By Art McQueen, USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg Public AffairsMarch 28, 2008
HEIDELBERG, Germany - The U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg re-designated to become the U.S. Army Garrison Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg in a ceremony March 27 on Patrick Henry Village.
USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg, under the command of Col. Robert Ulses, is now the direct report garrison responsible for overseeing U.S. military communities in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern.
Immediately following the re-designation ceremony, the USAG Heidelberg was activated as an indirect report garrison commanded by Lt. Col. Robert White.
White said he considered it a great honor to be given the opportunity to command "the most desirable community outside the United States in which to live, work and play."
Ulses thanked the German and American attendees, noting that the ceremony was not an end, but a continuation and expansion of the garrison, "to better serve our Soldiers, civilians and family members."
Ulses will now focus on direct reporting garrison issues. "Transformation is complicated and needs detailed attention. The new indirect USAG Heidelberg will be able to provide support and services solely for the Heidelberg community, with a commander focusing on the day-to-day issues within Heidelberg."
White said the new Heidelberg garrison will streamline daily operations, thus supporting mission readiness and execution for the Heidelberg community.
White is no stranger to the area; he lived in the Heidelberg community previously from 2001 to 2004 while assigned to the 1st Personnel Command.
White said he is humbled by the opportunity, and that his vision for USAG Heidelberg is a continuation of the highly successful strategic plan put together by his predecessor, Lt. Col. James Diggs, and Ulses.
"Lt. Col. Diggs has done an outstanding job, especially when you consider he had to perform without command authority or the structure that this new unit will provide," agreed Ulses.
"The priorities for this community will not change," White said. "To provide the best possible quality of life in a safe, secure environment enabling our Soldiers, civilians and families to thrive."
White also stated his commitment to cooperation with the garrison's host nation partners.
"Not only are we representatives of the Army," White said, "but ambassadors of the Unites States as well.
"As a garrison, we will be big supporters of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program," he said. "It provides great opportunities for new Soldiers over here to get out and experience their host country."
White had a charge for the members of the USAG Heidelberg staff: "the Soldiers, civilians, and families of this community deserve nothing less than our best efforts."
Additionally, he singled out essential services specifically tailored for wounded warriors and their families in the new Soldier Family Assistance Center; "it's the least we can do."