DÜLMEN, Germany – When he’s not at the Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite at Dülmen, you’ll likely find him in his media room playing music and performing for his YouTube channel or sorting and cataloging his extensive music collection.
Jon Darrenkamp is the chief of plans and operations at the Dülmen APS-2 worksite assigned to Army Field Support Battalion-Germany, 405th Army Field Support Brigade. The collector of everything music, especially albums and Beatles memorabilia, is also a Reserve officer and captain with the 575th Expeditionary Terminal Operating Element, which was recently activated.
Mondays through Fridays he serves as a full-time Army civilian employee at the APS-2 site, and on weekends – usually once a month – he dons his Army combat uniform and serves as the operations officer for the 575th ETOE, 510th Regional Support Group, 7th Mission Support Command.
When he’s not at work or spending time with his family, the 43-year-old father of two boys and husband who’ll be married for 22 years this spring can be found in his media room and man cave. Inside, you’ll find his prized collection, including hundreds of individual pieces of music memorabilia like books, magazines and posters, over 1,200 cataloged albums, some percussion instruments, an upright piano, and currently four guitars – to include his cherished 1994 Gibson Les Paul Standard in cherry starburst.
But his absolute favorite items are his Beatles records and collectables, to include a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album he’s owned and listened to since he was a kid and various Beatles magazines, books, posters, movies, t-shirts, figurines, plush dolls and other random knick-knacks – many considered vintage and highly collectable.
Music isn’t Darrenkamp’s only passion, though. He’s also 100 percent Army green. The graduate of Herzing University in Birmingham, Alabama, who completed basic training at the end of 2010 and Officer Candidate School in April 2011, served 12 years in the active-duty Army and now two years in the Army Reserve, plus two years as an Army civilian. Before coming to Germany and taking a job with AFSBn-Germany at Dülmen, he was an Army civilian and chief of future operations for the U.S. Army Testing and Evaluation Command at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Darrenkamp, who arrived at the Dülmen APS-2 worksite last April, said working at the site is different than the other Army assignments he’s had over the years, but also similar in some ways, too.
“It’s a bit of a learning curve for me,” said Darrenkamp whose first assignment with the Army as a young lieutenant was in South Korea with an aviation support battalion. “I’ve never actually worked at an APS site before. Having the ability to work here and understand what the APS-2 mission entails and how it's the same as other Army assignments in many ways yet totally different from everything else I've done working in logistics with the Army – it's been eye opening.”
The Dülmen APS-2 worksite appears unassuming to most people, Darrenkamp said, but the work being done there is immeasurable. And the team of personnel at Dülmen are some of the Army’s greatest unsung heroes, he said.
“We’re behind the scenes making stuff happen,” he said. “It’s not the most glamorous place when you pull up to it. It’s kind of unassuming. But what goes on behind closed doors here is massive and critically important to this theater of operations and the world.”
The native of Wilmington, North Carolina, said his team is currently transferring equipment to a new air defense artillery battalion under the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command. In addition, they’re supporting current operations in Europe to include rotational units and other Army organizations here for Operation Atlantic Resolve and for exercises and training, like the upcoming DEFENDER exercise.
Operation Atlantic Resolve, or OAR, dates back to 2014 when the U.S. began an effort to reassure and bolster the NATO alliance in the wake of Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, OAR has grown significantly, according to a U.S. Department of Defense press release on the 2024 Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for OAR.
Darrenkamp’s job at Dülmen entails providing oversight and integration between all the directorates and the workforce at the site. He also produces progress reports and follow-ups. And when taskings come down from higher, he disseminates them to the team and tracks them to completion.
The Dülmen worksite supports the 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program and is comprised of about 140,000 square feet of hardstand space and approximately 480,000 square feet of humidity-controlled warehouse space with an additional 140,000 square feet of storage in the maintenance and storage swing space areas.
The 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program enhances U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region. By providing turn-key power projection APS-2 packages ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, the APS-2 program is a key component of U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s power projection and warfighter readiness missions.
The 405th AFSB 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.