Skip to comments.Guards to Replace German Troops at Bases
Posted on 02/25/2005 7:13:36 PM PST by nypokerface
WASHINGTON - The German army is withdrawing troops that were sent to guard American military bases on German soil after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the U.S. military will hire private security guards to take their place, Army officials said Friday.
The Army is proposing spending $100 million on contract guards in an emergency measure submitted to Congress last week, budget documents show.
The Bundeswehr, or German army, deployed 800 soldiers after the attacks, and then sent another 2,600 in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder opposed the war on Iraq, but pledged German troops would help to secure the dozens of U.S. military installations in Germany.
U.S. officials did not say why Germany was withdrawing its guards now.
The $100 million is a small piece of the Bush administration's $81.9 billion emergency spending proposal that would pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as U.S. counterterrorism efforts worldwide. About half of the total is going to the U.S. Army, with the rest going to other military services, other parts of the government, and U.S. allies.
Army officials say current war funding will run out in May, and they are pressing Congress for quick approval of the measure. It consists of combat pay for deployed soldiers, money to replace destroyed weapons and expended ammo, and funds to retool several units destined for service in war zones.
_ $5 billion to retool several units into a more independently capable, modular format that is backed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Funding this in a war spending measure, instead of the regular budget, has generated some criticism from Democrats, but Rumsfeld has said the units need to be reconfigured before they deploy.
_ $1 billion for 41,000 radios, many of them for use in vehicle convoys, a frequent target of insurgent attacks.
_ $570 million to replace vehicles lost in combat. The bulk of this would replace 13 Apache gunships and 5 Black Hawk transports, at a cost of $370 million.
_ $285 million for small-arms ammunition.
_ $250 million to increase death benefits and insurance coverage for deployed soldiers.
_ $185 million for some 62,800 rifles, light machine guns and other weapons.
If the Germans can't manage even to contribute 800 guards to protect US bases in Germany (which have protected them for 50 years), then let's close the bases and get out.
(my 2 cents' worth)
We need to keep a few open to avoid spilling a single drop of American blood retaking the same real estate when the next Euro-monster decides to raise its fugly head.
Because there aren't any left. I live in Oklahoma City and go to Tinker AFB quite frequently. After 9/11 the gates were manned by Army as well as Air Force personnel. About 6 months ago the AF switched to a private security firm to man the gates because all the AF security troops were deployed. AF still provides security within the base perimeter.
Down in Kuwait CSA runs the security operation at Camp Doha, and is essentially a free enterprise MP Company. That's what we need in Germany.
Why the hell we even have bases in Germany anymore is beyond my understanding.
CSA's best and brightest, eh?
Bobby Dylan...." ...The times, they are a' changing."
But then, don't we need the base for medical issues with our troops? Come to think of it...might be cheaper and more friendly in Slovakia!!! Go Bush!!
If there is a legitimate reason for bases in europe (probably) howz about we move them to Poland? They like and support us, they shower and I would rather them have the cash.
We need Ramstein AFB. Besides, whenever in the past when we needed addition security in an emergency we got the Politzei, who are trained as paramilitary. They are much more reliable than Bundeswehr draftees.
"We need Ramstein AFB."
Until one day we need it in an emergency, and the Krauts refuse to let us take off. (remember the backstabbing Turks)
The question is not do we close these bases, but how fast can we close them.
We are investing a lot of money in Ramstein and the people in the area have always been friendly, unlike those in the socialist areas like Hesse. Lose of this economic cashcow would jolt a Germany economy where unemployment is at 10%.
What this all comes down to...is that if you close all of the European bases...which is possible...then there is a massive reorganization, with troops and airman going back to the states. And everyone's little empire is threaten...from 4-star generals down to 0-6 types. And you might as well ask why we need such a huge force...which means a threat to downsize...which the military leadership doesn't want to hear. This whole thing goes in a circle. And nothing is clear or clean about closures.
America is even enlarging it's AFB in Germany. 175 million Euro ($230 mio) are getting invested in Ramstein and 198 million Euro ($260 mio) in Spangdahlem. Construction is planned to be finished by the end of this year. Also the Heidelberg base is getting a hefty upgrade but I don't know for how much money.
Some smaller bases a being closed, but I'm not sure if this is due to the anger during the pre-iraq-war era or if they are just no longer needed here. I've heard of some units that are returning home but never (!) of any unit being relocated to Eastern Europe.
Here's a link to a German PDF with some details of the Ramstein/Spangdahlem enlargement: http://www.verlegungsprogramm.de/Main/Aktuell/Downloadbereich/Verlegungsprogramm_Infobroschuere_Ramstein.pdf