Army moves ahead with new Stuttgart commissary plan
By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 1, 2017
STUTTGART, Germany — The Army plans to consolidate four commissaries in the Stuttgart military community into one $40 million complex to be built near garrison headquarters at Panzer Kaserne.
The Defense Commissary Agency is now coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers on the project, which is in the design phase with a targeted completion date of 2021. Funding is part of the Pentagon’s 2018 proposed budget.
“There is no plan to close the existing stores until the replacement store is operational,” said Kevin L. Robinson, a Defense Commissary Agency spokesman.
The plan is part of a larger Pentagon push to merge facilities and bases across Europe. The 2015 European Infrastructure Consolidation process resulted in scores of consolidations and closures, most notably RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, which is expected to shutter by 2023. The moves were designed to save $500 million annually.
The changes are unlikely to affect most current servicemembers at Stuttgart. However, the consolidation will eventually mean longer rides for many shoppers who live in a community spread across four different installations in the metropolitan area.
Panzer Kaserne, located in the suburban Stuttgart town of Boeblingen, is 20 miles from residents living on Stuttgart’s northside at Robinson Barracks.
At least three of Stuttgart’s current stores are considered dated, small and offer a limited range of products, compared to stores built in other military communities in recent years.