ANSBACH, Germany — Almost a decade ago, on a sunny June day in Wiesbaden, Germany, V Corps cased their colors after 95 years of service in the European Theater. The 2012 Department of Defense Posture Review called for the inactivation of the corps headquarters. Thus ending their mission of providing support to U.S. allies and partners and promoting regional and global security under the command of U.S. Army Europe.
During the ceremony V Corps Commander Lt. Gen. James L. Terry stated, “We will put the colors at rest, and just like our Soldiers, we will stand ready. If the nation calls, we will be ready!”
Seven years later, after increased aggression along NATO’s eastern flank, V Corps was called back to fulfill the requirements of the National Defense Strategy. At the request of the commander, U.S. European Command, for an additional command and control capability focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe, the corps was reactivated with a headquarters in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and a forward headquarters in Poznan, Poland.
The Victory Corps reactivated Oct. 16, 2020, and became fully operationally capable less than 13 months later on Nov. 3, 2021, after successfully completing their fourth and final certifying exercise, Warfighter 22-1. Five months after achieving their FOC status, V Corps moved the remainder of its personnel and equipment from Fort Knox to Germany.
“The activation of V Corps was precisely for this type situation. Over the past year, our Soldiers and civilians worked tirelessly to ensure the Victory Corps would be ready if our nation called on us,” said Lt. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, commanding general, V Corps. “Well our nation called and we responded. The presence of the entire corps headquarters in Europe not only expands U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s ability to command land forces in Europe, but should be seen as a strong message to our NATO allies and partners that the United States is absolutely committed to European security and our NATO obligations.”
Answering the call has been made easier because of the support from the U.S. Army’s Installation Command-Europe and the city of Ansbach which hosted a welcome ceremony for V Corps, Tuesday, April 5.
During the ceremony, Dr. Johannes Urban, ministerial counsellor, head of Armed Forces Affairs, Security and Defense Policy in the Bavarian State Chancellery, and Mr. Thomas Deffner, Lord Mayor of Ansbach, both spoke at the event.
“The United States Army and Bavaria go back for a long time, being loyal partners and friends for more than 65 years,” said Urban. “Bavaria is proud to host the largest concentration of U.S. land forces in Europe and all the personnel working with the forces.”
Not only are the city of Ansbach and the U.S. Army loyal partners, but so is Ansbach with the NATO allies and partners.
“In the past decades, the armed forces of the United States have substantially guaranteed our security with this alliance,” said Deffner. “Today’s ceremony shows that this is still the case today in the best possible way.”
V Corps Deputy Commanding General - Support, Maj. Gen. Robert Burke, was the senior leader present to receive the welcome and to uncase the colors.
“On behalf of the entire Victory Corps team, I would like to thank Lord Mayor Deffner and the residents of Ansbach for welcoming us with open arms and providing us with the necessary support to establish our main headquarters and conduct our mission,” said Burke. “As ‘America’s Forward Deployed Corps in Europe’, V Corps is ready to once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO Allies and defend freedom.”
While in Germany, the corps headquarters is providing greater capability to plan, coordinate, synchronize, and execute U.S. and allied nations tactical actions and activities throughout Eastern Europe.
While the Ansbach location is temporary, the Victory Corps will maintain a persistent presence in Europe with its forward headquarters in Poland.
V Corps works alongside NATO allies and regional security partners to provide combat ready forces, execute joint and multinational training exercises to improve interoperability and to ensure an appropriate collective posture of deterrence and defense.
V Corps, under the command of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, retains command and control for all rotational and assigned U.S. Army units in the European Theater and currently has operational control of 1st Infantry Division; 2nd Cavalry Regiment; 12th Combat Aviation Brigade; 41st Field Artillery Brigade; 4th Security Forces Assistance Brigade; and 5-4 Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
V Corps' history dates back to 1918, when the unit was activated during World War I in combat in France. By the end of the war the corps had fought in the Lorraine, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns, and was dubbed the "Victory Corps." It later took part in the World War II D-Day invasion and liberation of Europe; defended Western Europe during the Cold War; saw service in the Balkans and in Iraq and Afghanistan; and has helped build U.S. bonds with America's multinational partners across Europe.
For more information about V Corps please visit https://www.vcorps.army.mil/