WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden military leaders met with their host nation counterparts -- members of the Landeskommando Hessen, the garrison's official partner unit -- Feb. 20 during an annual luncheon event and took a tour of the new Wiesbaden High School.

Garrison Commander Col. Todd J. Fish told the German state military members, including Landeskommando Hessen Commander Col. Olaf von Röder, about the new elementary school planned for Clay Kaserne, a new Commissary planned for Hainerberg and a plan to consolidate in- and out-processing to Hainerberg. He also took the time to answer questions about military housing, schools and future plans.

During the tours of the high school, Landeskommando members were split up into small groups led by WHS students. The students explained the concept behind their school's 21st century design and highlighted the latest learning tools and technology. The school has groupings of classrooms they call neighborhoods, where certain subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math -- are housed together in a sort of cul-de-sac where students can collaborate with one another.

"There are a lot of opportunities here, that we have, that schools in the states don't have," said Shelby Albers, a junior, and one of the tour leaders.

WHS is partnered with four German schools, Fish said, which helps students from both countries learn from each other.

Albers agreed. "It's a great way to meet other students from the area, become pen pals and learn about their culture," she said.

Besides the intercultural exchange and exposure to new technologies, students expressed gratitude for the chance to attend WHS.

"Being part of a community that's so supporting--the teachers, administration and everyone--I think that's something students take for granted," said Ta'Nya Thomas, a senior who has attended WHS for four years. "It's nice having that backbone of support."

Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors with the Landeskommando were impressed with the new school's technological tools and focus on learning.

"It was fascinating to see the high school, because for me this represents the future--what a high school should look like," said Navy Reserve Cmdr. Rene Dingeldein, public relations officer, Landeskommando Hessen.

Fish thanked U.S. Army Soldiers, civilians and Landeskommando Soldiers for attending the event. "I want to tell all of you thank you. Because it takes all of us to make this partnership work. Our Soldiers greatly enjoy the luxuries of being in Germany, and training with the Landeskommando
and we greatly appreciate all the training that you provide. In 2018, we're trying to increase the amount of training that we can offer on the U.S. side to our partners, the Landeskommando."

At the conclusion of the tour, von Röder thanked his USAG Wiesbaden counterparts and student tour leaders and congratulated them on their professionalism. He said he was impressed by the school,
as well as the upcoming garrison construction projects.

"It seems to be a great place to learn, and you are doing a marvelous job on improving your infrastructure," he said. "Thanks for the partnership and the friendship."