BAMBERG, Germany — A two-man team from the Bamberg-based 54th Engineer Battalion won the U.S. Army Europe Best Sapper Competition and will become contenders in the U.S. Army-wide event in April.

Capt. David Vasquez, a plans officer for the 54th, and 1st Lt. Brett Fuller, a platoon leader with the 370th Engineer Company, took first prize in the USAREUR event at Grafenwöhr in February, according to 1st Lt. Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the battalion.

The competition, for combat engineers, was hosted by the 18th Engineer Brigade.

The men will travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to compete in the Army-wide 2010 Best Sapper Competition from April 19 to 21. Thirty-four teams competed in the tournament in 2009.

Former soldier’s service honored at ceremonyKAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A retired master sergeant with 62 years of government service was among 78 civilian personnel honored last week at a U.S. Army 21st Theater Sustainment Command awards ceremony.

Theodore Spellacy, 79, began his career in 1948, when he enlisted in the Army from Steubenville, Ohio, completing basic training with the 5th Infantry Division at Fort Jackson, S.C., according to Army officials.

He later served as an Army Ranger instructor at the Ranger Mountain Camp in Dahlonega, Ga., and completed tours of duty in South Korea and Germany, among other locations. His final active-duty assignment, before retiring in 1984, was as the command sergeant major of the 21st Support Command, now the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. Spellacy has worked for the 21st TSC as a civilian for the last 26 years.

Also honored for his longevity with the command was Eber Carvalho, a retired chief warrant officer 4 who has 45 years of service as a soldier and a civilian.

High school forum to focus on mental healthKAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Seeking to help teenagers build resiliency, Kaiserslautern High School has invited a host of local mental health experts to speak with students for five days this week.

Eleven people will lead discussions on topics such as managing depression, school violence, identity development, healthy sleep habits, coping with stress, and aggression.

Most of the speakers, who include several clinical psychologists, a chaplain, a family and victim advocate, and a clinical social worker, work at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

About 400 students — those enrolled in the school’s health, psychology and fitness classes — will attend the forum, which starts Monday.

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