Relocation Blog home >>

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

My family and I are arriving to Heidelberg this summer. Is there a policy decision on whether an in-bound Soldier will go to Heidelberg and PCS again or directly to Wiesbaden and wait for HQ close-in?

This is a great question. If you are being assigned to U.S. Army Europe, most likely you will PCS into Heidelberg; however, it's up to your directorate to make that determination of whether you will PCS to Heidelberg or to Wiesbaden.

On the other hand, V Corps Headquarters is moving this summer, so if you are being assigned to V Corps orders should state that your place of duty will be Wiesbaden. On that note, I have some additional guidance from the V Corps G1, LTC Rob McCaslin:

If you are sponsoring an inbound V Corps Soldier, that Soldier's first stop in Germany should be at the Frankfurt Airport Gateway. All Soldiers – regardless of his/her rank -- must inprocess through the Gateway before leaving the airport. First, the Gateway is where the V Corps Soldiers will receive their amended orders assigning them directly to Wiesbaden. Second, this enables the community to track our inbound Soldiers and family members. And, last but certainly not least, this helps to track our Soldiers and family members for safety reasons and avoids putting our new Soldiers through any unnecessary steps.

UPDATED: Can one still apply for civilian positions here in USAREUR?

I took this question to Mr. Dave Ellis, the USAREUR G1's Civilian Personnel Directorate's chief of the Workforce Effectiveness Plans and Analysis. Here's what he said: "Absolutely and we would encourage you to do so. Like the rest of the Army we are under a suspension of job offers right now; however, USAREUR is still a great place to live and work and the civilian employment opportunities should remain both varied and plentiful.

What will happen to the people that have a teenager in a senior class at Heidelberg High School? Will the senior be finishing as a Lion or a Warrior because the unit movements? My son is graduating in 2014. My spouse's office is planning to move to Wiesbaden, but the directorate isn't sure when. If the relocation doesn't happen until 2013 for one reason or another, what would happen to a senior then? I am sure this is a concern for families that have a senior this/next year?

I think this is every parent's concern when they have children in high school. Of course, different directorates' movement timelines will drive the train concerning when people will move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden. I have spoken to all of the directorate chiefs and they are all on board with working very closely with their staff members to try to minimize any quality of life disruptions, like changing schools during the students' senior year. Please ask your spouse to share your situation with his directorate chief so that they can plan accordingly.

Why is the Army shutting down the Heidelberg and Mannheim communities? How will it benefit from the USAREUR move to Wiesbaden?

The bottom line is the need to consolidate U.S. Army Europe Headquarters so the commanding general has access to the functions he needs to make the coordination process easier. The decision is based on a lot of factors, to include space, and Wiesbaden is the location that was selected.

Should incoming Soldiers with school-age children move to Heidelberg?

We encourage incoming Soldiers with school-age children – especially teenagers – to acquire housing in Heidelberg rather than Mannheim. If your unit is moving to Wiesbaden, we recommend that you contact your unit/section to see when they plan to move to Wiesbaden, which should be factored into your decision. This will help you decided what is best for you and your family.

In Wiesbaden, there is a lot of new Army housing being built. Is it only for the new people moving in or will soldier who are already there have the opportunity to move there?

The new housing being built at the airfield is part of the overall Wiesbaden housing construction and renovation program to provide sufficient military housing at the DoD standard. The houses at the airfield will be part of the Army Family Housing inventory and will be offered to any military personnel assigned to the Wiesbaden community. Visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil for more Wiesbaden transformation information.

What’s happening with the construction in Wiesbaden for the move of USAREUR Headquarters?

Construction of the Military Command Center is scheduled for completion by spring 2012. There are other community support and housing projects under construction to support the USAG Wiesbaden community. These projects have no impact on the move of USAREUR headquarters. Visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil for more Wiesbaden transformation information.

*UPDATED: If I am hired in Heidelberg, what happens to me and my family when the community closes?

If you are a Department of Army Civilian (DAC) assigned to Headquarters, USAREUR, your position is relocating with the command. You will receive advance notice of a Management Directed Reassignment approximately 120 days before your organization's official move date.  The only employees who will not be reassigned with their positions are employees who are exercising their return rights to CONUS or are registered in the DoD Priority Placement Program and are expected to or have received job offers in CONUS prior to the effective date of the move.  All employees issued a notice of reassignment will receive counseling on PCS eligibility and other entitlements associated with the command's relocation. 

For more information, please visit the USAREUR, G1, Civilian Personnel Directorate's site at:  http://www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html

Will the Army help local national employees find new jobs after Mannheim and Heidelberg close?

During the Reduction-in-Force process, local national employees are registered in the Local National Priority Placement program, and it is the employer's obligation to try and find continued employment opportunities within the commuting area and also outside the commuting area. However, the latter option is applicable only provided the employee indicated willingness to relocate outside of commuting area. Positions with the Air Force and AAFES are also looked at as possible placement. Employees must meet qualification requirements for the vacant positions, and the positions may be at a lower grade than currently held, in which case the employees may also be entitled to an income protection supplement. Positions will be offered in retention order. The registration in the PP program is valid until the effective date of the termination. The establishment of a transfer company is planned. If approved, interested LN employees would transfer to this company upon expiration of the notice period; however, certain prerequisites must be met. Upon effective date of a termination notice, there is no further means of assisting.

How will the sports programs in Mannheim be impacted?

Fall sports are business as usual in Mannheim, and we’re encouraging community volunteers as always to support programs for our youth. We’ve already started looking at spring sports to see if we can merge with Heidelberg to provide our youth with more opportunities as the population decreases and units transition to other communities in Germany or inactivate. We have not made a decision yet on what whether or not we will merge with Heidelberg in the spring, but we are exploring that possibility.

Do GS employees get priority for other jobs in Europe?

Each employee’s case must be reviewed individually to determine what placement priorities they have for positions in Europe and/or the United States.

If eligible and qualified, there are two programs in which an employee may receive priority consideration:

  • The Priority Placement Program: Employees can register in the Priority Placement Program for possible placement. As stated in the Priority Placement Manual, Chapter 3, Section D: Permanent employees become eligible to register for placement in other areas when they receive a specific Reduction in Force (RIF) notice of separation. Eligible employees are registered and referred for placement using one of the three numerical priorities. Please see the definition of Priority 1 below:

Priority 1 – Employees scheduled for RIF separation provided they have not received an offer of continued DoD employment, regardless of grade or location.

  • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): To exercise special selection priority under ICTAP, the employee must be “displaced”. In most cases, there are employees who fall into one of the following categories:
  • A current career or career-conditional competitive service employee in Tenure group 1 or 2 at grade levels GS-15 or equivalent and below, who has received a specific reduction-in-force (RIF) separation notice or a notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function (TOF) outside the local commuting area.
  • A former career employee, as defined above, who was separated through RIF or removed for declining a directed reassignment or TOF outside the local commuting area.

**Employees must note in their supplemental data section in “Answer” that they are ICTAP eligible.

In both programs noted above, the employee must be determined “well qualified” for a position.

For more information on GS personnel issues and policies, visit the USAREUR G1 webpage at www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

What units will remain in Heidelberg?

There is no present plan for any units to remain in Heidelberg after 2015.

What’s the status of the Mannheim Corrections Facility?

The correctional facility will stay where it is on Coleman Barracks until about FY 2013 at which time it will move to Sembach where a new corrections facility is being built.

How will it benefit from the USAREUR move to Wiesbaden?

The bottom line is the need to consolidate U.S. Army Europe headquarters so the commanding general has access to the functions he needs to make the coordination process easier. The decision was based on several factors, including space and Wiesbaden was the location selected.

Is everyone moving to Heidelberg now?

Those with high school-age students are encouraged to reside in Heidelberg. The following will be considered when the housing assignment is made: forecasted unit location, number of family members, number of school-age children and commute to school, and commute for Soldier to duty station.

Are you closing Mark Twain Village?

The section to the left of the chapel, which includes buildings 3721-3728, will close once all the families currently living there move out of the Heidelberg area.

When will families living on post be impacted by transformation?

Families living on post will only be impacted when units depart. Housing areas in Heidelberg and Mannheim will not shut down until families have vacated them because they have moved to another community with their units or PCSed to another duty station. The reduction of housing areas will be through attrition, so we will leave some areas vacant once the tenants have moved in order to save money on utilities, but no one will be forced to move to another housing area within our community during this process. Check out the video blog on BWNow’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/BWnow) about the new USAREUR housing policy to find out about the off-post housing option now available to Soldiers E-7 and above.

Will housing conditions decline as time goes on? Will funding still be available to ensure on-post residents have decent places to live?

We will ensure all families residing on post have quality housing for as long as they remain in Army Family Housing. Just because we are closing doesn’t mean we will proved an inferior quality of life for our families. We are funded under the Facilities’ Sustainment Model, so as long as we have facilities in operation, our quarters will continue to be maintained as they are now. As more and more families leave the area, we may decide to stop using certain buildings or areas, but the reduction will be done through attrition, so no one will have to leave their current residence. If you have an issue with your residence or building, be sure to put in a work order to ensure the issue can be managed by our maintenance team.

Is there enough base housing in Wiesbaden?

Wiesbaden has enough Army family housing to meet the U.S. Army Europe housing policy, which is 100 percent of key and essential personnel, 100 percent of all specialists/corporals and below and at least 10 percent of higher grades.

Will family housing in Wiesbaden that isn’t currently protected by security perimeters be changed to include gates and ID checks?

The housing areas that are open are patrolled by military police and the German Polizei. All of these housing areas located in German communities with public streets maintained by the city of Wiesbaden. An access control point for the Hainerberg housing area is programmed for construction. At that time, the entire Hainerberg housing area will be controlled access. Personnel will have the option of living in the controlled housing areas on Wiesbaden Army Airfield and Hainerberg as quarters become available. The community has the ability to close the other housing areas upon high threat conditions.

When people move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden, rents will be higher. Will the government consider giving even a half LQA to those who don’t receive it because we have to move?

It’s true that Wiesbaden is a considerably higher rent district for housing. While there are no regulatory provisions for granting pro-rated Living Quarters Allowance at the presnt time, you need to take this issue to your chain of command and make sure appropriate controls are in place to ensure employees are treated equally and fairly as far as rent payments go.

For more information on GS personnel issues and policies, visit the USAREUR G1 webpage at www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

Will individuals who don’t currently don’t receive LQA be eligible for it when they move to Wiesbaden if the move is management-directed?

Management-directed reassignments have certain components associated with them. Regarding Living Quarters Allowance, no determination has been made, but it is being considered as plans to inactivate move forward. Once more is known about LQA for management-directed moves, we will get the information out in the Herald Post and on the USAG Baden Wuerttemberg Facebook site (www.facebook.com/bwnow) and BWNow Web (www.mybwnow.ning.com) sites.

For more information on GS personnel issues and policies, visit the USAREUR G1 webpage at www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

Traffic in Wiesbaden is challenging. What’s the plan to move everybody around?

The garrison is working with the City of Wiesbaden and the Hessen traffic planners to improve the exit from B455 to accommodate more vehicles. Design is underway for a new access control point, which will have four lanes, plus a separate truck inspection lane. Construction is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2012. On post, a ring road around the installation is being constructed to facilitate the flow of traffic and a 1,100-space parking structure will be completed by November 2011. Another 900-space parking structure is being designed to support additional facilities that are scheduled for construction.

Is there any plan to either expand the medical clinic in Wiesbaden or to build a new one?

The Wiesbaden medical facilities are being reviewed to determine how to best support the projected increase in population. Efforts are underway to increase the number o exam rooms to improve efficiency for primary care, but the number of Primary Care Mangers also drives capacity. The clinic encourages family members to see their assigned primary care managers for optimum quality of care, but sometimes patients cannot see their PCMS on the date or time they wish. The priority of effort goes to active-duty personnel and active-duty family members but civilians and retirees not enrolled to a PCM always have the option of using the space-available option.

Will you increase the number of bus routes from Wiesbaden to Heidelberg?

Currently there is no bus service from Wiesbaden to Heidelberg. Commuters are using POVs or intercity trains; and during the transition, determination will be made if there is a need for a garrison bus service between Wiesbaden and Heidelberg similar to the bus service provided between Wiesbaden and Mannheim for the 5th Signal Command move.

What services will stay in Mannheim for the time being?
Services staying in Mannheim include the Child Development Center, School-age Services, Youth Sports, chapel, Coleman and Sullivan shoppettes, Sullivan and Coleman Bowling Centers, Army Community Service and the Top Hat Club. The closure of the library, education center and dental clinics are dependent on customer usage.

Why did you move so many services to Spinelli Barracks when it is closing, too?

Spinelli Barracks is one of the longer-term installations in the Baden-Wuerttemberg footprint. It is a strategic move for us to move services there because it has a lot of warehouses available and it will be one of the last installations to close.

When will the Mannheim PX close? Will there be transportation to other PX locations?

They have not determined yet when the Mannheim PX will close. It is now open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Mondays. A shuttle bus service between Mannheim and Heidelberg has been implemented. The bus runs four times a day, Monday through Friday. The service, operated by the Directorate of Logistics, is mainly for Soldiers on duty to get back and forth, but family members are allowed to ride on a space-available basis. Family and MWR has begun a Saturday service to complement the weekday service.

How are you going to make sure enough services are available for the community members who are still here?
Changes in operating hours or closures require prior coordination with the garrison commander, so decisions can be made based on the business needs of the organization and the needs of the community members.

Will the new Wiesbaden PX be able to serve all the new people who will move to the community?

The total space including the mall and the stockroom is 140,000 square feet, of which 80,000 square feet is PX. In the plan, there will be 330 parking spaces built for this facility. The project is under design and is scheduled to open in fiscal year 2014.

What if certain products aren’t available at the PX?

There is a courier service that runs five days a week between Heidelberg, Mannheim and Stuttgart stores. If a product is not available at one store and is available at one of the other stores, customers can talk to the store manager and the product will be delivered to the store where it’s needed within a day or two.

Will facilities decline as people move out and no money is available?

Throughout the gradual closure process, we will continue to provide services as long as we have a population to serve. We will not reduce our services until something precipitates the reduction of that service. When the population shrinks and a service is not being used or is getting very few customers, then we will reduce the hours or combine the service with other services to create efficiencies. We will maintain services as long as we have people in our footprint. Under the facilities sustainment model, we will continue to ensure the promise of the Army Family Covenant is achieved.

When will the health center close? What will the remaining people do for healthcare?

According to the U.S. Army Europe news release, the Heidelberg Health Center and Dental Clinic will inactivate by FY13.  The 30th Medical Command and associated medical activities will relocate to the Kaiserslautern area by FY13. The 30th Medical Command is currently slate to relocate to a location to be determined by FY14. The European Regional Medical Command is currently evaluating how they will continue to provide services to our communities. The reduction of services will be done in coordination with the reduction of the population, so they will continue to provide services as long as possible. When more information has been released on this subject, we will make it available to you.

Is the Army taking over Sembach?

The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern assumed responsibility for Sembach on Oct. 1, 2010.

Since Germersheim is an enduring installation will there be an increase in services there and when?

Germersheim Army Depot is enduring. It’s planne as a work site only, with no one living o the depot. Service providers like AAFES, DECA and Family and MWR cater almost exclusively to Soldiers and their families. The total military population for GAD through 2016 is 17. With the total GAD population will grow to more than 1,000, the military population will remain the same. As a result, no new services or additional services are currently planned for GAD.

Considering that housing, LQA costs, and rental property are considerably more expensive in the Wiesbaden area, and since these are all ongoing costs for the U.S. Army, how will the U.S. Army be saving so much money by moving to Wiesbaden?  -- Terence Sweeney

As we move forward with the requirements of Round 56 announced in July 2010, many people question the reasoning behind them. Whatever the "going explanation," it is left to the garrison to execute the mission with integrity and professionalism. The response to why the move is happening is that consolidating the headquarters in Wiesbaden will optimize command and control, intelligence and signal capabilities; provide a more responsive organizational structure; offer better force protection options than at the current location in Heidelberg; and provide access to a nearby Army airfield. In terms of cost savings, the Department of Defense's planning for consolidation of U.S. Army Europe headquarters with its military intelligence and signal assets at Wiesbaden goes back to 2003-04. DOD's review in summer 2009 made a valid operational and business case to continue consolidation in Wiesbaden with estimated net annual recurring savings of $112 million. Savings will be achieved by about 2016. The 2009 review also found that initial savings estimates were high, but using DOD Base Realignment and Closure rules including adding the cost of moving 1AD headquarters to Fort Bliss, results indicate a lower, but still positive, net savings. The review concluded that closing three communities and consolidating onto one site will mean major savings resulting from fewer gates, more efficient schools, lower operating costs and decreased support personnel.

Will Soldiers who are part of USAREUR who request curtailments in order to not have to move to Wiesbaden be given approval of such requests? -- Jason Heitmann

According to Mr. Charles Fastiggi of the USAREUR G1 who referenced AR 614-30, Overseas Service, Chapter 5, Foreign Service Tour Curtailment (FSTC's) requests are handled on a individual case-by-case basis. Requests must be endorsed by the first colonel in the chain of command and subsequently endorsed at each command level.  Human Resources Command is the approval authority for FSTCs. There are many factors to consider when determining if a curtailment is warranted. All of the factors will be used when determining to recommend approval or disapproval.

How does transformation impact people who are just now getting orders to Mannheim?

This is a tough question because a Soldier’s unit of assignment will truly drive how long the Soldier and his family will serve in Mannheim.

What’s happening to the IMCOM-Europe Headquarters?

IMCOM-Europe is scheduled to move to Wiesbaden and/or Sembach pending on guidance from DoD basing officials.

Why is the Army shutting down Heidelberg and Mannheim communities? How will it benefit from the USAREUR move to Wiesbaden?

The bottom line is the need to consolidate U.S. Army Europe Headquarters so the commanding general has access to the functions he needs to make the coordination process easier. The decision was based on a lot of factors, including space, and Wiesbaden was the location selected.

Are you closing Mark Twain Village?

The section left of the chapel, which includes Bldg.s 3721-3728, will close once all families currently living there have moved out of the Heidelberg area. We are not forcing anyone to move; we are just not backfilling any of the housing in that section.

When will families living on post be impacted by transformation?

Families living on post will only be impacted when units depart. Housing areas in Heidelberg and Mannheim will not shut down until families have vacated them because they have moved to another community with their unit. The reduction of housing areas will be through attrition, so we will leave some areas vacant once the tenants have moved in order to save money on utilities, but no one will be forced to move to another housing area within our community during this process. Check out the video blog on BWnow’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/BWnow) about the new USAREUR housing policy to find out about the off-post housing option now available to sergeants first class and above.

Will housing conditions decline as time goes on? Will funding still be available to ensure on-post residents have decent places to live?

We will ensure all families residing on post have quality housing for a long as they remain in Army Family Housing. Just because we are closing doesn’t mean we will provide an inferior quality of life for our families. We are funded under the Facilities’ Sustainment Model, so as long as we have facilities in operation, our quarters will continue will be maintained as they are now. As more and more families leave the area, we may decide to stop using certain buildings or areas, but the reduction will be done through attrition, so no will have to leave their current residence. If you have an issue with your residence or building, be sure to put in a work order to ensure the issue can be managed by our maintenance team.

In Wiesbaden, there is a lot of new housing being built. Is it only for the new people moving in or will Soldiers who are already here have the opportunity to move there?

The new housing being built at the airfield is part of the overall Wiesbaden housing construction and renovation program to provide sufficient military housing at the DoD standard. The houses at the airfield will be part of the Army Family Housing inventory and will be offered to any military personnel assigned to the Wiesbaden community.  Visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil for more transformation information.

When will the Heidelberg Health Center close? What will the remaining people do for health care?

According to the U.S. Army Europe news release, the Heidelberg Health Center and Dental Clinic will inactivate by FY 13. Headquarters Europe Regional Medical Command and association medical activities will relocate to the Kaiserslautern area by FY13. The 30th Medical Command is currently slated to relocate to a location to be determined by FY 14. ERMC is currently evaluating how they will continue to provide services to our communities. The reduction of services will be done in coordination with the reduction of the population, so they will continue to provide services as long as possible. When more information has been released on this subject, we will make it available to you.

Is the Army taking over Sembach?
Yes. U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern will assume responsibility for Sembach, Oct. 1, 2010.

What’s happening with the construction in Wiesbaden for the move of USAREUR?

Construction of the Command and Battle Center is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2012. There are other community support and housing projects under construction to support the USAG-Wiesbaden community. These projects have no impact on the move of the USAREUR headquarters. Visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil for more Wiesbaden relocation information.

Will there be enough people here to have schools in Heidelberg for school year 2013-2014?

It’s too early to tell. There are a lot of things that need to transpire before school year 2013 – 2014 in order for us to accurately estimate the population at that time.

Is it true that no schools will be open in Heidelberg in school year 2014 – 2015?

There have been no discussions as of yet as to when the schools in the Heidelberg community will close.

I am wondering how in the world everybody is going to move around once we get into Erbenheim? Given the traffic situation outside the gate right now there’s practically a standstill in the city. Moving everybody up there (to Wiesbaden) seems to make as much sense to me as relocating the forces to midtown Manhattan. So what’s the plan to move everybody around?

The garrison is working with the city of Wiesbaden and the Hessen traffi c planners to improve the exit from B455 to accommodate more
vehicles. Design is underway for a new access control point, which will have four lanes, plus a separate truck inspection lane. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2012. On post, a ring road around the installation is being constructed to facilitate the flow of traffic and a 1,100-space parking structure will be completed by November. Another 900-space parking structure is being designed to support the
remaining two facilities that will be constructed.

How is Wiesbaden preparing to accommodate the additional people?

Wiesbaden has a lot of construction ongoing including a large facility that will be a 1,200 work station operational facility called the Command Battle Center to host all of the headquarters elements. It is scheduled to be completed in March of next year and ready for occupancy in the summer of 2012. Renovations of existing facilities have taken place over the past three years and most of the military intelligence and signal units have moved into them. Some additional renovation of facilities are ongoing for the anticipated arrival of USAREUR and V Corps elements. In the design phase are two more facilities, one for intelligence and one for signal. Those facilities start construction later this year if funded by the U.S. Congress. For more information about Wiesbaden construction, see http://www.wiesbaden.army.mil/hunion/
Archive/WebAug2709/Transformation.htm.

Is there enough base housing in Wiesbaden?

Wiesbaden has projects ongoing that are quality of life improvements that were due at this time regardless of who was going to be there. A family entertainment bowling center has been completed and a new Army lodging facility has opened. There have been numerous housing renovation projects and a new 326 dwelling unit housing area that’s being built on the southern edge of the airfield. The coming year will see the start of a new Exchange complex.

There are individuals who are not receiving LQA currently. If they move to Wiesbaden, will they be eligible for LQA, based on the management-directed reassignment?

Management directed reassignments have certain components associated with them. Regarding Living Quarters Allowance, no determination has been made but it is being considered as plans to inactivate move forward. Once more is known about LQA for management-directed moves, we will get the information out in the Herald Post and on our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/bwnow) and BWnow websites (http://mybwnow.ning.com) .

I just got hired for a new position in Heidelberg. I'm currently living in Kaiserslautern. The cost of living in Heidelberg is considerably higher than in Kaiserlautern and I'm led to believe that this is largely associated with LQA that is provided to some people. When people move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden, I'm sure rents in that area will increase considerably once the local renters know that the government is paying the rent for the employees. I'm wondering if they consider giving even a half LQA to those of us that don't receive it and that have to move to higher rent areas?

It’s true that Wiesbaden is a considerably higher rent district for housing. While there are no regulatory provisions for granting pro-rated Living Quarters Allowance at the present time, individuals need to take this through the chain of command and make sure your concerns are understood. Garrison and housing offi cials are working together to make sure appropriate controls are in place to ensure Americans are treated equally as far as rent payments go.

How will the relocation affect the five-year rotation, if the employees are willing to move to Wiesbaden? Will they be required to enroll in PPP, utilize their return rights, or will they be allowed to extend? If they're allowed to extend, how long will they be allowed to extend?

Individuals who have reached the end of their five-year terms normally enter the Priority Placement Program or exercise their return rights, if any, unless for some reason an extension is granted to the five-year period. Extensions are a management decision. The length of an extension is also normally a management decision. In relation to transformation, management will look at individual situations closely to determine the best course of action. Individuals need to talk to their supervisors to ensure they understand each individual case.

With all the personnel moving to Wiesbaden, is there any plan to either expand the medical clinic there or to build a new one? Many of the patients from there who come to Heidelberg complain the Wiesbaden clinic is much too small and access to care for civilians is limited.

The Wiesbaden medical facilities are being reviewed to determine how to best support the projected increase in population. Efforts are underway to increase the number of exam rooms to improve efficiency for primary care, but the number of Primary Care Managers also drives capacity. The clinic encourages family members to see their assigned Primary Care Managers for optimum quality of care, but sometimes patients cannot see their PCMs on the date or time they wish. The priority of effort goes to active duty and active duty family members but civilians and retirees not enrolled to a PCM always have the option of using the space available option.

For Soldiers currently authorized to live in off post housing – will this still be authorized when we move to the Wiesbaden area or will they be forced back into military housing?

Housing assignments generally follow the USAREUR housing policy which states enlisted service members E-6 and below must liveon post and E-7 and above may choose to live off post. Housing appointments for incoming personnel assigned to USAG BW are now handled at the
Community Support Center, Bldg. 3850 on the Shopping Center Kaserne in Heidelberg.

Does management have the right to reassign me?

Yes. A supervisor may reassign an employee when they have a legitimate reason for the reassignment and the vacant position is at the same grade, or rate of pay as the employee's present position.

What is the notification period for US civilian employees to relocate to WAAF?

Employees will be given a reasonable notice period of their reassignment. Generally, employees will receive at least 120 calendar days advance notice. However, the time period may be adjusted in some cases based upon mission requirements.

Will town hall meetings be conducted?

Yes, numerous town hall meetings will be conducted throughout the entire relocation process. The dates and times will be provided to your organization. In the meantime, there are several websites containing information about the relocation. Continue to check out the U.S. Army Europe homepage at: http://www.eur.army.mil and the Civilian Personnel Directorate's website at: http://www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

Will telework be implemented or offered to employees during the relocation to WAAF?

USAREUR does not have a telework policy. However, managers may continue to use telework on a case by case basis. If used, managers must comply with the Department of Defense telework policy.

For additional information, please visit: http://www.cpms.osd.mil/telework/telework_index.aspx.

Will civilian employees be authorized excused absence to relocate to Wiesbaden?

No, travel time to and from Wiesbaden will not be considered as part of the work day. When the relocation occurs, Wiesbaden is the permanent official duty station. The Fair Labor Standards Act and 5CFR 551.422 state: "An employee who travels from home before the regular workday begins and returns home at the end of the workday is engaged in "normal home to work" travel; such travel is not hours of work."

Will Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) employees, working in the USAREUR G2, receive orders from the Heidelberg CPAC and/or the Ft. Huachuca CPAC?

The Fort Huachuca CPAC has Human Resources Specialists located in Heidelberg who will issue the travel orders to the DCIPS employees, located within the G2. All other HQ USAREUR employees will receive their travel orders from the Wiesbaden CPAC.

Will I be eligible for early retirement if I choose not to relocate with the command to Wiesbaden?

Employees choosing not to relocate with the command may be eligible for a Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR) upon declination of their Management Directed Reassignments (MDR) to Wiesbaden. DSR provides an immediate, possibly reduced, annuity for eligible employees who chose to decline their MDRs. In order to qualify for a DSR, employees must submit a written declination of their MDR and meet one of the following eligibility requirements: at least 25 years of service or a combination of at least 20 years of service and at least 50 years of age.

For additional information, review the Discontinued Service Retirement relocation bulletin found on the USAREUR G1, Civilian Personnel Directorate webpage at: http://www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

Will Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) be offered to employees not willing to relocate with the command to Wiesbaden?

VERA and VSIP, also known as a "buyout," are separate programs that can be used alone or in conjunction with each other. These are management tools used to reduce the impact of downsizing and restructuring actions. VERA and VSIP are not being offered in conjunction with the command's move to Wiesbaden. These programs are used as incentives to reduce the number of personnel facing a reduction-in-force or restructuring of the workforce to meet mission objectives. It is the command's hope that all employees issued an MDR to Wiesbaden will choose to relocate with the command. Therefore, employees choosing to decline their MDRs will not be offered VERA or VSIP.

Both my spouse and I are Federal employees stationed in Heidelberg and are currently employed by organizations relocating to communities outside of Heidelberg. What are our options if our respective organizations are moving at different times and/or relocating to different communities?

If both you and your spouse are employed by organizations that are relocating, you should discuss any potential issues with your move(s) with your respective supervisors. An open dialog between you, your spouse, and your respective leadership will help to lessen the potential impact these decisions may have on families and organizations during this transition.

If both you and your spouse's organizations are relocating to different communities, both you and your spouse will most likely have to make a decision concerning which reassignment(s) to accept/decline, if you both desire to be employed in the same community. Additionally, spouses relocating to their new duty stations at different times will have to make a decision as to when they will execute the move (if flexibility exists) and should work with their respective organizations to coordinate actions that will positively impact all parties.

For additional information, review the Dual Employee Households relocation bulletin found on the USAREUR G1, Civilian Personnel Directorate webpage at: http://www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/index.html.

Will tour extensions be automatically approved during the period of the move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden?

No. Employees do not have an automatic entitlement to tour extensions. During the move, managers will maintain their current authority to extend or not extend employees based upon mission requirements and organizational needs.

Will the five-year limit on overseas tours be "removed" during the relocation to Wiesbaden?

No, the five year limit will not be "removed." It is Department of Defense (DoD) policy to limit the time appropriated fund civilian employees in the competitive service spend in foreign areas to 5 years. This typically equates to one foreign area tour (three years) and one renewal agreement tour of duty (24 months). The DoD policy was established to provide management the necessary flexibility to regulate the ever-changing foreign area workforce requirements, provide a continuous flow of jobs for newly assigned personnel, and to provide career-enhancing opportunities for continental US (CONUS)-based employees.

However, USAREUR also recognizes the uniqueness of the mission and the subsequent need for managers to have the flexibility to manage their workforce. Therefore, USAREUR established a policy that allows senior level commanders the authority to extend an employee beyond the five-year limit. This gives the Commander the needed flexibility to perform mission essential functions.

Tour extensions are granted based on mission requirements and organizational needs provided the employee meets the DoD criteria for extension.

What types of reasons might justify extending an employee beyond the five-year limit?

Managers may consider reasons such as:

  • The continued need for an employee's skills or corporate knowledge when there is a documented history of difficulty filling the position.
  • The need to maintain stability during mandated organizational staff reductions.
  • The assignment of new missions or tasks to the organization.
  • A requirement to keep an employee to complete a special project.
  • Simultaneous DEROS of other employees in the same career field.

To view other "Frequently Asked Questions" about tour rotation, please visit: http://www.eur.army.mil/g1/content/CPD/faqdod5year2.html.

Will the Government fund my move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden, and if so, what are my entitlements? I currently have a transportation entitlement to return to the United States.

Yes, the move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden constitutes a PCS move under the JTR II, unless, you live in the greater Wiesbaden area in which case a PCS may not be authorized. The entitlements include (1) shipment of household goods (HHGs) of up to 18,000 pounds, (2) temporary storage of HHGs, if needed, (3) mileage for traveling by POV to the new permanent duty station, to facilitate the actual move, and (4) miscellaneous expense allowance (MEA).

 I currently do not have a transportation entitlement to the United States; will I still be eligible for a Government-funded move to Wiesbaden?

Yes; however, the intra-theatre move to Wiesbaden will not create a transportation entitlement to the United States.

 Both, my spouse and I are civilian career employees, each of us having our own transportation entitlement; will both of us have PCS entitlements to Wiesbaden?

Yes, both of you are eligible for PCS entitlements to the same location.

 I am a civilian career employee who came to the overseas area under my own Government orders; my spouse is a member of the uniformed services, who will also relocate to the Wiesbaden area. What are our entitlements?

As an employee eligible for PCS entitlements, who is married to a member in the military, you are authorized PCS allowances when transferred in the Government's interest, even if your military spouse is also transferred at the same time to the same location. However, you may not receive PCS travel and transportation allowance payments for the same purpose or expense. You may combine your respective weight allowances and ship up to the allowable amounts specified by the JTR 2 and JFTR.

 Once I have moved to Wiesbaden, how long will I be obligated to remain at the new permanent duty station?

Generally, you are obligated to remain at your new duty station at least 12 months.

Although I live about 100 kilometers from Wiesbaden and PCS orders were issued to me, I would be willing to commute; will I able to maintain my current residence and continue to receive LQA?

Yes, even if you are eligible for a PCS move, you can choose not to execute the orders and continue to reside in your current residence and commute to Wiesbaden provided you are already eligible for LQA. However, you will not be reimbursed for mileage.

 Can authorization of rental agent (Immobilien) fees be considered to ease relocation stress?

Yes, the rental agent fees and other fees or expenses associated with the move of the household may be reimbursed up to a certain limit, in accordance with the provisions of the JTR II, Chapter 5, Part G, Paragraph C5310.

If I prefer to move to Wiesbaden earlier than directed, will the Government reimburse me for the move or will it be at my own cost?

If you choose to move earlier than directed to your new duty station, you will be responsible for the costs associated with that move.
If you choose to move earlier than directed to your new duty station, you will be responsible for the costs associated with that move.

If I volunteer to go in advance to Wiesbaden, will be I reimbursed for mileage?

No.

I am eligible for and receive LQA now; can I relocate my family to Wiesbaden in advance and receive LQA for that area?

No; the applicable LQA rate for an eligible employee is determined by your duty location. If your official duty station is Heidelberg, then the rate applicable for Heidelberg is used for reimbursement of living expenses, irrespective of where your family resides in Germany.

I am not eligible for LQA now; if and when I am being directed to move to Wiesbaden will I become eligible for the allowance?

This option is still under review by the command.

I am eligible for and receive LQA now; my MDR is effective 15 February 2012 but I cannot move my household until 01 June 2012. When do I get the LQA rate for Wiesbaden?

Since you are an LQA recipient now, the LQA rate applicable to the new duty station is effective on the day of the official reassignment, e.g., 15 February 2012, irrespective of when you physically move to the greater Wiesbaden area.

Will Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (TQSA) be authorized for the household move to Wiesbaden Army Airfield?

Yes, TQSA will be authorized; however, you must be eligible for LQA to receive TQSA.

My spouse and I are both civilian career employees whose offices will relocate to Wiesbaden but not at the same time; her office's move will be delayed by approximately six to nine months; we are eligible for LQA. Will either one of us be able to receive either separate maintenance allowance or compensation for the commute during the transition phase?

No; there is no authorization to pay separate maintenance allowance or compensate for mileage in such instances.

I purchased a home in the Heidelberg area; will I get LQA when I move to Wiesbaden?

Provided you are eligible for LQA, you may get the allowance for only one residence that you designate as permanent.

As a retiree I have a mail box at the post office. What will happen when the area closes down?

Retirees are authorized a general delivery post office box in Community Mail Rooms or Postal Service Centers. A retiree's box is a Box R general delivery, and the retirees are authorized to receive and send mail as long as the weight of the single piece doesn't exceed 16 ounces. If the Mannheim mail room closes, then patrons have the option of establishing a retiree mail box in Kaiserslautern or Wiesbaden.

Will the new post exchange in Wiesbaden be able to serve all the people moving to the community?

The total space including the mall and stockroom is 140,000 square feet, of which 80,000 square feet is the post  exchange. In the plan, there will be 330 parking spaces built for this facility. The project is under design and is scheduled to open in fiscal year 2014.

What if certain products aren’t available at the PX?

There is a courier service that runs five days a week between the Heidelberg, Mannheim and Stuttgart post exchanges. If a product is not available at one store but is available at one of the other two stores, customers can talk to the store manager, and the product will be delivered to the store where it’s needed. Delivery typically occurs within a day or two.

Should incoming Soldiers with school-age children move to Heidelberg?

We are encouraging incoming Soldiers with school-age children – especially teenagers – to acquire housing in Heidelberg rather than Mannheim. This will make it easier for families and fewer major adjustments will have to be made.

Is Mark Twain Elementary closing?

MTES will close June 2011. MTES students will be integrated into Patrick Henry Elementary School for the 2011-12 school year. The PHES building capacity is more than adequate to accommodate the additional students. This action is being taken because Mannheim High School will be closing as part of the eventual base closure. The additional space provided by the vacated elementary building will allow Heidelberg High School to accommodate incoming Mannheim students. A variety of integration activities are planned to make students feel more comfortable with changing schools. MTES students will be taken to PHES toward the end of the current school year and matched with grade level peers for a "getting to know you" event.

How will TKS services be handled as the community closes, so Soldiers don’t have to pay fees here and at their next duty station?

We’re committed to helping Soldiers make the transition from Heidelberg and Mannheim to Wiesbaden, Kaiserslautern or wherever their unit is moving. There are funds and a process available to help our Soldiers and family members transfer cable and phone service, so they don’t have to pay to disconnect in one location and then immediately reconnect in another location.

When will the health center close? What will the remaining people do for health care?

According to the U.S. Army Europe news release, the Heidelberg Health Center and Dental Clinic will inactivate by FY13. Headquarters Europe Regional Medical Command and associated medical activities will relocate to the Kaiserslautern area by FY13. The 30th Medical Command is currently slated to relocate to a location to be determined by FY14. ERMC is currently evaluating how they will continue to provide services to our communities.
The reduction of services will be done in coordination with the reduction of the population, so they will continue to provide services as long as possible. When more information has been released on this subject, we will make it available to you.

Will funding be cut due to the closing status of the installations?

While funding has been and will continue to be constrained for all installations worldwide, we will continue to work closely with the Installation Management Command-Europe Region and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to ensure resources are not prematurely reduced ahead of closure. The Army still has a commitment to sustain the promises in the Army Family Covenant.

If I am hired in Heidelberg, what happens to me and my family when the community closes?

If an employee has return rights to a CONUS activity, he may choose to exercise those
rights. Depending on status, employees may also register in the Priority Placement Program for possible placement. As stated in the PPP Manual, Chapter 3, Section D: Permanent employees become eligible to register for placement in other areas when they receive a specific Reduction-in-Force notice of separation. Local commanders and heads of activities may approve early registration for employees expected to be adversely affected up to one year prior to the effective date of closure or RIF.

Will facilities decline as people move out and no money is available?

Throughout the gradual closure process, we will continue to provide services as long as we have a population to serve. We will not reduce our services until something precipitates the reduction of that service. When the population shrinks and a service is not being used or is getting very few customers, then we will reduce the hours or combine the service with other services to create efficiencies. We will maintain services as long as we have people in our footprint. Under the facilities sustainment model, we will continue to ensure the promise of the Army Family Covenant is achieved.

Will the AAFES services in Wiesbaden grow since new people will be moving there?

The overall population at Wiesbaden will not significantly change from historical numbers. The AAFES facilities are currently spread out at three different sites and located in old facilities. AAFES has approved, as part of their facility recapitalization program, construction of a new PX shopping complex that will consolidate AAFES retail at Hainerberg and provide quality service to the projected Wiesbaden population. Construction of the new PX complex is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2012. Visit www.wiesbaden.army. mil for more Wiesbaden transformation information.

What’s happening to the IMCOM-Europe Headquarters?

IMCOM-Europe is scheduled to move to Wiesbaden and/or Sembach pending guidance from DOD basing officials.

How does transformation impact people who are just now getting orders to Mannheim?

This is a tough question because a Soldier’s unit of assignment will truly drive how long the Soldier and his family will serve in Mannheim. For example, if a Soldier is assigned to a unit earmarked to move to Schweinfurt by the end of fiscal year 11 (such as 72nd Expeditionary
Signal Battalion or the 7th Signal Brigade), his stay in Mannheim could be very brief. If a Soldier is assigned to a unit that has a “TBD” status such as 18th Military Police Brigade, the Soldier and his family could get a full three-year tour in Mannheim. This is certainly an issue that impacts each Soldier and family differently.

When will families living on post be impacted by transformation?

Families living on post will only be impacted when units depart. Housing areas in Heidelberg and Mannheim will not shut down until families have vacated them because they have moved to another community with their unit. The reduction of housing areas will be through attrition, so we will leave some areas vacant once the tenants have moved in order to save money on utilities,
but no one will be forced to move to another housing area within our community during this process. Check out the video blog on BWnow’s YouTube channel (www. youtube.com/BWnow) about the new USAREUR housing policy to find out about the off -post housing option now available to Soldiers E-7 and above.

In Wiesbaden, there is a lot of new housing being built. Is it only for the new people moving in, or will Soldiers who are already here have the opportunity to move there?

The new housing being built at the airfield is part of the overall Wiesbaden housing construction and renovation program to provide sufficient military housing at the DOD standard. The houses at the airfield will be part of the Army Family Housing inventory and will be offered to any military person assigned to the Wiesbaden community. Visit www. wiesbaden.army.mil for more Wiesbaden related transformation information.