WIESBADEN, Germany -- Lt. Gen Ben Hodges hosted the Chief Executive Officers of Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Deutsche Bahn Cargo. The visit, organized by the USAREUR Host Nation Relations office, stemmed from a chance meeting between Lt. Gen. Hodges and DB CEO Dr. Ruediger Grube in September in Berlin.
The companies led respectively by Dr. Grube and Dr. Juergen Wilder, employee more than 300,000 personnel and boast purchasing power of more than 30 billion euros. DB and its operations groups, of which DB Cargo is one, is reported to be the world's second largest transport company and largest railway operator in Europe.
Demonstrating truly rapid 'speed of assembly', the CEOs quickly took Lt. Gen. Hodges up on his offer to hold a strategic dialogue. Lt. Gen. Hodges; Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Commander; and Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal, USAREUR Chief of Staff, all stressed the importance of enhancing the speed by which flatbed rail cars can be organized to move heavy armor brigades eastward in times of crisis. Maj. Gen. Gamble pointed to an "increasing demand for DB rail cars in 2017."
The DB executives conveyed that they are customer-oriented and eager to build upon the already professional relationship between US Army Europe and DB. As Dr. Grube note, "We look forward to reinforcing our relationship, to deliver on what we promise, and are eager to attend a special workshop" where details can be discussed. Brig. Gen. Laubenthal invited these specialists in European land transport, with a network in over 40 European countries, to send representatives to a follow-up meeting at Clay Kaserne, on Dec. 5, 2016.
As Mike Anderson, Director European Host Nation Relations summed up, "U.S. Army Europe is committed to enhancing deterrence. Doing so collaboratively with host nation partners such as DB, Europe's leading mobility, and Logistics Company, is the best way to achieve shared goals."
About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.