98th Area Support Group
In 2005, an official ceremony in Heidelberg, Germany marked the reflagging of the Installation Management Agency - Europe's Area Support Groups, Base Support Battalions, and Area Support Teams into 21 US Army Garrisons to align with the common US Army installation management structure worldwide, known as Standard Garrison Organization. As a result, the 98th Area Support Group was inactivated and reflagged as the US Army Garrison Franconia.
The 98th Area Support Group conducted sustaining-base operations, providing installation management and command, control, and communications (C3) to all US Government agencies within the area of responsibility as specified by existing agreements. It planned for and executes deployment/redeployment support, reception, onward movement, and integration of forces in and out of the area of responsibility. It also implemented security measures according to higher headquarters force-protection programs and ensures the readiness and well-being of assigned and attached personnel. It would, on order, become placed under the operational control of the Commanding General, 21st Theater Support Command to support deployment and redeployment operations.
The 98th Area Support Group was made up of 4 base support battalions and provided quality of life, service, and support in an area of approximately 19,000 square kilometers. These battalions were the 235th Base Support Battalion in Ansbach; the 279th Base Support Battalion in Bamberg; the 280th Base Support Battalion in Schweinfurt; and the 417th Base Support Battalion in Kitzingen. The group consisted of 47,000 training acres, which included 43 local training areas and 30 live firing ranges. The 98th Area Support Group led US Army Europe (USAREUR) in fiscal years 1995 and 1996 in ACOE and CINC-level employee recognition. It served a population of 17,000 soldiers and 24,000 civilians over 37,000 acres and 32 million square feet of building space.
The 98th Area Support Group was first formed under the US Army Europe Community Command Plan. The 98th Area Support Group was activated as a provisional Area Support Group on 7 June 1991, by combining the military communities of Aschaffenburg, Schweinfurt, and Greater Wuerzburg. USAREUR officially activated the 98th Area Support Group on 16 October 1991, and assigned it to V Corps.
The 98th Area Support Group subordinate military communities became the 280th Base Support Battalion in Schweinfurt; the 417th Base Support Battalion in Wuerzburg; and the Aschaffenburg Base Support Battalion (Provisional), which was inactivated on 30 October 1992. The 417th Base Support Battalion was Europe's largest such battalion and consisted of 4 Area Support Teams in Wuerzburg, Kitzingen, Giebelstadt and Wertheim.
The 98th Area Support Group provided life support and quality of life programs to a population of soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and their families that ranged from over 56,000 in June 1991, to nearly 46,000 on 1 October 1993. The 98th Area Support Group supported the redeployment and family support efforts of nearly 3 brigades equivalent tenant units that participated in Operation Desert Storm. The 98th Area Support Group again provided similar support to Operations Provide Comfort, and Provide Promise.
The 98th Area Support Group was also the Secretary of Defense's action agent for the US Army Humanitarian Assistance Program that supported nations in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa.
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