oct. 1, after 31 years of service.
Michael C. Haney, who has served for the past year as Deputy to the Garrison Commander, will take the reins now as Deputy Manager for the Hohenfels Military Community.
"Mike has global experience managing installations and complex budgets in a joint environment," said Marin. "He will be an indispensable key to success for commanders in Bavaria."
Saenz remarked that though the leadership structure at Hohenfels has changed, the exceptional services provided to the community will not.
"I promise that USAG Bavaria-Hohenfels, as part of the Bavaria Military Community, will continue to provide our Soldiers, civilians and families with the best services, facilities and living conditions possible," he said.