WIESBADEN, Germany — The reins of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden changed hands Thursday in a ceremony held at Clay Kaserne.
Col. Mary L. Martin, who previously served as the deputy director of Technology and Business Architecture Integration with the Army G1 in Washington, D.C., assumed command of the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden from Col. David H. Carstens.
Kathleen Marin, European Regional Director of Installation Management Command and presiding official of the ceremony, spoke of Wiesbaden Army Airfield’s rich history and its involvement in the Berlin Airlift 66 years ago when Germany’s future was threatened by the spread of communist oppression.
“Yet here we are today in a unified Germany, a prosperous Wiesbaden, and a thriving military community made possible by a firm commitment to German-American cooperation,” Marin said.
Carstens oversaw exponential growth since taking command of the garrison in January 2012. The transformation included the completion of U.S. Army in Europe’s move from Heidelberg and into its 285,000-square-foot Mission Command Center, and the adjacent $125 million consolidated intelligence center, scheduled to open in early 2016.
“Most important, Dave focused on serving people,” Marin said. “People turn housing units into homes and communities; people turn classrooms into places of inspiration; people help turn a move to Germany into an opportunity.”
Carstens, in his post-command speech, cited a lengthy list of garrison accomplishments but underscored the fact that Wiesbaden is his home not because of the infrastructure but because of the people he worked alongside and enjoyed relationships with.
“I could think of no better place I’d rather serve and raise my family,” he said.
Carstens, who will remain in Wiesbaden, will serve as the U.S. Army in Europe Inspector General.
Martin, who is no stranger to Germany, served in Wiesbaden as the deputy personnel strength manager for the 1st Armored Division in 2006-09. “I’m happy to be back in Wiesbaden,” she said in her welcome speech before attempting the same in the local language.
“I’m happy to be back in Wiesbaden,” Martin said in her welcome speech before attempting the same in German.
“That’s my last Deutsch for this briefing,” Martin joked.