DÜLMEN, Germany -- U.S. and German leaders cut the ribbon here May 10 on the second of three Army Prepositioned Stock sites set to open this year.

The APS site in Dülmen will house the equipment an artillery brigade would use in the event of a conflict in Europe.

Other sites are set to open and become fully stocked over the next three years.

"We say speed matters, because we have to have a timely response," said Maj. Gen. Duane A. Gamble, commanding general, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. "We fear that if we don't have a timely response we won't be able to deter to prevent a war. It's about preventing war.

"Having equipment prepositioned in Europe helps us respond faster in a deterrent way, and a preventative way," Gamble said. "These facilities, because it is war reserves, we don't intend to use them, we hope never to use them, and so we need facilities such as this that give us good storage out of the weather so the equipment stays healthy."

The installation in the village of 46,000 people was used by British forces until 2014 and was assumed by the U.S. Army in the past year. The opening of the site is part of the NATO switch from assurance operations, where allies work together to build trust and strengthen the alliance, to deterrence operations.

"We cannot ignore that we live in a world increasingly affected by wars, violence, and terror, which also raises anxiety and insecurity in Europe," said Dülmen Mayor Lisa Stremlau. "I think it's of great importance these days that there is a strong Europe and that the Western allies can rely on each other. The democratic forces must show unity and take a stand for their values and global peace. You can see and feel this in Dülmen today, because the takeover of the depot through U.S. Army Europe is part of a greater NATO initiative."

During the past year, in preparation for the opening, employees started working at the new site and the first vehicles and equipment were delivered. The mayor and Gamble indicated that they hope to continue to build on the relationship between the local community and the U.S. Army.

"I personally and we as the United States Army, have a deep and sincere appreciation and gratitude for our host nation Germany, which is where we draw our strength," Gamble said. "It's our center of gravity in Europe. The U.S. Army could not support the NATO alliance without the support of Germany. It's been that way for decades. We know we will have that same type of relationship with the local community here with the citizens of Dülmen. We won't be able to do our mission without the support of the local community and the support of the citizens of Dülmen. We look forward to a trusting and fruitful partnership in the future."