By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)March 30, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - Members of the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, got a personal welcome from the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden during a Town Hall in Mannheim's Coleman Chapel March 15.
The forum and open house gave Soldiers, civilians and family members an opportunity to get their questions answered, pick up information about the Wiesbaden military community and spend one-on-one time with Wiesbaden military community subject matter experts.
Around 900 Soldiers and family members of 1-214th Aviation will be making the move from Mannheim to Wiesbaden as part of ongoing transformation in U.S. Army Europe this summer and fall.
"This is truly an exciting time for all of you," said Col. David Carstens, USAG Wiesbaden commander, during the Town Hall. "We are looking forward to you joining us in Wiesbaden."
Describing Wiesbaden as "truly a community in transition" with massive ongoing construction projects, Carstens dispelled rumors that parking was an issue on Wiesbaden Army Airfield.
"You may have heard rumors that there are parking problems on Wiesbaden Army Airfield. That is not true," he said, describing the ample parking provided by the new 1,100-space parking garage on the installation.
After garrison managers and directors described the richly, diverse living and working conditions both on the Wiesbaden military community installations and in the local German economy, they fielded a range of questions from the aviation unit's Soldiers and family members. The bulk of these queries addressed issues related to housing and making the move from Mannheim to Wiesbaden. Other issues ranged from the availability of storage units on the Wiesbaden economy to when playground construction would be completed in Wiesbaden housing areas.
Wiesbaden's Housing Manager Donald Meyer explained that the new playgrounds, which must meet U.S. and German safety standards, are being opened one by one as corrective actions are taken to repair minor deficiencies that were identified during the final inspection process.
A question about medical records transfer was fielded by a representative from 1-214th Aviation who explained that medical and dental records will be transferred to Wiesbaden, but family members should request and hand carry their records to the Wiesbaden clinics.
Like at a February Town Hall for incoming U.S. Army Europe personnel in Heidelberg, a Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe official pointed out that Mannheim families headed to Wiesbaden can register their children for the 2012/2013 school year at a special pre-registration event in Heidelberg's Patrick Henry Village Pavilion May 10-11.
Wiesbaden schools will open Aug. 27, he said, adding that new school orientations are slated for Aug. 22 at Aukamm Elementary School and Aug. 23 for all other Wiesbaden schools.
Parents were also informed that questions about registering for DoDDS school buses could be answered by calling the Wiesbaden School Bus Office at mil 335-5382 or civ (0611) 4080-382.
Following the open forum, audience members were invited to spend time with various community representatives ranging from Army Community Service to local Army and Air Force Exchange Service to pick up brochures, information and additional insight into aspects of life in the Wiesbaden area.