People frequently ask me, “What’s the best part of living in Stuttgart?”
In a word: “partnership.”
It doesn’t really matter if you’re military or civilian, if you work for U.S. European Command or U.S. Africa Command or some other U.S. government agency. We’re all partners, we’re all teammates, and we’re all here in Stuttgart so that we can have the opportunity to make a difference.
As the senior U.S. military official here in Stuttgart, I see a wonderful cross-section of our military and civilian communities. In so many ways, the vibrancy and diversity found in the city of Stuttgart provide a wonderful environment for our U.S. military overseas.
There are many German-American clubs, school outreach programs and other activities that provide opportunities to share cultures and customs. I often address audiences of both cultures and especially enjoy interacting with German-American children’s groups and the various German civic groups.
Our families are welcomed into German neighborhoods and homes. In fact, when our American community was in need of additional off-post housing units, local mayors went to their community members searching for available homes. Many lifelong friendships between Germans and Americans are built here in Stuttgart.
I want to take this opportunity to highlight a number of projects that reflect tremendous cooperation among the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, tenant units and all of the Americans and Germans who work so hard to make this a fantastic community.
We’ve made great strides in our quality of life and family services at each of the garrison installations.
Less than four years ago, Kelley Barracks was basically in a caretaker status. Today, successes on Kelley include the renovation and reopening of 119 family housing units and the relocation of the Transportation Motor Pool to Stuttgart Army Airfield, creating hundreds of additional parking spaces. The new $5 million Child Development Center recently opened, greatly expanding our ability to take care of our children. The $3 million AAFES Shoppette also recently opened, combining the old gas station with a modern convenience store.
Families living on Kelley Barracks were offered expanded dining options with the opening of small food court and renovated Kelley Club and restaurant.
At Robinson Barracks, some 447 housing units have either been renovated or will soon be renovated. The Robinson Barracks Elementary/Middle School has greatly expanded its staff and programs. Robinson Community Club has been renovated and reopened with an outstanding eatery. The chapel is undergoing a complete makeover, and the combination exchange and commissary will soon see major upgrades.
At Panzer Kaserne, a new hotel facility will open in the months ahead and provide 218 hotel rooms for visitors, plus arriving and departing community members. The modern Main Exchange serves the entire community in a fantastic way.
At Patch Barracks, the renovation of Washington Square provided a new ceremonial field and much-needed additional parking spaces. The completion of the new food court complex will bring a welcome dining option to the thousands who live and work there. The ongoing renovations of the Patch Chapel will make it a model facility.
All of these projects demonstrate our commitment to your well-being while stationed here in Stuttgart. I am in complete agreement with a sign I saw recently at Stuttgart Airport that said “We love Stuttgart.” I hope you do as well.