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VILSECK, Germany — U.S. Army Europe medical officials broke ground Friday on a $35 million expansion of the health clinic here, modernizing the current facility and quadrupling its size.

The Vilseck Health Clinic, on the Rose Barracks side of U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr, will expand to 53,000 square feet, consolidate offices outside the current clinic and move soldier and civilian treatment under the same roof. Work is scheduled to finish by May 2016.

Recent military budget constrictions will have no bearing on construction, according to Col. Jeff Clark, commander of Europe Regional Medical Command.

“These are funds that have been committed and authorized, so it will be continued,” he said.

The project furthers a period of expansion in Grafenwöhr that has transformed a once-sleepy training area into a major base for combat and support units. Rose Barracks is home to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and plans call for a field artillery battalion and cavalry squadron with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team to move to the main post later this year.

Barracks are still being completed on both posts, and a new building for an Air Force Air Support Operations Squadron is under construction on Rose Barracks.

The expansion contrasts with the consolidation and drawdown of troops elsewhere in Europe as part of a strategic shift to the Pacific and in response to budget constraints.

Europe medical officials plan to spend more than $400 million for several major projects over the next two years, Clark said, including a new clinic in Katterbach, renovation of a clinic in Stuttgart and continued planning for the replacement of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

beardsley.steven@stripes.com Twitter: @jsbeardsley


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