Pentagon, Congress debate replacement costs for Landstuhl hospital
The military’s premier overseas hospital, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, will be closed by the Defense Department and officials back in Washington are going back and forth on how much a replacement should cost, reports The New York Times.
Landstuhl, which treats 500,000 patients a year, is well-regarded as the place where seriously wounded servicemembers go first for what is often life-saving treatment.
The main concern is how big of a replacement is necessary, with officials at the Pentagon and Congress considering the inevitable end to the large U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
According to the story, military commanders contend that the 59-year-old Landstuhl represented a facility that could handle any war contingency, like those brought on by the unpredictable attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Congress rejected the Pentagon’s first proposal of a $1.2 billion hospital that would be built next to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, an effort to reduce transportation time for patients.
In a related report, the Government Accountability Office recently reviewed the Defense Department’s decisions on how to cut costs in Europe while withdrawing two combat brigades and stationing four Aegis-class destroyers.
Source: The New York Times