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    Volksfest offers off-post community new insight to Hohenfels, new opportunities

    Aufklärungsbataillon 8

    Photo By Bryan Gatchell | JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany -- A group of German Soldiers with the...... read more read more



    Story by Bryan Gatchell 

    U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria

    JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany – As fest music carried across the Hohenfels Airfield, which served as a festival parking lot, local national community members lined up to take bus tours of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria – Hohenfels and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

    During the last day of the 49th annual Hohenfels German-American Volksfest May 22, 2023, bus drivers and volunteers gave participants a rolling history lesson through the garrison cantonment and training area colloquially known as “the box.”

    Three buses took Festplatz visitors by the dozens through the garrison cantonment, to Camp Albertshof, along the tank trail to the former boundary of the training area, along the former boundary road, to the former towns of Schwend and Enslwang, back through the garrison cantonment and to the Festplatz again.

    Hans Hammer, the garrison safety officer at Hohenfels, was one of the three volunteers who explained to the bus riders the history of the post, from when the German Wehrmacht took it over in 1938, to the arrival of the Americans in 1945, the westward expansion of the training area in 1951 and the JMRC of the present day.

    “There were a lot of questions from people on the bus about the history,” said Hammer. “We told them about the situation of the former villages around Hohenfels and of course, also the purpose of Hohenfels in our day as a training area.”

    Some of the community members who took the bus tour were there to explore their family history, or even the memories of their childhood.

    “I had several gentlemen on my bus, a lot of people were from Enslwang,” said Hammer. “They remember a lot. They were little children, but they were still able to point out where their house was, where their Family was. Of course people who have a background, a history with the place, they are very interested.”

    Hammer said that people had questions about the history, about the number of employees and Soldiers at Hohenfels, what kind of training is conducted in the training area, what kind of wildlife is there.

    Dr. Gerald Dagit, an art historian from the University of Regensburg, took the bus tour with his family.

    “It’s the only possibility in this year to have a view of the post,” he said. “We were already here yesterday for the fest.”

    “A lot of people have no idea what a training area looks like,” said Hammer. “A lot of them think this looks like a desert. After the tour, they see this is a beautiful place, the training area, and also how important the training area is for the units and the freedom of the world.”

    Bettina Scharf, a teacher from Roth, Germany, took the bus tour with her family as well. This was her first time at the post and the on-post schools surprised her.

    After the bus tour, Scharf and her Family visited the several static displays on the hillock overlooking the airfield, where there were Humvees, tanks, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. A group of German Soldiers with the 8th Reconnaissance Battalion (Aufklärungsbataillon 8) from Freyung had their vehicle out there and answered questions of visitors.

    While members of the off-post community learned more about their on-post counterparts and the military work taking place at Hohenfels, the fest continued. There were booths with games and prizes, vendors selling German and American cuisine, and rides for children of all ages.

    Alongside the large fest tent, the garrison set up a booth with members of the workforce letting members of the community know about opportunities to work on post. Michael Schlosser, the supervisory general engineer for the Directorate of Public Works was on hand at the event to tell interested festgoers about the available employment opportunities.

    “We had a lot of interested people of all different work backgrounds and ages,” he said. “There are a broad range of open jobs. It was the idea to inform the surrounding communities and people that we do not only have military units here, we have a whole city in this installation, where all the necessary jobs are required. We have positions for gardeners, administrative specialists, cooks and more.”

    Local national civilians looking for employment on post at Hohenfels were encouraged to visit to learn about the opportunities both in Hohenfels and throughout the world.



    Date Taken: 05.26.2023
    Date Posted: 05.26.2023 09:31
    Story ID: 445645
    Location: HOHENFELS, BY, DE 

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