21st TSC Celebrates Bundeswehr Logistics Command’s 10th anniversary

Maj. Gen. James M. Smith, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Commander, gives a speech at the reception, Erfurt, May 6.Photo by Michael In der Au, courtesy of the Bundeswehr

Logisticians and senior leaders from the U.S. Army’s 21st Theater Sustainment Command and the Bundeswehr Logistics Command, special guests and the public celebrated the latter command’s 10th Anniversary in Erfurt, May 6.

The celebration included dynamic and static displays, including vehicles from 21st TSC’s 16th Sustainment Brigade; demonstrations, and a special reception. Bundeswehr Logistics Command Commander Maj. Gen. Gerald Funke and 21st TSC Commander Maj. Gen. James Smith were among the speakers.

“On behalf of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and the U.S. Army, we offer you a hearty congratulations on your 10-year anniversary,” said Smith, as he addressed guests, including former BwLOGCOM commanders Maj. Gen Hans-Erich Antoni and Maj. Gen. Volker Thomas.

“It has been a fruitful ten years for your organization, centered as a resource of the ever evolving operational conditions in Europe. Today is also an opportunity to acknowledge our appreciation for the long-standing partnership and friendship between our Commands and our Nations.

“The strength and connections we have formed have proven vital, as we witnessed the importance of NATO, and a united and coordinated response, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This conflict highlights the importance of our collective organizations’ ability to stay ready and work together. We came together to help defend every inch of NATO’s territory to protect our Allies.”

The “Rhyne River Ramblers” of the United States Army Band play tunes during the event.Photo by Mandy Herold, courtesy of the Bundeswehr

The two commands share a long-standing partnership formally recognized with a Memorandum of Partnership in March 2015 based on collaboration, mutual support and regular exchanges at various levels. It also established a BwLOGCOM liaison at 21st TSC on Panzer Kaserne, Kaiserslautern.

Smith cited a wide range of support services and initiatives, from container transport as part of the U.S. Army Europe-Africa-led exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20, to the construction of a field camp in the logistic support area at the BwLOGCOM logistics school and the construction and operation of a field tank farm at the Munster-Bergen military training area in northern Germany as examples of the partnership’s impact.

Lt. Col. Thies Neelsen, the BwLOGCOM liaison officer with the 21st TSC since 2013, said U.S. participation in the anniversary celebration speaks to the partnership’s strength.

“We’re really happy to have the Americans here at Erfurt,” said Neelsen. “The USAREUR-AF Band, Maj. Gen. Smith and the delegation from 21st for the display. It publicly demonstrates our friendship to a large audience.”

The Bundeswehr Logistics Command is based at Löberfeld-Kaserne barracks in Erfurt. It is the Joint Support and Enabling Service’s largest capability coordination command. It is the center of competence and seat of responsibility for Bundeswehr logistics operations, training and development.

21st Theater Sustainment Command is U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s lead organization for all sustainment activities including logistics support, transportation, combat sustainment, human resources, finance, contracting and all other areas in the field of sustainment. Headquartered in Kaiserslautern, and comprised of more than 10 subordinate units operating throughout USAREUR-AF area of operations, First in Support Soldiers are positioned to be key enablers in unified synchronization of strategic and operational access, reach and freedom of action whenever and wherever needed.