Bomb threat shuts down Army depot in Germany
March 28, 2003
GERMERSHEIM, Germany — A bomb threat halted work Thursday at the Germersheim Army Depot, where military and civilian logistics personnel pack and ship food, water, and supplies for deployed troops.
About 10:30 a.m., a German man phoned a U.S. operator in Heidelberg saying a bomb had been planted at the depot, said Lt. Col. Richard Karlsson, the 411th Base Support Battalion provost marshal.
Military police and bomb-sniffing dogs arrived to clear and check buildings. All employees were evacuated from the base.
The base, about 15 miles southwest of Heidelberg, has warehouses for the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Commissary Agency and the U.S. State Department.
For several hours, German soldiers from the 2nd Battery, 52nd Rocket Artillery Battalion from Hermeskeil lined the base perimeter while military and civilian workers waited outside the gate.
Many workers were frustrated that they could not get back to work, saying they felt their work supplying the troops is vital during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
About 100 workers for Defense Distribution Depot Europe were on duty packing field rations when they were told to evacuate, said Karin Flagler, the depot’s acting division chief.
“We fell behind with the work,” Flagler said. “We hope to get caught up tomorrow.”
By 1:30 p.m., most of the workers were sent home. Only supervisors returned on base, once local military police cleared their buildings. Shortly after, military police gave the all clear, Karlsson said.