Rheinland-Pfalz garrison’s anti-terrorism work wins Armywide honors
Stars and Stripes March 15, 2023
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Tom Leugers’ duties protecting U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz are coming to an end, but he’s going out on top.
The anti-terrorism program he directs was judged the best of any garrison in the world with a population over 10,000, the Army announced Tuesday.
The garrison’s protection team has worked to safeguard American weaponry transported to NATO’s eastern flank from potential terror activity. The weapons and other military equipment are transported by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, which is headquartered at the garrison in Kaiserslautern.
The time period of the award, from October 2021 to September 2022, also partially includes the largest humanitarian evacuation effort in U.S. history, operations Allies Refuge and Allies Welcome, which temporarily brought thousands of Afghans to Army and Air Force installations in Germany.
The garrison had to protect the Afghans while simultaneously looking out for any unvetted travelers.
“The ingenuity and creativity of our team is incredible,” said Leugers, who is stepping down as chief of protection at the garrison’s directorate of plans, training, mobilization and security after decades of civil service.
The garrison includes 31 sites across Germany, along with others in Bulgaria and Romania.
Garrison officials encourage community members to report any suspicious activity by calling +49 (0)631-536-6060/7070.
“There is a persistent threat from near-peer competitors to military installations and personnel, especially overseas,” said Michael Hawthorne, an anti-terrorism officer who is assuming Leugers’ role. “We want to sustain what we have and continually improve.”
The Army also recognized Hawthorne on Tuesday for his work in the field.