The announcement of the withdrawal of US soldiers from Germany also hits Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Rhineland-Palatinate. But now there are signs of hope for the Air Base in the Eifel.
Mainz / Spangdahlem (dpa) – The Spangdahlem air force base in Rhineland-Palatinate remains in spite of the planned relocation of soldiers, according to the US Airforce.
“There are currently no plans to close Spangdahlem,” said Colonel of the US Air Force and commodore of the 52nd Fighter Wing, David Epperson, on Saturday night.
According to Air Base Spangdahlem, the 480th combat squadron and parts of the 52nd fighter squadron are to be relocated to Italy. “The mission here does not end with the relocation of the flight squadron or other units that could be affected by this change of direction,” emphasized Epperson. The majority of the Air Force members assigned to the 52nd Fighter Squadron will not move from Spangdahlem.
The state government reacted with relief. “Such a clear confirmation of the receipt of the air base as it now comes from Spangdahlem, just three days after the top in Washington announced the departure plans, emphasizes the high quality and importance of the location,” said Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) Inquiry from the German Press Agency. The Washington statements had seriously unsettled the region, he emphasized.
According to the U.S. Air Force, around 4,000 U.S. soldiers belong to the Air Base. The base is also an employer for around 800 German civilian employees. This Monday, the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) will meet with local politicians from the Eifel. Epperson said: “We remain committed to our friends and partners in the local community, who have supported our presence in the Eifel for decades, and look forward to building these relationships.”
Lewentz pointed out that the Americans had spent well over $ 400 million in Spangdahlem in the past 15 years. Middle and high schools have just been completed for approximately $ 87 million. The state government is in constant discussion with MPs, the military and decision-makers in the United States.
The United States wants to withdraw a third of its troops stationed in Germany. According to the plans, a good half of the roughly 12,000 soldiers affected are initially to be brought back to the United States and another 5,600 to be transferred to other NATO countries. In addition to Spangdahlem in Rhineland-Palatinate, the Bavarian Vilseck at the Grafenwoehr military training area and the two command centers for Europe and Africa in the state capital of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart are affected.