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Heidelberg, Germany


During World War II, Heidelberg was one of the few major cities in Germany not significantly damaged by Allied bombing. Situated in the American Zone of Germany, Heidelberg became the headquarters of the American forces in Europe. Several military installations remain, including Campbell Barracks, the former Wehrmacht Grossdeutschland-Kaserne, where headquarters for several units are located. These include US Army, Europe (USAREUR) and NATO's Component Command-Land Headquarters. (Until 2004, this was designated Joint Headquarters Centre, and before that, LANDCENT).

Campbell Barracks and Mark Twain Village are both in S├╝dstadt; Patton Barracks is in nearby Kirchheim. Nachrichten Kaserne in Rohrbach is home to the former Heidelberg Army Hospital, now designated the Heidelberg Health Center. Patrick Henry Village, the largest U.S. military housing area in the Heidelberg area, is west of Kirchheim. These installations, including Tompkins Barracks and Kilbourne Kaserne in nearby Schwetzingen, plus the Germersheim Depot, used to make up the U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg. Tompkins Barracks is home to U.S. Army Installation Management Command Europe Region. The Heidelberg U.S. Army Air Field (Heidelberg AAF) was converted to an heliport (mostly Blackhawk Helicopters) after the NATO Kosovo campaign.

The children of United States Department of Defense employees based in Heidelberg tend to attend on-base schools operated by the DODDS-E (Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Europe). There are three schools of this kind: Heidelberg High School in Mark Twain Village (Mark Twain Elementary School closed at the completion of the 2010-2011 school year), and Heidelberg Middle School and Patrick Henry Elementary in Patrick Henry Village.[16] Many of the families live in the local communities and have the wonderful opportunity to experience the German culture. The military bases are simply isolated for security reasons. Most US installations and Barracks have been fenced. The fences are to keep those who are not authorized out and those who are authorized, safe. Access is limited to US Army staff and their families only.

On Oct. 19, 2009, the U.S. Army announced that it will be building new headquarters for USAREUR in Wiesbaden. The move from Heidelberg will take place in 2012 and 2013, and will be completed by 2014.[17] By 2015 all United States forces will have moved out of Heidelberg. The barracks and the housing areas will be handed over to the German state for conversion to civilian use.

U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Wurttemberg is the Installation Management Command garrison responsible for the U.S. installations aorund Heidelberg, and provide an excellent qulaity of life for the Soldiers, Civilians and Family members assigned here.

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