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Prior to deactivation, 5th Signal Command bids farewell to former home in Worms

Col. Rob Parker, right, commander of the U.S. Army's 5th Signal Command, signs the golden book of Worms, Germany, in the city hall at a ceremony on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The 5th Signal Command, soon to deactivate under Department of Defense streamlining efforts, paid a final farewell to the city.

DAN STOUTAMIRE/STARS AND STRIPES

By DAN STOUTAMIRE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 21, 2017

WIESBADEN, Germany — In a pair of events on Wednesday, the soon-to-deactivate 5th Signal Command paid a final tribute to its home of more than two decades — the city of Worms in Germany.

The historic cathedral city on the banks of the Rhine hosted the command from 1974 to 1996, after which the command moved to Mannheim, and finally to Wiesbaden in 2010.

Under force structure cuts announced in November 2016, theater signal commands will be cut in fiscal year 2017, and replaced by theater signal brigades. The planned date for the deactivation of 5th Signal Command is Aug. 4.

“Over the years, the partnerships with the U.S. military and the communities in which we live and operate have grown into friendships and ultimately into inseparable bonds of mutual commitment, respect and support,” said Col. Rob Parker, commander of 5th Signal Command. “For U.S. Army signal forces in Europe, the bond of friendship has never been stronger than what we’ve experienced in Worms over the years.”

To mark their unit’s time in the city, Parker and other command leaders, together with Worms mayor Michael Kissel, signed their names in the city hall’s historic golden book — a heavy, leatherbound tome with gilded pages in use since the 19th century. They then unveiled a commemorative dragon crest at the gate of the unit’s former headquarters, now a hotel complex.

Worms was the setting of one of medieval Europe’s most important epics, the Nibelungenlied, which details the story of the dragon-slayer Siegfried and his vengeful widow Kriemhild in and around the city.

“Since that day we’ve proudly worn (the dragon crest) on our uniforms, put it on our buildings, soldiers and leaders with the patch are now recognized around the globe by military forces as some of the Army’s finest communicators and signaleers,” Parker said.

The partnership was cherished on the part of the city as well, Kissel said, something that won’t change when the unit’s colors are retired in August.

“This farewell is linked with many memories that go beyond our lifetime. There were many bonds formed, building close friendships between the Germans and Americans,” he said. “Rest assured that we will not forget each other.”

stoutamire.dan@stripes.com
 

Col. Rob Parker, left, commander of the U.S. Army's 5th Signal Command, and Worms, Germany, Mayor Michael Kissel unveil a crest with the unit's insignia outside the command's former base at Taukkunen Barracks, now a hotel complex, in a ceremony Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
DAN STOUTAMIRE/STARS AND STRIPES

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