GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- German and U.S. Army leaders marked the formal start of construction for a $1.3 billion project here intended to include nearly 50 buildings and house more than 5,000 Soldiers. The first Operational Readiness Training Complex will be built over about 10 years and will include all the facilities needed for an entire brigade set of troops and equipment to train and operate on a rotational basis.
"There will be maintenance facilities, there will be training facilities, modern barracks, fitness facilities, dining facilities,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District Commander Col. Dan Kent while celebrating the groundbreaking for site preparation and infrastructure for the larger ORTC program last week. “In some ways it’s much like a city in that they can do everything they need to do from this platform.”
The new facilities will be meant for U.S., Allied and partner troops on rotational deployments in Grafenwoehr in Germany for training exercises, pre-deployment preparation or any number of other mission essential purposes.
Kent joined Brig. Gen. 7th Army Training Command Commanding General Brig. Gen. Steven Carpenter, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. Kevin Poole, Bavaria State Minister Joachim Herrmann and Grafenwoehr Mayor Edgar Knobloch at the event highlighting the project’s kickoff.
"I would like to thank all the project partners who are working very hard on the construction of the ORTC," said Herrmann. "I very much welcome the fact that the Grafenwoehr will be greatly expanded over the next ten years. (We) have great interest in U.S. guest forces staying and continuing to invest."
Kent praised the partnership between Europe District and 7th ATC, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria – in particular with their Directorate of Public Works -- German Bauamt teammates with Amberg-Sulzbach and the local contractor Marksgraf.
Kent also thanked the wide range of Europe District personnel who have worked for years to get to this point and will continue to support the project going forward.
"A project of this scale takes a team and it's important on a day like this to recognize their contributions," he said. "There have been many people who have worked for years toward this moment in our design, contracting, project management, base planning and other sections at our HQ in Wiesbaden,” Kent said. "I am also especially proud of our team here in Bavaria, who will be on the ground and help keep this amazing effort moving forward."