Germans, Americans reinforce partnership during return to annual forum in Kaiserslautern

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Randall Reed, 3rd Air Force commander and commander of the Kaiserslautern Military Community, addresses the annual Mayors Forum Sept. 28 at Armstrong’s Club in the Vogelweh Military Community, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.

Community and military leaders gathered for the first time in nearly two years for the Kaiserslautern Military Community Mayor’s Forum Sept. 28.

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz served as host for the event, which is conducted by the U.S. Air Force’s 86th Airlift Wing, at the garrison’s Armstrong’s Club in the Vogelweh Military Community. The event is attended by mayors from the local community, as well as U.S. Army and Air Force leadership.

As the “mayor” of the garrison’s 29 sites in Germany, Col. Vance J. Klosinski, garrison commander, served as the Army’s event host this year, alongside Garrison Command Sgt. Major Stephen J. LaRocque.

Maj. Gen. Randall Reed, commander of Kaiserslautern Military Community and 3rd Air Force commander, served as co-host and also provided welcome remarks. Maj. Gen. James M. Smith, 21st Theater Sustainment Commander and Army Senior Responsible Officer in the region, also attended the event and provided an update on the Army’s efforts for Operation Allies Refuge/Operation Allies Welcome at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.

“This unique function working with German civil leaders is a critical partnership that allows us to work your problems and tackle important issues,” Klosinski said. “Meetings like this enhance that partnership.”

Simultaneously interpreted into German and English, the event allowed community and military leaders to discuss various topics of interest. This session included a construction update on the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center, coronavirus, and other military and civil issues affecting the community.

“I know that all of you are extremely busy and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us,” Klosinski told the group.

Hosting of the annual event rotates between the community and military venues. The Coronavirus pandemic postponed the annual gathering in 2020, though military and civilian leaders kept in constant contact via telephone and email. The meeting lasted about two hours.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James M. Smith, commander of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, briefs the Mayors Forum about Operation Allies Welcome Sept. 28.