U.S. to Return 11 Bases to Germany in Fiscal 2007
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
The return of the bases is part of the Army's transformation effort that will result in the 1st Infantry Division returning to Fort Riley, Kansas.
The announcement follows the Army briefing on new locations for the service's modular brigade combat teams. The return of the bases is the first step in restationing some 50,000 soldiers from Germany and Korea to the United States.
"You will see that these restationing decisions truly ensure that our soldiers and their families remain at the centerpiece of all that we do, especially from the point of view of reducing net stress on the force, ... and making more predictable both force rotation and permanent changes of station for our families," said Ray DuBois, a special assistant to the secretary of the Army.
The 11 bases affected are: Harvey Barracks in Kitzingen, Kitzingen Family Housing, Kitzingen Training Area, Larson Barracks, the Schwanberg Site in Kitzingen, Faulenberg Kaserne in Wuerzburg, Giebelstadt Army Airfield, Giebelstadt Dependant Youth Activity Camp, Giebelstadt Tactical Defense Facility and the Breitsol Communications Station in Wuerzburg.
The Army will retain Leighton Barracks and Wuerzburg Hospital. These two facilities will be returned at a later date, officials said, adding that all decisions have been made after thorough discussions with German officials.
Officials estimate that in addition to the 6,100 soldiers affected, the moves will also affect 11,000 family members, 1,000 Department of the Army civilians and 1,000 host nation workers.
"Based upon the proposed move of the 1st Infantry Division and their brigade out of Europe during the 2006 time frame, we elected not to send families and soldiers over to Europe to backfill those soldiers coming out," said Gen. Richard Cody, Army vice chief of staff. "So basically, we're moving that unit over there now into a cadre status. And sometime here at the end of the year we'll move the flag."
Ultimately, two full brigades will be stationed in Europe - a Stryker Brigade in Vilseck, Germany, and the 173rd Brigade in Italy. The number of U.S. troops in the region will drop by a half, but it is "certainly not a (U.S.) disappearance from Western Europe," Cody said.
DuBois said the moves will reduce by more than half the number of individual, discrete installations the United States currently occupies. "That is a significant amount of money savings to the U.S. taxpayer," he said.
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