KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and local nationals celebrated the 60th anniversary of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 6966th Transportation Truck Terminal, Theater Logistics Support Center-Europe, with food, drink and commemoration during a ceremony held Sept. 13 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
Members of the 6966th and their distinguished guests commemorated the organization’s rich history and contributions to multiple international exercises while a screen showed photos dating back to 1953. Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, the commanding general of the 21st TSC, discussed how much the world has changed since the 6966th TTT’s inception.
“Sixty years! What changes the world, the U.S. and our host nation of Germany have gone through in these six decades,” O’Connor noted. “In June 1953, when Team 6966 was activated, you could buy a few liters of milk, a loaf of bread and a stamp for under the equivalent of one Euro. You certainly can’t do that anymore.”
Members of the audience also enjoyed a detailed history of the 6966th and its achievements. The 6966th was activated on June 25, 1953 as the 6966th Labor Service Transportation Truck Battalion, charged with the transportation of ammunition from U.S. depots to units in southern Germany. As the years passed, the unit’s area of operations expanded to France, Italy, Scandanavia, Hungary, Georgia, the Ukraine, Morocco, Azerbaijan and Great Britain, said Winfried P. Wilhelm, the superintendent of the 6966th TTT and a native of Bexbach, Germany.
The 6966th played an integral role in multiple missions, including Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Joint Endeavor, Task Force Hawk, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and several humanitarian aid missions. In each mission, the organization supported U.S. Army Europe units by transporting cargo, hazardous materials and construction equipment, and even by providing tow services. Members of the unit literally drove around the world in support of joint operations, said Wilhelm.
“Since the unit’s activation in 1953, 6966th drivers have accumulated 377,880,147 miles… which is the equivalent of 1,582 times the distance from the earth to the moon or four times the distance from the earth to the sun,” Wilhelm said.
As the ceremony concluded, O’Connor commended the past and present members of the 6966th for their achievements and their contributions.
“From its activation and up to the present day, the 6966th truly distinguished itself through flawless support… even in an era of changing force structure and mission here in Germany,” said O’Connor. “Just as they have over the last six decades, they continue to exceed transportation support standards and live up to their motto of ‘Pride in Professionalism.’”