BAUMHOLDER, Germany – U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz hosted a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning construction of 64 new residence units for the Baumholder Military Community at Wetzel Kaserne Oct.18.
The Army Family Housing project includes a new four-story apartment building with 12 three-bedroom apartments at Baumholder Family Housing on Smith Barracks, and 42 three-bedroom and 10 four-bedroom townhouses at the Wetzel Housing area including with new playgrounds and a dog park.
“This project found its roots in meticulous planning that goes back several years, fueled by a collective vision of progress and improvement,” said Col. Reid Furman, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz commander, in his opening remarks.
The planning for this Army Family Housing construction project, executed by the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Directorate of Public Works in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, started in 2018 with the architectural and engineering design starting in 2020. The construction [contract] was awarded in 2023, with the Notice to Proceed (NTP) issued on Sept. 15.
“This multi-million-dollar investment in infrastructure is a testament to our commitment to the well-being of our military families,” Furman said. “It underscores our dedication to ensuring their comfort, security, and quality of life.”
The apartment building on Smith Barracks will have a ground-level garage and four apartments on each of the other three stories. The building will include elevators, a balcony for each apartment, and parking courts on each side of the building that provide access to the ground-level garage. The project also includes parking spaces for visitor parking, located within a close walking distance to the building. Each level in the building will be accessible by both elevator and stairs.
Each townhouse on Wetzel housing area will include an attached garage and a driveway. Each townhouse will have a lawn and a patio/balcony and in-between the buildings there will be green space for outdoor community activities.
“Our mission and our commitment extend beyond military families; it signifies a strengthening of bonds with the Baumholder community,” Furman added. “This project is just the latest example of the close friendship and cooperation that exists between Germany and the United States.”
“I remember when we started talking about this project about 5 years ago,” said Günther Jung, Bürgermeister der Stadt Baumholder (Mayor of the City of Baumholder). “The City of Baumholder is very proud and happy to start construction of the townhomes on Wetzel. I want to thank everyone who is working on this project,” he added.
For centuries, the ceremonial groundbreaking, or first shovel of dirt, has come to represent the official, beginning of a construction project, while also representing and celebrating the strong partnerships that help us achieve common goals.
The ceremonial first shovel of soil was conducted by Col. Furman, Günther Jung, Bürgermeister der Stadt Baumholder (Mayor of the City of Baumholder), Bernd Alsfasser, Bürgermeister der Verbandsgemeinde (Mayor of District of Baumholder), Katherine Ogut, Project Management Section chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Staff Sgt. Marlon Perry, Army Family Housing resident in Baumholder.
“This endeavor is a true community effort and I thank all those whose dedication and efforts made this project a reality,” said Furman.
“Together, we will provide a home, and a community, where our military families can thrive.”
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz serves, supports, and secures the total force community enabling power projection for the European Theater.