Germans transfer Spangdahlem guard duty from army to navy
Members of the German navy began guarding Spangdahlem Air Base’s gates and perimeter on Thursday, taking over from German army forces.
The German army has been on duty at the base since February 2003, a base spokesman said. About 100 navy members will be on duty 24 hours a day for at least three months, living and taking their meals on the installation, said Col. Tom Groznik, vice commander of Spangdahlem’s 52nd Fighter Wing.
The new forces hail from Kiel, Germany, on the Baltic Sea. They come aboard as roughly 1,000 U.S. Air Force members at Spangdahlem are deploying for at least four months as part of the next Aerospace Expeditionary Force rotation.
A number of Spangdahlem’s deployed troops are members of the 52nd Security Forces Squadron.
“We’re engaged in a war against terrorism and we always have a large percentage of security forces members deployed downrange,” Groznik said Thursday. “They (German forces) are a wonderful help to backfill our folks that are downrange and help us maintain security here.”
The German military offered the troops to boost security forces at Spangdahlem, as well as air bases at Ramstein and Sembach, Germany, since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.
“We’re very grateful,” Groznik said. “We try to make it a good experience for them and for us.”