Commander credits German neighbors in making Baumholder an ideal location

Story and photo by Ignacio

After the deactivation ceremony for the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Oct. 9, the man responsible for providing logistical support to the brigade and the military community in Baumholder told reporters that Baumholder is an ideal place to be stationed because of the strong support it receives from its German neighbors.

“It’s a combination of things. First of all, we have a very supportive community. The local mayors — the partnerships that we have in the towns — they’re used to hosting Americans,” said Lt. Col. Mike Sullivan, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder commander. “Next, we have a very strong partnership with the German military that owns the Baumholder Military Training Area.”

Baumholder Soldiers feel welcomed both in their homes and in the training area.

“They don’t have to travel across Germany to use another training area. They can literally go out the back gate, conduct their training and come back home to their
families,” he said. “This mix of advantages really makes Baumholder the ideal place to have U.S. troops.”

Although Baumholder’s military population will be reduced, Sullivan does not see that as a problem but rather as a benefit. Soldiers will be coming with their families so that will allow the garrison to focus on the services for those families.

“There will be a different mix of Soldiers in Baumholder. They will be a little older and a little more experienced. They will not be as young as those of an infantry brigade. I think that will help build stronger relationships within the German community,” Sullivan said.

Being more experienced, these Soldiers and families tend to get more quickly involved in the local German community.

“Even though it’s a sad time with all the changes, it’s a great opportunity for Baumholder to continue to build those relationships that we’ve had over the last 50 plus years,” he said.

Sullivan said anybody who has been to Baumholder understands how important Baumholder is.

“But those who have never been to Germany or have never been stationed overseas cannot imagine the advantages of such a location. Having been stationed in Germany before and having deployed to Iraq from Germany, I’ll tell you, there are advantages that you have being stationed here, not only from the supportive community but logistically as well,” he said. “It’s a much shorter flight and you get to train with your NATO partners a lot more frequently than back in America. So, I truly believe there are certain advantages not only being in Germany but here in Baumholder especially.”