ILLESHEIM, Germany (March 11, 2023) – Showing gratitude for their host nation community of Illesheim, Germany, more than 30 Soldiers from the 127th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, came out on a Saturday morning to support the local fire department and its volunteers in an annual community clean-up event.
Chief of the Illesheim fire department, Markus Dehner, welcomed the Soldiers to the event.
“Thank you for coming out on this chilly 30-degree morning to help us clean up our community,” Dehner said. “We appreciate the presence of the U.S. Army Soldiers at Storck Barracks very much and we hope there will be more opportunities to integrate them in our town in the future.”
The 127th Aviation Support Battalion has been deployed to Storck Barracks, Illesheim for the last six months.
Dehner explained that U.S. Soldiers from Storck Barracks have participated in the annual clean-up event for several decades, only interrupted by the last two pandemic years.
“We are very happy to be able to do it again”, he said.
After equipping all participants with brightly colored Feuerwehr (fire department) safety jackets, Dehner assigned groups for clean-up in different areas of the town. The Task Force Workhorse Soldiers took a short tractor ride to the perimeter of the Storck Barracks and went to work. The Soldiers cleaned up several kilometers along the Storck installation perimeter, collecting trash and larger items such as old tires, lawn chairs and pieces of furniture.
Two hours and two full trailers of debris and trash later, the volunteers returned to the Illesheim fire station. Following the tradition of the annual Illesheim clean-up event, all participants enjoyed a lunch of sausage, Brötchen, and – a Franconian custom – a local beer.
As a token of gratitude, every Soldier received a lapel pin with the coat of arms of Illesheim.
127th ASB Command Sgt. Maj. Darius Lazare also cleaned up during the event.
“This is a great way for our Soldiers to come out to the local community and support the town of Illesheim, which has welcomed us into their footprint,” Lazare said. “This is what success looks like, everyone putting skin in the game, working together, and having fun. I'm very proud of our team and our host nation neighbors.”