By Nadine BowerOctober 1, 2019
WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden leaders met with Wiesbaden city leaders at the annual Executive Exchange Council Sept. 10 at the Community Activity Center.
The one-hour meeting is designed to give updates on topics of mutual interest, such as construction projects, new German laws and regulations, areas of cooperation, as well as general information.
Wiesbaden Lord Mayor Gert-Uwe Mende and USAG Wiesbaden Acting Deputy Garrison Commander Gregory Burke hosted the meeting in which garrison and city subject matter experts took turns briefing their topics in German and English.
After the first topic, which explained the airfield's approved flight routes, a representative from the Wiesbaden Health Department explained how the German immunization laws will change in the year 2020. Starting in March 2020, it will be mandatory that every child who attends a German child care facility or school, including in-home care or sports clubs, must be vaccinated against measles.
"Every 10th case of measles can have serious complications, such as pneumonia," said Dr. Susanne Becker from the Wiesbaden Health Department. Measles can even have serious long-lasting damages or can be fatal in one in 1,000 patients, she said. Failure to comply with the mandatory immunization can result in fines up to 2,500 euros.
Other topics included the garrison's current and future construction projects, possible student exchange programs and the cooperation between the military police and the Wiesbaden Police Directorate. Lt. Col. Edwin Escobar, USAG Wiesbaden Directorate of Emergency Services Director, explained how the military and host nation police do joint-patrols during the Wiesbaden festivals, Halloween in the housing areas and the German-American Friendship Fest on Hainerberg. Escobar explained to city leaders that "we could not accomplish our protection mission without you," while mentioning efforts such as working together with the 4th precinct to reduce speeding in Aukamm Housing Area.
Escobar was followed by Peter Erkel, head of the Wiesbaden Stadtpolizei, who gave an update on the Wiesbaden no-weapons zone, which was put into effect in January. So far, 103 weapons have been seized in this zone. For more information on Wiesbaden's no-weapon zone, go to www.herald-union.com/weapons-banned-in-small-downtown-wiesbaden-area-during-nighttime-hours.
In the end, Berlin Airlift 70 Program Director Bradley Provancha thanked Wiesbaden leaders for a successful 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, in which the USAG Wiesbaden welcomed 45,000 guests on Clay Kaserne.
Provancha specifically thanked all the emergency response teams involved for keeping it a safe event. Next year's Executive Exchange Council will be hosted by the city of Wiesbaden.