Bundeswehr bids farewell to General Welsh

German Chief of Defense Gen. Volker Wieker bid farewell to the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein, Gen. Mark A. Welsh, with a traditional “Großer Zapfenstreich” ceremony. This military tattoo was held the evening of June 26 at the Paradeplatz of the Bendlerblock compound, the second seat of the Ministry of Defence in Berlin.

Prior to the Großer Zapfenstreich, Wieker hosted a reception to honor Welsh’s merits as USAFE and NATO commander at Ramstein.

Wieker said three generations of the Welsh family have written military history both in the U.S. and Germany. Welsh, in turn, recognizes the German chief of defense whom he appreciated as a soldier and person.

Since December 2010, Welsh has been the commander of USAFE and NATO’s Allied Air Command north of the Alps, both located at Ramstein.

The Großer Zapfenstreich is performed to honor those who have earned special merits for the Bundeswehr.

(Story and photo courtesy of HQ AC Ramstein)