STUTTGART, Germany – When he left Turkey in 1979 with his family and moved to Germany at the age of 12, the future was wide open.
Fast forward almost 45 years later and Sueleyman Elbasi, Logistics Readiness Center Stuttgart’s lead bus driver, has a family of his own, is a German citizen and has been working for the U.S. Army for nearly 20 years.
“In 1979 my father was already here in Germany working for an electrical company doing ground construction and running lines. He was able to apply through the German government and request that my family comes here, too,” Elbasi said.
A German citizen since 1999, the native of Kayseri, Turkey, said when he arrived in Germany as a young boy his new home was very different than where he came from.
“When we first came to Germany everything was new and unusual – quite different than living in Turkey, but I’m used to it now and this is our home,” said Elbasi, who has been married to his wife since 1986 and has four children of his own.
“Here I have a good job, and I’m able to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family. My children can attend good schools and life is good here,” he said. “It was the right move. We are very happy.”
Elbasi said before working for the Army he worked in the German auto supply industry for about eight years. When he was offered a job with LRC Stuttgart, he made the switch and the first year was a real eye opener.
“During that first year we often worked very long hours,” he said. “Besides driving the buses, the drivers with truck licenses were given the additional duty of making deliveries and pickups.”
At the time the Army installation in Bad Aibling was closing and all the property there needed to be moved out and distributed to other installations or turned in for disposal. Elbasi said it was a big job to move all that equipment and property.
“Long hours – sometimes I would be on the streets until 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said.
Now 56 years old and the lead duty bus driver at LRC Stuttgart for the past 10 years responsible for about 20 other drivers, Elbasi said he’s very grateful to be working for the Army all these years.
“My plan is stay at LRC Stuttgart until retirement,” he said. “I like it here, I know my job well and we have a great team of bus drivers at LRC Stuttgart. I’m very grateful to have this job and proud to work for the U.S. Army. I still enjoy every day.”
The LRC Stuttgart Transportation Motor Pool with its fleet of more than 300 vehicles is responsible for more than a dozen duty buses which Elbasi and his fellow drivers operate. The LRC Stuttgart duty bus service supports the entire military community of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, running seven days a week year round.
LRC Stuttgart is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, transportation and food service management as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, property book operations, and non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Stuttgart directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Stuttgart.
LRC Stuttgart reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.