Giebelstadt Army Airfield
Giebelstadt is located approximately 10 miles South of Wuerzburg and Leighton Barracks. US Army forces captured Giebelstadt Airfield in April 1945. Among the aircraft that flew from there during this time were the U-2 spy planes from 1956-1958. Giebelstadt became a part of the 417th Base Support Battalion in June 1991. Today, Giebelstadt is home to Aviation, Air Defense Artillery, and Weather Units.
Elements of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade with headquarters in Giebelstadt, GE, deployed in January 1999 in support of a mission announced by DOD on 14 Jan to meet a request from the Turkish government for deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey. The deployment to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey was projected for a period of 30 to 60 days. This request followed hostile statements by the Iraqi government immediately after Operation Desert Fox. Although DOD dids not see an immediate threat to Turkey, the SECDEF approved the request as a reasonable precautionary measure. As such, it demonstrated the US' long-standing security relationship with Turkey, a key NATO ally.
During seven months in 2000, nearly 700 soldiers and their family members left Wiesbaden and relocated to Giebelstadt Army Airfield. The Brigade headquarters, two aviation battalions, aircraft, vehicles and equipment were part of the move. The 12th Aviation flag uncased at Giebelstadt Army Airfield in a 29 September 2000 ceremony officially celebrating the brigade's arrival. The move came when the Pentagon announced closure of Bad Kreuznach and a restructuring of the 1st Armored Division. The aviation brigade pulled out of Wiesbaden to free up space for the division and to consolidate aviation assets. The commander called the units the most decisively engaged aviation brigade in the US Army. When the move was announced, 12th Aviation officials vowed to maintain both current missions and readiness.
From horse to jet planes to helicopters - in the passage of over a thousand years, the fields of Giebelstadt have beheld the spanning of an era. The name appears to have been derived from the old teutonic words which referred to the place where horses were kept. Thus, it is believed that Giebelstadt was the locality where the teutonic forefathers of present day Germans kept their horses. Giebelstadt was established in the early 9th century and was a secret German Airbase until World War II. Present day Giebelstadt is small industrial town with a resident population of about 3000 and the military population is about 1800. There are three castles located in Giebelstadt village, Florian Geyer, Frierenhauer Castle, and von Zoebel Castle. The Climate is cool and wet during most of the year. Short and mild summers.
During 2000 the 38th Personnel Services Battalion (PSB) headquarters, stationed in Giebelstadt, moved to Warner Barracks in Bamberg. With 27 military spaces and 3 US civilian positions, the unit provides command and control of personnel and postal units in the 98th and 100th Area Support Groups, an area stretching from Giebelstadt to Grafenwöhr. With personnel services detachments and postal platoons in Kitzingen, Würzburg, Schweinfurt, Ansbach and Vilseck, the units mission includes personnel records maintenance, issuance of ID cards, personnel accountability, postal services and more. From its new, more central location, the 38th PSB is in a better position to service its area of responsibility. In addition to reduced travel times and fuel consumption, the unit expected to reduce its mileage in command and control trips by 4,000 miles a month.
U.S. inspectors had completed seven CFE missions (nine inspections) before they escorted the first Eastern inspection team on a declared site inspection of U.S. facilities. On August 10, 1992, the Russian government sent notices of intent to inspect to the German, Canadian, and U.S. governments.
The sequential inspection was to be at an American site, the U.S. Army Airfield at Giebelstadt, Germany. The German escorts delivered the Russian inspectors to Giebelstadt Army Air Field at 1915 GMT, seven hours and 15 minutes after Colonel Patsiorin had announced the site for this sequential inspection. Travel time to Giebelstadt was well within the nine-hour maximum, but long enough to provide six hours of preparation time at the Army Air Field. Team Weller arrived four hours ahead of the inspection team. The U.S. team used that time for its own site familiarization and to help site personnel prepare for the CFE inspection.
Five minutes after Colonel Patsiorin's team arrived, site officials presented him a site diagram. Thirty minutes later, he declared the 2nd Squadron, 3d Aviation Regiment as the OOV for inspection. At this time, unit personnel presented the preinspection briefing, which ended 50 minutes later, 2040 GMT. One point of confusion arose. The data presented in the briefing were dated August 14, 1992. The Russian team had deployed before the most recent data exchange and consequently held data from the previous exchange. Colonel Patsiorin accepted the new information, and he and his team retired for the evening.
The next morning, August 15th, at 0715 GMT, the Russian inspectors began the inspection. Site officials had briefed them that there were 14 AH-64 "Apache" attack helicopters, 11 OH-58 "Kiowa" multipurpose attack helicopters, and 3 UH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopters on site. There were differences between the reported and briefed numbers, and the reasons for those differences were explained to Colonel Patsiorin's satisfaction. When the Russian inspection team left Giebelstadt Army Airfield at 2145 GMT, the Germans again assumed escort responsibilities.
In April 1996 a private volunteer group dedicated a monument at Giebelstadt Army Airfield, Germany, to the 26 people killed in the 1994 Black Hawk helicopter shootdown in Iraq. The 8-foot tall monument features two helicopter models, eight triangular stones inscribed with the victims' names, four large plaques and tree-lined walkways, said Chief Warrant Officer David Nuss, spokesman for the Eagle Flight Detachment Memorial Monument at Giebelstadt. The group, which is sanctioned by the US Army, raised nearly $50,000 for the monument through donations and the sale of a commemorative print. In December 1995 the volunteer group said that it hoped the monument would be a lasting memorial to those "who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country." In the 14 April 1995 accident two US Air Force pilots mistakenly identified the Black Hawks as Iraqi Hind helicopters violating the "no fly" zone in northern Iraq. The helicopter pilots were members of the Eagle Flight Detachment, 159th Aviation Regiment at Giebelstadt.
The Department of Defense announced on July 29, 2005 plans for the return of eleven Army bases to Germany in fiscal year 2007. Additionally, two other bases were identified for return to Germany in following years. These installation returns were scheduled as part of plans for the 1st Infantry Division headquarters'return to the United States with its divisional flag in the summer of 2006. Additionally, the 1st Infantry Division's subordinate units, as well as selected V Corps and U.S. Army in Europe units, return to the United States, inactivate entirely, convert, or be reassigned in Europe to support Army transformation in fiscal year 2006.
- Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade will move to Leighton Barracks, Wuerzburg. Final disposition of this unit will be determined and announced later.
- 12th Aviation Brigade (inactivates)
- HHC and A Co, 5-158th Aviation Battalion (12th Brigade) (is reflagged and returns) (B Company is stationed in Aviano and will be retained.)
- 3-158th Aviation Battalion will move to Ansbach.
- F/159th (CH-47) Aviation Company will move to Illesheim.
- 7-159th Aviation Maintenance Battalion will move to Illesheim to support the build of the MFAB.
- 72nd Veterinary Detachment (minus) will move to Leighton Barracks. Final disposition of this unit will be determined and announced later.
- 67th Forward Surgical Team will move to Landstuhl.
- 523rd Medical Company (Dental Services) will inactivate.
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