GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Col. Kevin A. Poole assumed command of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria from Col. Christopher R. Danbeck during a ceremony held July 12 at the Tower Barracks Parade Field.
The ceremony was attended by numerous guests ranging from local community leaders, tenant unit leadership, the Bundeswehr, garrison staff and community members. A highlight of the ceremony was the two commanders being raised in the fire truck rescue basket as a symbolic act to orient and familiarize Poole on locations of key facilities and infrastructure, tenant unit areas of responsibility, installation boundaries and installation access control points.
Thanking Danbeck for his tireless efforts on behalf of the garrison and welcoming Poole and his family, Tommy R. Mize, Director of the Installation Management Command Directorate Europe explained "Danbeck coped with his task with flying colors. His successor Colonel Poole has big footsteps to fill."
In his speech Danbeck bid farewell in German, saying “My dearest friends – thank you for all you have done for the Garrison, for me and my family. You welcomed us as outsiders with such generosity even though you all knew we would be gone in two years. From the county to the city, from the forest meister to the police chiefs you have been some phenomenal teammates.”
While he is leaving the position as garrison commander of USAG Bavaria, Danbeck will remain in Germany as Deputy Director to the Installation Management Command Directorate Europe in Wiesbaden.
Under his direction as garrison commander the Bavarian locations Grafenwöhr, Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch continued to operate even during particular challenges during the last years such as the effects of the corona pandemic and the support of additional U.S. troops to reinforce presence in Europe.
With the garrison motto "Better in Bavaria” and a “Thank you, Servus, Goodbye and Auf Wiedersehen” he bid farewell to the guests present and gave over to new garrison commander Poole. “Welcome back and congratulations on the command on the best garrison in the Army!”
Col. Poole is not new to Germany. He transferred over from the United States European Command in Stuttgart. In addition, Poole had also been with the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment and Joint Multinational Readiness Center at the Hohenfels military training area in the past.
Happy to be back in Bavaria, Poole, speaking fluent German and English in his speech, greeted the numerous guests that had traveled to be part of this event. “Gruess Gott! Thank you all for your presence today. I am looking forward to our partnerships and friendship in the future”
Acknowledging Danbecks hard work and looking forward to continued relations with him in the future Poole thanked him, his family and the community for the fabulous integration they received. “Thank you for your support and your confidence in me to command this great garrison.”
To close the ceremony the black powder shooter Böllerschützen Volsbach traditionally welcomed the new commander with a ceremonial volley.
Pictures of the event can be viewed via this link:
A recording can be watched via FB here: