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Babenhausen Kaserne, Germany

Babenhausen kaserne was returned to the German government June 29. Now that the last American flag has flown at Babenhausen, the facility will be developed for German civilian purposes after more than 100 years of military use.

Babenhausen Kaserne is home to the Babenhausen Area Support Team; Headquarters, 41st Field Artillery Brigade; 1st Battalion, 27th Field Artillery the 77th Maintenance Co., 71st Ordinance Det., E. Battery 5/7 Air Defense Artillery, and D. Battery 5/7 Air Defense Artillery. All facilities, including the housing area, dental and health clinics, Babenhausen Elementary School and sports field, are located on the caserne. Babenhausen also has a local training area, an airfield and a helipad adjacent to the caserne.

The Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration Center successfully completed its move from Giessen, Germany, to Babenhausen, Germany, in early December 1996. Both are part of the 104th Area Support Group, primarily located in the German state of Hessen. The RSOI site played a vital role within the Bosnian peacekeeping mission. As the 104th Area Support Group continued to be a major supporter of that mission, the RSOI facilities provided life support for personnel awaiting transportation back to the United States and to some sites within the NATO theater. After about an 18-hour bus ride from the intermediate staging base in Taszar, Hungary, individuals are quickly processed and screened at the RSOI facility before they are assigned billets. Reservists and active duty soldiers from throughout U.S. Army Europe and the United States who staff the facility say their task is to make the inprocessing as painless and rapid as possible. Redeploying personnel undergo a records check, medical screening, check for orders, awards and all critical documents. While at the RSOI awaiting transportation they are provided a clean place to sleep and dining facilities. The RSOI facility was tasked to stay open through the end of Operation Joint Endeavor.

The construction of Babenhausen Kaserne began in 1900. The French occupied the kaserne from 1918 to 1920. Following the invasion of Poland, the kaserne became a military hospital. During 1945 and 1946, the US Army used it as a Prisoner of War (POW) and repatriation camp for German soldiers from southern Hesse. In 1946, it was used as a United Nations refugee camp for Slavic Freedom fighters and refugees fleeing the Soviet take over of their homeland.

The 233rd Base Support Battalion has its major facilities located in Darmstadt with some kasernes and housing in the neighboring towns of Babenhausen, Griesheim, Muenster and Aschaffenburg. Bounded by the scenic Odenwald on the east, the Bergstrasse wine district on the south and the Rhine river on the west, Darmstadt, with its over 140,000 inhabitants, is ideally located directly south of Frankfurt. It is called the "little-big city where the arts are at home", to include culinary art. Shopping through the pedestrian zone is a pleasure, and you will soon discover the hospitality of the Darmstadt inhabitants.

The 233rd Base Support Bn. Directorate of Public Works has piped up with a new water supply idea. The 233rd signed a contract with Zweckverband Gruppenwasserwerk Dieburg (Dieburg Water Works) to provide maintenance of water lines within Babenhausen Kaserne. They're only going to be responsible for the pipes outside of the buildings. The 233rd's DPW will still maintain water lines within buildings. Dieburg Water Works already supplies the water to the installation, about 170,000 cubic meters per year. The water utility will also be responsible for operation of the chlorination and fluoridation plant. Water supplied to German homes generally is not chlorinated, but the process is required for U.S. installations. The DM 3.5 million pilot project runs until 2003. As a first step in the new relationship, Dieburg Water Works and the 233rd BSB DPW will be surveying existing water lines to determine how best to modernize the system. The DPW believes that modernizing the system will improve the water quality on the casern. The DPW is also investigating ways to have other German utilities provide maintenance of electrical, gas and district heating lines in Babenhausen Kaserne. One plus of the new relationship is that residents of the casern may find utility work less disruptive.

Babenhausen is a picturesque military post located in the heart of Germany. Situated between the Main and Rhein rivers at the foot of the Odenwald Forest, it offers great opportunities for scenic bicycle rides, hiking and weekends jaunts through ancient castles and museums. Located just 30 minutes from the Frankfurt international airport, all of Europe is at your doorstep. Just 5 hours from Paris, Czechoslovakia, Brussels and Venice by car, it's a great central location to travel from.

Babenhausen (Hessen) is a city of approximately 17000 inhabitants and is situated 30 km to the southeast of Frankfurt/Main on the road from Darmstadt to Aschaffenburg. The villages of Harpertshausen, Harreshausen, Hergershausen, Langstadt and Sickenhofen also belong to the City of Babenhausen.

The small U.S. Army post provides a recreation center, commissary, exchange, post office, community bank, movie theater, bowling center, racquetball courts, tennis courts, auto repair shop, Anthony's Pizza, Burger King, Baskin Robbins, child care center, youth services, thrift shop, all rank club, library, adult education center, dispensary, and dental clinic. The nearest U.S. hospital is 50 miles away.

Repair garages are located in town for most foreign cars, and a PX garage for American car repair is located twenty miles away. Gasoline and oil can be purchased locally. While May to August often have lovely days, the climate is generally cool and damp. Winters are cold with no accumulated snow. Roads have black ice requiring all season tires.

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