By Jacob CorbinAugust 12, 2015
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Since its creation in 2007, the Transformation Stationing Management Office, or TSMO, has been responsible for moving units across Germany, from Heidelberg, Darmstadt and Mannheim to Wiesbaden. It oversaw the construction of the new home for U.S. Army Europe. It lived up to its name, literally transforming the footprint of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and forging it into the home of U.S. Army Europe.
As of Aug. 1, TSMO is no more and two of its divisions, Engineering and Master Planning, returned to the Directorate of Public Works here. According to TSMO Director Roger Gerber, its reign was filled with challenges, great moments and important partnerships.
TSMO was stood up by former USAG Wiesbaden Commander Col. Ray Graham to help facilitate the changes the garrison would need to accommodate its new missions.
Since its inception, TSMO has been responsible for the construction of the new main operational facilities, the Mission Command Center, or Shali Center, the Consolidated Intelligence Center, or CIC, and the Information Processing Center, or Grey Center; upgrades to the electrical, water, sewer and information technology services for Clay Kaserne; the new Clay Kaserne Access Control Point; the new Auto Skills Center; the new Post Exchange; Newman Village; and the start of a new high school; as well the relocation of 5th Signal Command, USAREUR headquarters, 1-214th Aviation Battalion and the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. And those are only some of the projects TSMO coordinated and constructed.
"After eight years, they have all taken part in doing great things for the USAG Wiesbaden community," said USAG Wiesbaden Commander Col. Mary Martin at the going away event for TSMO and its director. "A lot of hard work came from a lot of dedicated people, not just (garrison members) but (from) our host nation as well."
Gerber echoed the garrison commander, saying "the partnership with our host nation, including the State Ministry of Finance, Hessen State Land Management and the City of Wiesbaden was key. There was a lot of coordination to make all of this happen."
Some of this coordination included the purchase of land for the construction of the $133 million Newman Village Housing Area, which features 326 Army Family Housing single-family and duplex townhouse units.
Gerber said that ensuring adequate housing by constructing Newman Village and improving on the other housing areas was very important in moving USAREUR to Wiesbaden, in addition to ensuring the facilities required for their mission were completed.
"The operational facilities were key to moving USAREUR here," he said. "So getting the design done for the MCC and CIC were some of our initial challenges. Then we had to complete the MCC on schedule so they could move in."
He added that the most challenging project he faced at the head of TSMO was the construction of the new Clay Kaserne Access Control Point.
"We were limited on funding for the project," he said, "but we had to make certain we met the criteria set forth by the Protective Design Center."
Those criteria should have led to a $14 million budget, but TSMO only had $6.3 million. In the end, like most projects, they got it done and with all the requirements met.
"The ACP was a two-year design project," Gerber said. "But the construction went very smoothly."
Judith Rodriguez, TSMO design branch chief, said that kind of challenge was one the directorate faced regularly.
"We always had to rearrange projects and find new solutions," she said. "But we always got a functional building in the end."
For Geospatial Information Systems Manager Timo Spindler, who started with the directorate in 2009, the projects he's most proud of are those garrison members might never notice.
"It's the projects you don't see, the infrastructure projects that had to be done before the big construction projects could happen," he said, referring to things like updates to the sewer, water and electrical lines, or the installation of new transformers.
"We didn't shut down or stop working when we did those," he said. "The upgrades happened while the garrison kept working."
Rodriguez said she was exceptionally happy to see all of the community improvement efforts they've accomplished.
"For the community, a lot of the projects, like the new entertainment center, PX and Child Development Center, made a big impact," she said.
Gerber said all of the changes to USAG Wiesbaden could not have been accomplished without other organizations and the host nation assisting TSMO to get the mission done, including the contracting office, Army Corps of Engineers and TSMO's partner architecture and engineer firms.
In the end, TSMO made that "big impact" Rodriguez mentioned throughout the now 19,000-strong USAG Wiesbaden community, according to Col. David Carstens, former USAG Wiesbaden commander and currently the USAREUR Inspector General.
"We speak a lot about how Wiesbaden is our home in Germany," Carstens said. "TSMO, with the help of our host nation, made it that way."