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WIESBADEN, Germany — A free bus service to transport soldiers and civilian U.S. Army Europe employees from Wiesbaden, the future headquarters of USAREUR, to Heidelberg, where the command is currently located, is to start on Jan. 3, a tangible sign of the transition under way that is slated for completion next year.

Soldiers and Army civilian employees who are just now joining the USAREUR command are moving directly to Wiesbaden, so the bus service is designed to provide them transportation to work until the relocation of USAREUR headquarters is complete, according to a release on the USAREUR website.

There are a couple of reasons why soldiers and civilian employees transferring into the unit -- making a permanent change of station -- are going directly to Wiesbaden instead of Heidelberg, said a USAREUR spokeswoman.

“We don’t want to PCS someone here, and eight months later get a full-cost move for them to Wiesbaden” from Heidelberg, said Sgt. Maj. Lisa Hunter.

Hunter said, in addition to the cost savings and the safety factor, the bus will be a quality-of-life enhancement for incoming USAREUR troops, who can get settled into a new community without an impending move.

USAREUR says its headquarters will be relocated in a phased approach next year, but an exact date isn’t known.

The bus will pick up passengers at the Wiesbaden Lodge in the Hainerberg housing area weekdays at 6:15 a.m., excluding Federal and training holidays. Commuters will be dropped off at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg at 7:30 a.m., according to USAREUR. For the return trip, the bus will pick up passengers at 4 p.m. at Campbell Barracks and return to Wiesbaden at approximately 5:15 p.m.

According to the release, USAREUR soldiers and civilian workers who live in Wiesbaden and work in Heidelberg must sign up in advance to ride the bus.

Officials say that as USAREUR directorates start to move their offices to Wiesbaden, a commuter bus will carry employees living in Heidelberg to work in Wiesbaden.

For more information on the new bus service, contact Lt. Col. John Callery, the USAREUR logistics officer for the relocation task force, at DSN 370-6642 or +49(0)6221-57-6642.

pattonm@estripes.osd.mil

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