• Germany's news in English

Thousands of US troops leaving Bavaria

The Local · 3 Feb 2012, 09:17

Published: 03 Feb 2012 09:17 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The cities affected – Bamberg and Schweinfurt – will lose approximately 7,500 soldiers, according to mayors who met with the leader of the US Army in Europe, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling Wednesday.

Mayor Andreas Starke of Bamberg said there will be a gradual reduction of troop numbers over the next few years before the bases officially shutter.

Starke said although the closures would have “far-reaching consequences,” hurting craftsmen and other businesses who have made millions of euros from the Americans, he said it will also have benefits.

“In a crisis, there’s also a chance,” Starke said, pointing to the city’s long-running need for new student housing to support the University of Bamberg.

Schweinfurt Mayor Sebastian Remelé too tried to take something positive from the announcement, saying new residential housing was needed and that he could also envision new businesses moving onto space left by the decommissioned base. However, he said, 600 local civilian jobs were threatened by the closure.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the federal government would be offering special assistance to the affected cities.

“The federal government will surely help wherever it has leeway,” Friedrich told the Münchner Merkur newspaper.

Story continues below…

In January, the US government announced it was pulling between 10,000 and 15,000 military personnel out of Europe as part of redeployment to focus on the Middle East and Asia.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:03 February 3, 2012 by Gretl
And non-Bavarian bases?
18:02 February 3, 2012 by Illogicbuster
Thank God. The only foreign bases we should still have are a few naval bases that are willingly leased. And those for us to maintain freedom of the Seas for our commerce. Let everyone else fend for themselves.
18:24 February 3, 2012 by Gretl
I say we invite everyone over to play in our yard. We have plenty of BRACed bases with communities that would love the replacement income. And think of the multicultural learning opportunities!
18:32 February 3, 2012 by EinWolf
I'd rather pull out of Southwest Asia and deploy to Germany! ... Back in the day, if you stayed in the Army long enough, you'd get a rotation or two to Germany. Nowadays ... It's Afghanistan, Korea, or the States.
18:51 February 3, 2012 by Illogicbuster
No EinWolf, we need to pull out everywhere. No need to spend the $.
19:29 February 3, 2012 by raandy
The strategy is sound, Europe has no real threats out there, and it would seem the major concern would be east and the north pole region as many country's are claiming rights to the undersea oil wealth there.With Global warming it becomes ever more accesible.
20:32 February 3, 2012 by carlm
Germany, Japan and South Korea are more than capable of looking out for themselves. We should've move out of those countries twenty years ago, at the latest.
20:36 February 3, 2012 by socalbremer
As a former GI who was stationed in Bayern for 5 years, and who now lives in Northern Germany as an ex pat with a German wife, I have a dual perspective. On one hand, I believe our once large (and very costly) presence in W. Germany was mainly a token presence against the perceived Soviet threat. The purpose of REFORGER always seemed to be "die as slowly as possible if the Russians come,and hopefully we can get some more troops there in the meantime"... :) . In any case, a seeming waste of who knows how many billions over the years.

On the other hand, I would LOVE a few thousand local GI's with disposable income to be able to come drink .and eat at our establishment :)
21:44 February 3, 2012 by Murkan Mike
What in the world are we (Americans) doing anywhere outside of our country? In my opinion every american military and military contracted person, should go home, we have no business outside of our border. Militarily that is. Hmm, that gets me to thinking..... why do we even have a military, to protect us from who?
21:58 February 3, 2012 by zeddriver
Murkan Mike

Why do we have a military.

Do you put on your seat belt only after having an accident? Or before? Health insurance? Before or after you get sick?
00:10 February 4, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Don't the USA have more urgent matters to tend to?
17:08 February 4, 2012 by X13F
As I write this in Colorado I can turn around in my chair and see the Marne Magic 1982 Schweinfurt Volksfest beer mug on a shelf. While I support the move to return American troops back to the states and not get involved in global policing I am sorry that other Americans won't get the opportunity that I had to see the home of my ancestors. I doubt that I would have been able to travel to Germany much less live there on 2 occasions and get to know so many wonderful people and their culture.

Would I want a foreign military in my country? Hell no! Did I behave inappropriately at times? I'm sure. I must also say that during the 1980's when I was a soldier I was treated better by civilians in Germany than I was in my own country. I have so many great memories of Bavaria (I was in Bad Kissingen my first tour) and enjoyed Franconia so much! Bittersweet to see troops come home from Schweinfurt.

It's great that the buildings could be used for housing or college dormitories but the comment on "diversity" sounds like code for MOSQUE. That, causes concern for me and others who still love Germany and consider it our 2nd home. I would ask, how would a Christian cathedral be accepted in a Muslim country? How welcome would our families and our culture be accepted in Yemen or Saudi Arabia? I think we all know that answer.

Bring our troops home but could I get another Schweinfurt Brauhaus bier while we wait?
01:49 February 5, 2012 by brnskin2010
Deutschland is a beautiful and wonderful country. I lived in Bavaria (on post) in Bamberg. I loved it and hope to return there one day to marry,work and live.
10:51 February 5, 2012 by Yah right
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:38 February 5, 2012 by mos101392
@ Illogicbuster, Gretl, carlm, Murkan Mike,

You are all my Heroes!

Why can't everyone see this too? 15 trillion deficit and as unbelievable as it may seem, there is still that minority that believes America's role is to police the world, regardless what it costs the American taxpayer.

I think the real reason is it is cheaper for the world if America spends it's own money and lives while the rest set back , point their finger and laugh, and say, "look at the stupid Americans going in debt and letting their own die so we can lay back and relax".
22:21 February 5, 2012 by Abbot
@Yah right

First off, it is 'yeah, right', you illiterate. Secondly, with Greece and Italy dragging down the euro, you Germans will need every dollar, pound, yen, etc. coming in to keep your economy afloat. And lastly, who fears your fat-assed, lazy soldiers (comments from your own commander in Afghanistan last year)? Your country is a joke that no one outside of Europe takes seriously anymore, except Turks who want to get in to join their comrades and try to get Turkish instituted as a second offical language.
01:13 February 6, 2012 by boopsie
A first reaction might be that it is way past time that the germans foot the entire bill for their own security. But the world is an increasingly complicated place and american armed forces are an irreplaceably stabilizing and in remote areas of the globe civilizing influence that both the US and the rest of the world dispense with at their great peril.
03:46 February 6, 2012 by _jr
there's only one downside to the US of A closing up shop -- the loss of "600 local civilian jobs". I hope finding new jobs won't be too difficult.
22:58 February 7, 2012 by mos101392

Losing 600 jobs is a good thing. That means that there will be 600 "new" jobs for Americans. After all, the Germans that received a monthly wage from the American tax payer since the end of the 2WW, can now get a job from the strongest European economy, thanks to the USA. I only hope this is not the beginning nor the end of ALL American troop withdrawals from Europe or the World! It's about time we take care of our own and let the others take care of their own!
11:01 February 8, 2012 by nolibs
The worst thing about this pullout is that this is probably the only opportunity to see what another culture has to offer. Things such as being able to walk alone at night without being mugged, shot or killed, a recycle bin larger than a rubbish bin at home, a work to live not live to work way of life, way fewer ghettos and no-go zones (if any) around major cities, public transportation that works...and more!
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd