BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Members of the U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder welcomed Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, U. S. Army Europe commander, and his wife, Susan, to the installation April 4.

Escorted by Lt. Col. Sam McAdoo, USAG Baumholder commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Earla L. Reddock, Hertling was given a glimpse of daily operations at the installation.

The tour included meeting the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team rear detachment commanders, Family Readiness Group leaders and walking tours of the Warrior Zone, Army Community Service and the health and dental clinics.

The new USAREUR commander also had an opportunity to have lunch with Soldiers and travel to Baumholder Middle High School to speak with high school seniors.

When reflecting on the day's events, the general said he was inspired by the tenacity and endurance displayed by everyone in the Baumholder community.

"The rear detachment Soldiers and spouses are doing a great job supporting each other during this deployment," Hertling said. "There is something special about the fact that Baumholder is a small and tight-knit community. The strength that our Soldiers and spouses show for each other is beyond compare."

Hertling added that he was equally impressed with the treatment of Soldiers at the Warrior Transition Unit and the initiatives that their commanders, first sergeants and squad leaders are taking to work with each individual Soldier and his or her injuries.

A refreshing part of the afternoon was the general's candid meeting with Baumholder's high school seniors. He described the students as "mature individuals focused on the right things.

"These students know the challenges they face and are prepared to take on whatever lies ahead of them," Hertling said.

Seniors were invited to share their feelings with the general and discuss a topic or concern that was on their minds. Hertling said the students are aware that when their parents are deployed things may be stressful in the home or more responsibility may fall in their laps. Yet, they remain positive and ready to contribute to the needs of their households and still move forward.

"These students are the hope for our future, and from speaking with them today, I can definitely say that we are in good shape," he said.

As the first deputy commanding general for Initial Military Training, Hertling was responsible for officer and enlisted training at installations across the United States and Europe. He has initiated new training methods into Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and Basic Officer Leadership Courses, and the new Physical Fitness Test.

The St. Louis, Mo. native said he forsees training for the 170th IBCT to go "full spectrum" once the deployment to Afghanistan is over.

"I expect that the training of our Soldiers will move in a broader direction and will include combined arms and wide area security operations," he said.

In commenting on the future of USAG Baumholder and its continuing mission in Europe, Hertling said he remains positive about its current operational tempo.

"As with the future of the entire Army we will continue to support and improve our Soldiers and find ways to use our resources more effectively. This includes taking stewardship of the environment and making cost savings and environmental awareness one of our main priorities," he said.

"I definitely see Baumholder remaining as a major U.S. Army footprint and an enduring installation in Europe for the foreseeable future."