American Forces Press Service
The Department of Defense announced May 23 that it will fully return 21 sites to their host nations in Europe, saving the U.S. government approximately $60 million annually, according to a DOD news release.
This return is part of a continued effort for U.S. European Command to shed non-enduring and excess sites from its real-property inventory, and focus more resources on other USEUCOM mission requirements. These minor, non-operational infrastructure adjustments — which include a golf course, a hotel, a skeet range, and other non-operational or excess facilities — were vetted under the months-long European Infrastructure Consolidation review.
“None of these adjustments affects existing force structure or military capabilities, and the efficiencies will further enable U.S. European Command to resource high priority missions,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in the release.
EUCOM’s forward presence is one of the United States’ most visible indicators of support to our European allies, providing assurance and demonstrating tangible commitment to our collective defense, the release said. U.S. dedication to our NATO security responsibilities is beyond doubt; ongoing infrastructure adjustments simply ensure that we are best-positioned to fulfill those responsibilities given changing circumstances.
The following sites are scheduled to be returned to their respective host nation:
U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria
— Garmisch golf course, Garmisch, Germany — no longer needed.
— Breitenau skeet range, Garmisch, Germany — no longer utilized.
— General Abrams hotel and dispensary, Garmisch, Germany — no longer needed due to the presence of Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch.
— Frechetsfeld radio site, Grafenwoehr, Germany — no longer required.
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden
— Wiesbaden recreation center, Wiesbaden, Germany — no longer required.
— Fintherlandstrasse family housing, Wiesbaden, Germany — no longer needed as adequate off-post housing is available and less expensive.
— Kastel housing area, Mainz-Kastel, Germany (in 2016) — no longer required.
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz
— Closure of three American Forces Network (AFN) AM sites — Heidelberg AFN relay facility, Sambach AFN facility, and Weisskirchen AFN transmitter facility.
— Hill 365 radio relay facility – alternate communications make this site unnecessary.
— Three Sembach water well sites (Enkenbach Water System Annex #1, Neukirchen Water System Annex #1, Niedermehlingerhof Water System Annex #1).
— The Giessen General Depot will no longer be required once The Army & Air Force Exchange Service distribution center relocates.
Spangdahlem Air Base
— Siegenburg Range, Bavaria, Germany — no longer in use nor needed in the future.
U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza
— Tirrenia Recreation Site — no longer required.
Navy South Bagnoli-Naples
— Former NATO headquarters facility — no longer required due to facilities consolidation.
NATO HQ Air Force South, Nisida Island-Naples
— Provided support services – no longer needed.
Port Customs Office, Catania-Sigonella
— Lease not renewed as part of facilities consolidation.
Karup Air Base
— Munitions storage and airfield facilities — no longer used or needed in the future.
National Support Element Larissa
— Support services facility — no longer required due to facilities consolidation.
— Ammunition storage annex — facilities are not in use and not required.
— 15 housing units (partial return) — excess housing requirements.
U.S. Army Garrison Benelux
— Daumerie Caserne (in 2015) — facilities consolidation. A small signal support element stationed there will move to a nearby location.