ANSBACH, Germany (August 22, 2023) – The U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach community recently welcomed the arrival of the 7th Engineer Brigade (7ENG) during their historic re-activation ceremony on Katterbach Kaserne July 27, 2023. As the only European-based engineering brigade, the 7th Engineers, along with the incoming 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (1-57 ADAR), will be permanently stationed at Barton Barracks within the USAG Ansbach footprint.
Located in southwest Ansbach, Barton Barracks is only a short walk distance from downtown Ansbach. Constructed in 1936 by German Forces as Gneisenau Kaserne, the first significant U.S. Army presence occurred when the U.S. Army Europe Signal School relocated to the installation from Neuendettelsau in 1951. The post was renamed Barton Barracks in honor of Lt. Col. David B. Barton, a signal officer who was killed in action in Italy in 1944.
Over the years, Barton Barracks has been home to numerous commands including 210th Artillery Group, 141st Signal Battalion, 1st Armored Division, and 2nd Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery. The kaserne was also a temporary home to V Corps’ Headquarters Forward team before they moved onto the site that would become USAG Poland in Poznan. Today, Barton Barracks is undergoing extensive renovations to house the incoming units. With these infrastructure investments, Barton will once again reinvent its image as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2036.
The ongoing construction on Barton is one of the most elaborate renovation initiatives that USAG Ansbach has undertaken in recent years. Currently, three administrative buildings are under renovation to accommodate unit operations including headquarters facilities for both 7ENG and 1-57 ADAR.
One Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) building is also under renovation with an anticipated opening in Fall 2023, while two new UPH buildings are in the design phase, with anticipated construction starting June 2025.
As the U.S. Army recently approved several major Military Construction (MILCON) projects, the garrison will also be able to tackle additional accommodations and upgrade necessary community services for the newly stationed units including on-post dining options and fitness facilities. With more than 600 Soldiers to be housed on Barton, these renovations will provide a much-needed refresh for their quality of life.
"These renovations are not only vital to our mission in support of our NATO posture in Europe - they are also exciting because they give us multiple opportunities to modernize our facilities - increasing our energy efficiency and environmental protection efforts,” said Colonel Aaron Dixon, USAG Ansbach Commander. “We appreciate all of the professionals within the City of Ansbach and the members of the Bauamt who help make these projects possible."
The current projects not only benefit the incoming units but also have a positive economic impact for the City of Ansbach and surrounding local communities. Not only have several local construction companies been hired to carry out these renovations, providing an economic boom to the industrial sector but the number of new soldiers and families spending their money in the local shops, restaurants and other businesses also contributes greatly to the prosperity of Middle Franconia.
"The U.S. Army has a positive influence on Ansbach's economy. Gastronomy and hotel industries benefit from the soldiers who are stationed here, their families and the numerous guests,” said Thomas Deffner, Lord Mayor of Ansbach. “The fact that the U.S. Army has announced that it will continue to increase heavily in infrastructure investments for the Ansbach Garrison by 2032 is a strong commitment to Ansbach as a location and a sustainable strengthening of the German as well as the European security architecture.”
All in all, the construction on Barton has a long way ahead until progress will be seen as the approximate completion for all major projects are projected for 2029. But overall, these efforts will ensure a proper home to the two permanently stationed units in Ansbach and new economic prospects for the local communities.
"In the face of such uncertainty with current tensions in Europe, one thing is certain - our partnership with the people of Germany has never been stronger. We are immeasurably grateful to our extended family here in Ansbach for continuing to welcome and include us within your vibrant community," added Dixon.
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 8,500 Soldiers, civilians, and family members working and living in the Ansbach area.
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