Rows of equipment lined up at Coleman Barracks to reassure allies
By MICHAEL ABRAMS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 26, 2017
MANNHEIM, Germany — Following the Russian intervention in Ukraine in 2014 the United States has tried to make its allies, especially those in neighboring Russia in eastern Europe, feel less threatened through a program dubbed the European Reassurance Initiative.
It has involved, among other things, sending Air Force jets and an Army rotational brigade to the continent for training. Another part of the initiative is the U.S. Army’s prepositioned stocks mission.
In various locations across Europe large quantities of equipment have been stored in the event the Pentagon needs to equip additional troops sent to the continent to face a threat to the alliance.
One of these places is Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany. Here, close to 20,000 pieces of equipment are stored, ranging from M-149 Water Buffalo trailers to M1A1 Abrams tanks.
Row upon row of vehicles sit in orderly lines in the motor pools, ready if needed in a military emergency.
After a decade-and-a-half of fighting in the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, some of the equipment is still painted in desert tan. Members of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, who oversee the operations at Coleman, have been painting the vehicles in the woodland green camouflage pattern better suited for Europe.
Besides the paint jobs, the roughly 400 personnel at the site work to keep the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Humvees, cargo trucks and the tanks in working order.