Engineers make progress on military hospital project in Germany

Published April 1, 2016
WEILERBACH, Germany – By far, the largest construction project being managed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District is the $990 million replacement of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the 86th Medical Group Clinic with a new consolidated medical facility on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.

USACE is working closely with the German government, Defense Health Agency and U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency to build the new medical center. Site preparation is underway, and the German Construction Agency in Weilerbach recently awarded a contract to the architect-engineer firm HDR TMK to complete the next design phase on the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center Replacement.

“The new Department of Defense medical project reflects DOD’s commitment to exceptional care for U.S. service members and their families for decades to come,” Lloyd Caldwell, USACE director of Military Programs, said during a site visit with German officials in December.

Together with the 86th Medical Group Clinic at Ramstein Air Base, Landstuhl provides care to more than 200,000 U.S. military personnel and their families in Europe, according to LRMC officials. Service members wounded in combat are flown to Landstuhl, the largest U.S. medical center on foreign soil and the only forward-stationed evacuation and treatment center for troops, civilians and contractors serving in Afghanistan, Central and Southwest Asia, Europe and Africa. Since 2001, about 90,000 U.S. service members, civilians and coalition forces from 56 countries have been flown there in a MedEvac from downrange with a survival rate of 99 percent.

But now, its sprawling campus with more than 40 buildings is beyond a useful service life and can’t be adequately modified or modernized though repairs, officials said. When the new medical center is fully operational in 2022, patient care will be organized around centers of specialization.

The 985,000-square-foot military hospital will include nine operating rooms, nearly 70 hospital beds, 120 exam rooms and contingency-surge capacity to more than 90 beds. The new hospital site will provide direct access to the Ramstein flight line, reducing transport time for wounded, ill or injured military personnel arriving directly from contingency operations.

The project will comply with both U.S .and German requirements and pursue a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Silver certification, engineers said.


The Defense Health Agency, U.S. Army Medical Command and Air Force Medical Service also are investing in medical clinic modernization across Europe to deliver exceptional health services and support to Soldiers, Airmen and their families.

“In 2015, we executed over $20 million in medical FSRM [facilities, sustainment, restoration and modernization] projects to improve medical facilities,” said Catherine Bingham, USACE Europe District’s Medical Program manager. “Plus, two military construction projects are well into construction, and one will begin this fall. We work closely with the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency and U.S. Air Force Health Facility Division local project offices to ensure we deliver the best possible medical facilities.”

Last August, a ribbon cutting was held for the new 42,000-square-foot Vilseck Health Clinic addition, while renovations to the existing 11,500-square-foot clinic are ongoing. The $34.7 million project includes modernization and expansion of primary and urgent care, behavioral health, radiology, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacy and administrative space to better support the Vilseck beneficiary population.

Bingham said the building is sustainable and will have the first “green” roof on Rose Barracks. The renovated facility is scheduled to be troop ready next spring.

Meanwhile, the $37 million Urlas Health and Dental Clinic replacement project is under construction and set to open this summer. The 51,500-square-foot combined clinic replaces three 1950s-era buildings and features primary care, dental services, behavioral health, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacy and administrative space. It’s also a sustainable facility through the use of natural lighting, low-flow faucets and plumbing fixtures, a “green” roof and solar thermal energy.

A new dental and medical clinic addition is in design for Spangdahlem Air Base and scheduled for construction contract award this fall. The $34 million project will add 54,000 square feet to the existing clinic.

It covers dental care, mental health services, family advocacy, educational and developmental intervention services, bioenvironmental engineering and administrative spaces. The target date for completion is summer of 2019.

Construction is also underway on a $51 million renovation project, partially funded by MEDCOM, to support U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe’s relocation from Pirmasens to Kaiserslautern. USAMMCE provides medical logistics support to deployable units and fixed medical facilities in U.S. European Command, Africa Command and Central Command, as well as State Department embassies.

The project includes renovating 10 existing facilities on Kaiserslautern Army Depot and Kleber Kaserne, which will replace the 27 buildings USAMMCE now operates from on Husterhoeh Kaserne. That ultimately supports the closure and return of Husterhoeh to Germany. USAMMCE is expected to be fully operational in Kaiserslautern by fall of 2017.