***image1***U.S. Air Forces in Europe security forces recognized the German Bundeswehr (armed forces) for its assistance with the Global War on Terrorism.
Brig. Gen. Rosanne Bailey, Ramstein’s 435th Air Base Wing commander, presented the award to German Col. Volker Fritze during the annual USAFE Security Forces Awards Banquet, held at the Ramstein Officers’ Club March 11. Colonel Fritze, from the German armed forces joint staff, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, accepted the award on behalf of the Bundeswehr’s men and women who have been providing security at U.S. military installations in Germany since February 2003.
“We are truly indebted to the German military for its support over the past year. I have received many positive comments from residents and guests of the KMC on their professionalism at the gates,” said General Bailey. “Each member of the German army, navy and air force at our gates has provided critically needed force protection.”
“German military members have always been exceptional at everything they do. Their assistance has allowed our cops to be able to meet their training requirements, and has reduced the need for ready augmentees from base organizations,” said Col. Mathew Toth, Director of Security Forces, Headquarters USAFE.
“Their assistance with the Global War On Terrorism has kept cops at most locations from having to work 14-hour shifts. It’s allowed us to get back into a normal schedule and improve the quality of life,” he added.
More than 700 Bundeswehr personnel were initially deployed to help provide security protection for USAFE installations in Germany.
Since then, the number has dwindled to about 256 members at Ramstein, Sembach, Spangdahlem and Rhein-Main air bases. German support is expected to continue until the end of the year.
The award, a crystal globe resting on a pedestal, symbolizes the GWOT and contains an inscription of gratitude. “It’s a token of USAFE Security Forces’ appreciation for Germany’s assistance. It was the right time to recognize them for their support,” said Colonel Toth.
The German representative’s reaction to the award was “overwhelming in a positive sense,” said Mr. Wolfgang Motz, host nation adviser to the USAFE commander.
“The Bundeswehr knew the U.S. military was grateful for the support, but being recognized in this manner was icing on the cake,” said Mr. Motz. “You could tell that Colonel Fritze was deeply moved, particularly after he’d received the award and the crowd gave a standing ovation.
“In my estimation, this was a most meaningful and well received gesture of our appreciation. It went right to the heart,” he added. “Colonel Fritze said the award would be proudly displayed. It will receive a place of honor at the joint staff.”