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66th MIG assets to begin moving to Darmstadt

By CHARLIE COON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 7, 2003

GRIESHEIM, Germany — Some of the U.S. Army intelligence assets currently in southern Germany’s Bad Aibling will move north to Darmstadt.

About 150 soldiers from the 66th Military Intelligence Group will head to Darmstadt by next summer, according to Capt. George Hammar, a spokesman for the group.

The Bad Aibling base, about 20 miles north of the Austrian border, is scheduled to close on Sept. 30, 2004. Hammar said his unit’s move to Darmstadt, which is closer to numerous U.S. Army bases, made sense.

“It makes everything simpler for command and control,” Hammar said.

The Army announced in May 2001 that Bad Aibling would close by September 2002. The planned closing was postponed after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But the work to relocate to Darmstadt went ahead as planned.

A 2,500-foot expansion of the unit’s Dagger Complex in Darmstadt was completed. Office space at the Nathan Hale Depot has been renovated.

Hammar said the 66th MIG’s move is was not related to the upcoming installation of satellite systems at the nearby August-Euler Airfield in Griesheim.

“The radars have nothing to do with the group or INSCOM,” Hammer said, referring to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. “That is specifically a Navy asset.”

U.S. Naval Forces Europe, in London, issued a statement Monday saying the satellite equipment is being moved from Bad Aibling to Darmstadt because of the closing of Bad Aibling. The equipment serves various commands, according to the statement, and should be relocated by next summer.

A story describing the satellite project was published in Wednesday’s Griesheimer Anzeiger newspaper.

The 66th Counter Intelligence Corps was formed in 1944 to interrogate German refugees in France during World War II. The unit was based in Fort Rucker, Ala.

In 1959, the 66th CIC took over military-intelligence operations in southern Germany and was renamed the 66th Military Intelligence Group. In 1968, the unit moved to Munich and expanded its operations to include all of Germany.

In 1977, the unit was reassigned to support the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. In 1992 the group’s headquarters moved from Munich to Augsburg.

Due to the Base Realignment and Closure act and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the 66th downsized and relocated its headquarters to Darmstadt in 1998.

The group has detachments throughout Europe. About 800 soldiers and civilians are assigned to the group in various locations. They are under the operational control of U.S. Army, Europe.

The group’s commander is Col. Gus E. Greene Sr., and its senior enlisted adviser is Command Sgt. Maj. Faron D. Barton.


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