WIESBADEN, Germany -- Members of the German-American Böblingen range working group met to discuss the results of the emission measuring tests conducted late in 2016, here, on Jan 20, 2017.

The group, consisting of representatives of U.S. Army Europe, the Bundeswehr, the German Federal Property Administration, and local mayors also discussed further possible steps to reduce the noise at the neighboring host nation communities while simultaneously continuing the necessary military training at the range.

Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal, US Army Europe Chief of Staff emphasized, "The U.S. Army wants to be a good neighbor and relieve the residents of the firing noise noticeably without restricting the U.S. Soldier's firing training. That is why we need to continue to work on a reasonable solution for the range. Our current concept provided a noise mitigation at some, but not all, intended locations. We also want to continue to communicate our further steps and their results."

The first step towards reducing the noise at the range was conducted by a U.S. Forces engineer unit from Grafenwöhr who installed a lateral wall of wire containers called gabions. This construction raised the height of the south-east wall. Additional construction included adding wooden elements and doors to the rear baffles of ranges 4 and 5.

Emission measurements took place at established measuring points in the Rauhen Kapf and in Schönaich prior to the work in April 2016 and upon completion in September 2016. These measurements are used for a before-and-after comparison of noise level data and allows the command to gauge success of the construction measures.

The measurements indicate that our initiative showed resounding success for Schönaich but that we need to continue working on a more effective solution for the Rauhen Kapf and parts of Böblingen.

Wolfgang Lützner, Lord Mayor of the City of Böblingen underlined, "The intense efforts of all parties involved to achieve an improvement in the noise-stricken areas of the city are highly commendable. The results of the measurements objectively revealed that in some areas the currently taken measures have led to the hoped-for reduction of noise. Therefore, the path is correct, but the breakthrough for Böblingen has not yet been achieved. The discussion however, showed that with implementing additional steps, positive effects for Böblingen might be reached. We remain firm with our offer to the American side to support for example by providing material upon request."

The results of the measurement show objectively that the hitherto made measures in some areas have led to the hoped-for reduction. However, the breakthrough for Böblingen has not yet been successful. However, the discussion made it possible to hope that a further step will bring positive effects for Böblingen. We remain with our offer to the American side, upon request. With material provision. "

In addition to discussing the test results the meeting provided an opportunity to officially transfer oversight of future efforts to the 7th Army Training Command (www.eur.army.mil/7ATC), headquartered in Grafenwöhr, who are responsible for training ranges across Germany. From today onward they will be the ones providing logistical, maintenance, training and media support to this effort in conjunction with US Army Garrison Stuttgart.

U.S. Army Europe remains committed to finding a solution for its range in Böblingen, Germany. The goal is still to reduce noise at the neighboring host nation communities while also continuing necessary military training at the range.

For more information please contact the 7ATC public affairs office at 09641-70-569-0026 or by email at usarmy.bavaria.7atc.list.pao-all@mail.mil.

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