DVIDS – News – US Army soldiers promote community cohesion in Germany

ILLESHEIM, Germany – More than 150 community members, city council representatives, mayors and family members visited Storck Barracks today on an annual Whit Monday bike tour.

American soldiers have been stationed at Storck Barracks in Illesheim for almost 80 years. With the longstanding presence of American troops in Germany, the close partnership that our two nations share continues here in Bavaria.
Strong and enduring community relationships remain essential to the U.S. military’s mission around the world.

The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (1ACB), currently based at Storck Barracks on a nine-month Atlantic Resolve rotation, hosted the visit Monday intended to connect local communities to the U.S. military in a relaxed, stress-free engagement.

The cyclists traveled to Storck Barracks in large groups from the nearby villages of Geslau, Colmberg, Buch am Wald and Geslau, communities around which rotating aviation brigades typically fly.

The ages ranged from 10 years old to almost 80 years old. All seemed eager to interact with the soldiers and tour the base, most of them for the first time.
Major Chaz Allen, executive officer of 1ACB and pilot of the UH-60 Blackhawk, greeted the masses as they entered the airfield.

“Gutnachbarlich means good neighbour. Today 1ACB had the chance to meet many of them,” Allen said. “The Whit Monday bike tour gave our soldiers a great opportunity to showcase our helicopters and crash rescue team at Storck Barracks. We were impressed with the turnout and their genuine interest in military aviation. Although they had already cycled about twenty kilometers to join us, not one of the 160 neighbors failed to smile. What a beautiful event.

Soldiers guided cyclists to a bicycle parking area. Once parked, the group moved to the dining hall where they ate with and as Air Cav Troopers. Fried and baked chicken, meatballs, fish, pasta, hot wings, cheeseburgers, a full salad bar, fresh fruit and pastries made up the bulk of the meal. Everyone seemed more than happily satiated as they left the dining room.

After lunch, the riders returned to the airfield to chat with the pilots and crew of the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and HH-60 Medevac helicopters.

Although the bike tour is an annual event, this is the first time the group has visited Storck Barracks. The mayor of Geslau, Mr. Richard Strauss, initiated the outing. 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Community Liaison Specialist Ms. Helga Moser worked with 1ACB to finalize the logistics plan.

“Illesheim is my home,” Moser said. “Storck Barracks is very special to me. Building and maintaining strong community relationships is so important. We have a strong connection between the US military and our surrounding villages. Events like this help to strengthen the bond even further.

SPC. Dina Grass, a 15T UH-60 Blackhawk mechanic from Aalen, Germany, accompanied and assisted the German visitors, providing translations and helping answer questions.

“Today was a good day; a great show of cohesion between our two countries,” Grass said. “I enjoyed mingling with the residents and telling them more about what we do and how things work here. “

Visitors were curious and friendly with the American soldiers, asking what a day in the US Army was like, the history of the American cavalry, and how spurs were earned. Everyone seemed particularly interested in the Cav hat.

Local firefighters stationed at Storck Barracks also displayed three different fire trucks. Before the start, the firefighters impressed the group with the power of spraying water from one of the trucks.

At the end of the 3 hour tour, the crowd of bikes and people followed a fire truck escorted through the front door.

Date taken: 06.06.2022
Date posted: 06.06.2022 12:56
Story ID: 422268
Hometown: FORT HOOD, TX, USA
Hometown: KILLEEN, TX, USA
Hometown: WACO, TX, USA

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