BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- After 10 years of dedicated service to the garrison, Bruce Likens, the head of U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz S3/5/7 Operations in Baumholder -- retired. His service to the garrison and local community were celebrated during a farewell luncheon, March 22.

Not only was he responsible for the training, safety and organization of the Baumholder Military community, he also served as Baumholder deputy garrison manager at times. Regardless of what hat he was wearing, his long-term goal was to improve German-American partnership and cooperation.

For this reason, the Mayor of the District of Baumholder, Bernd Alsfasser; the mayor of the city, G√ľnther Jung, and the commandant of the Baumholder military training area, Lt. Col. Tobias Kirchner, wanted to wish Likens farewell and let him know how much he contributed to the positive German-American relationship in the local area.

"For quite a while, Bruce Likens was the face of the U.S. military community in Baumholder and was always a trusting and open partner to the local administration," Alsfasser said. "Bruce will be missed here very much."

The mayor of the city, also praised Likens.
"You have brought momentum and trust back into our cooperation," Jung said. "You have become a true friend to us."

Nick Sifer, the Baumholder deputy garrison manager, worked closely with Likens and learned a great deal about the strong bond between the garrison and the local community from him.

"You were a contact for everyone. If you wanted to know something, you had to ask Bruce," Sifer said. "He will leave a gap that is difficult to fill."

As a token of their appreciation, Likens' S3/5/7 coworkers presented him a St. Pauli jersey with the inscription, "Mr. Baumholder" as a farewell present, since Likens is a fan of the Hamburg Tradition Soccer Club.

Visibly moved, Likens with his wife, Seniha, said, "I leave with one laughing eye and one crying eye. In addition to my actual task, it was always important to me to maintain a good relationship with the local side and also with the German civilian employees," he said. "Now it's time for a new phase in my life. In 40 years of service, including 29 years as a Soldier, my wife often had to do without me, but she always supported me. Now, I owe her this time and attention."

Good luck to Bruce and Seniha on the next amazing chapter of their lives!