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Pirmasens Army Depot
Husterhoeh Kaserne
Pirmasens, Germany

On 08 January 2015, the US Department of Defense announced the consolidation of some U.S. infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations. As a result of this announcement, DoD is to close Husterhoeh Kaserne in Pirmasens and return the site to Germany.

Several U.S. Army Europe, or USAREUR, installations are scattered throughout the KMC. The Army installations stretch from the east side of Kaiserslautern, west to Miesau and south to Pirmasens. The 59th Ordnance Brigade (Pirmasens, GE) disbanded after shipping the last tactical nuclear weapon from U.S. Army Europe.

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center, Europe (USAMMCE), in Pirmasens, Germany, had to establish a LOC when its Transportation Branch was tasked to deliver class VIII (medical materiel) to forces deployed to Camp Able Sentry, Macedonia, and, later, to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. USAMMCE had provided medical supply support indirectly to units deployed to Macedonia as part of the United Nations Protection Force since 1993. However, it was not until 1999 that USAMMCE was tasked to establish a direct ground LOC to Camp Able Sentry for commercial and military trucks.

The U.S. Army Medical Material Center, Europe (USAMMCE) based in Pirmasens, Germany, established contracts early on with a civilian trucking company in Bosnia, which guaranteed delivery of medicines and medical equipment repair parts.

The mission of the DTH (Defense Message System Transition Hub) Pirmasens is to operate and maintain a hybrid system of both Legacy Messaging Network (AUTODIN) and new DMS components operated by DISA as part of the DMS infrastructure. The mission associated with the DMS components in the DTH is to provide the interoperability between DMS-compliant users/systems and Legacy Messaging Network (AUTODIN) systems/users that have not yet transitioned to the DMS interface between Legacy Messaging Network and DMS. Messages originated anywhere in either the Legacy or DMS domains can be addressed to the ultimate receiver and will be translated from one protocol environment to the other as necessary. The DTH provides the interface between organizations deriving messaging services via the Legacy Messaging Network and organizations deriving messaging services via the DMS customers during the transitional phase. Legacy Messaging Network (AUTODIN) is a global, high speed, flexible, computer-controlled record communications system managed by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA). The current Legacy Messaging Network provides the Department of Defense (DOD) with a worldwide, highly reliable, multi-level secured, digital store and forward message switching communications system capable of meeting the record and data communications requirements within DoD and other federal government agencies as well as NATO. Legacy messaging network guarantees timely delivery, speed of service, multi-level security, message interoperability, message, character integrity, and plain language address to routing indicator (PLA to RI) processing capability. The Legacy Messaging Network maintains an operating efficiency rating of at least 99.9%.

The "Westwall" museum association HGS Gerstfeldhoehe is located at the edge of Pirmasens Niedersimten. As former militarily used system (" hollow hohlgangsystem ") this building is suitable for a splendid representation of the history of the "Westwall". The underground facilities are the largest in the context of the "Westwall" schedule of work for underground systems. It is unique from the size and the preservation status and represents thus a singular historical object of outstanding cultural and historical importance. The museum is equipped with diagrams, with which the planning, the building, the military use and the civilian use of the "Westwall" systems are illustrate. The tunnels lead underground, which are partially and fully equipped, extend in the rock up to 1000 meters. The backbone of this position was formed by the fortress factory with the attached shelters, the so-called b-Kleinstwerken, and B-factory Obersimten. The train system Gerstfeldhoehe extends above the Gersbachtals between Obersimten, Trulben and Vinningen. Planned altogether over 9000 meters were tracks and a barracks system with approximately 4000 meters of tunnels on two levels. The two levels are connected with a 68 meters high lift well. The lower level served for the bombardment-safe crew and ammunition feed for the upper level or as barracks for soldiers and the operating personnel. A track course led from the input Niedersimten by a main traffic hollow course to the feed elevator, which brought the trucks into the upper level. In this level a narrow-gauge railway would bring crew and ammunition underground over a distance of 5000 m up to the foremost emplacements in the Trulbener valley. The construction work was stopped because of the military position at that time of 1941 and taken up only 1944 to a modest extent. A part of the system served the civilian population of Niedersimten starting from 1944 as safe accommodation before air raids.

During World War II, the 71st Infantry Division broke through the Siegfried Line to capture Pirmasens, after which the Division's advance continued to the Rhine. The Division moved through the outer belts of the Siegfried Line and captured Pirmasens on 21 March 1945, and crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim on 30 March 1945.

After the war the Allies used the lower level as depot for war material. In the mid-1960s the US Army General Depot at Pirmasens managed the "supply cave" below Hill 486, with acres and acres of "stuff". The Depot`s "controlled environment" storage buildings kept tanks in them - fueled and armed - all ready to roll. In the today's status the rail system on the lower level with approximately 1000 meters and hollow tunnels presents itself. On the upper, at present not accessible, are floor of about 4500 meters.

Pirmasens is the center of the German shoe industry. The town, nearly destroyed in World War II, is now a bustling, modern town. Located close to the famed "Wine Road," Pirmasens offers numerous opportunities for day trips and excursions through Germany's beautiful vineyards and farmlands.

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Page last modified: 09-01-2015 03:52:50 ZULU