U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr will be one of very few main operating areas left in USAREUR once current transition plans are completed. A billion-dollar construction program was launched a couple of years ago. As a result there is a new and spacious post exchange, new commissary, two news schools, a new dining facility, a new physical fitness center and brand new 830-unit housing area on Netzaberg near Eschenbach.
It is now one of the largest garrisons in Europe with a combined military and civilian population of more than 25,000. The Garrison consists of Rose Barracks at Vilseck and Main Post at Grafenwöhr. These towns are in the German state of Bavaria about 60 miles north of Nürnberg.
The garrison's current mission is to provide quality base operations and to support the 7th Army's Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC) and numerous other units. These include the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment with some 4,200 soldiers and the the 172d Infantry Brigade.
The home of all this is a small town in a scenic, rural section of Northern Bavaria. Its landmark is the very picturesque, half-timbered water tower. Visitors are fascinated by it and the adjacent Forsthaus, both of which set the architectural style of the post. Despite its quaintness, the post has won several Community of Excellence awards. Soldiers from Canada, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France and even some Eastern countries train at Grafenwöhr, which is also a NATO training area.
The town is just outside the gates of the training area and owes much of its prosperity to the soldiers training there. The Grafenwöhr area has a long history. In 1907, Prince Luitpold, regent of Bavaria, selected it as the place best suited for the Bavarian Army, and it was a major German training area until its capture by the Americans at the end of World War II.
Today, the German Army is present at Grafenwöhr with the Office of the Military Representative (DMV) and the German Army Installation Management Office. The DMV coordinates all German Army training in Grafenwöhr as well as German Army-led NATO exercises. Together both offices employ 16 officers and NCOs and about 100 civilians.
The quiet but friendly town of Vilseck has much to show about local history, with its "Erstes Deutsches Türmmuseum" and castle "Dagestein." The area now is devoted primarily to farming.
For further information check USAG Grafenwöhr at www.grafenwoehr.army.mil.
Facilities and Services
Sports and Recreation
Activities offered at the Grafenwöhr Physical Fitness Center and the Hilltop Fitness Center in Vilseck include basketball, racquetball, boxing, soccer, softball, flag football, rugby, aerobics, youth leagues and much more. Unit and community sports programs abound. Outdoor Recreation offers economical ski trips and packages to ski resorts in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in southern Bavaria. The modern bowling centers at Grafenwöhr and Vilseck offer multiple-lane facilities, pro shops, snack bars, game rooms and conference rooms. The Grafenwöhr center offers a Bowling Burger Basket. The Rod and Gun Club provides excellent hunting and fishing opportunities, as well as bargain resale activities. The worldwide United Service Organization (USO) sells tickets to concerts and other special events in and around Germany.
The Patton Fireside Lounge and Tower View Conference Center at Grafenwöhr and The Zone Sports Bar at Vilseck offer dining, an assortment of snacks, live entertainment, brunches, wide-screen television, video games, unit and group nights, and live entertainment.
The United States Army health and dental clinics in Grafenwöhr and Vilseck are outpatient facilities providing high quality primary and limited specialty health care. Patients who require hospitalization or need to see a specialist are referred to local host nation hospitals and doctors, or to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Veterinary services include animal disease prevention and control, issuance of health certificates and vaccinations.
There is an elementary school in Grafenwöhr, an elementary school and the garrison's middle school on Netzaberg and an elementary school and the garrison's high school in Vilseck.
The Army Community Service (ACS) center offers various programs and services for soldiers, civilians and family members; parent education classes, financial maintenance classes, relocation information and support, mobilization and deployment support, employment services, Army Emergency Relief (AER) and volunteer programs. Child Development Services provides full service, center-based child care, the Family Child Care (FCC) program, the School Age Services (SAS) program and respite child care for service members in pay grade E-4 and below. Youth Services operates a sports and fitness program for organized seasonal sports. Volunteers are an integral part of every community. Volunteer experience offers great potential for self-fulfillment and may also be reflected on resumes for future job employment.
The Grafenwöhr and Vilseck Chapels offer services and religious education in numerous denominations. Your Chapel staff can provide information about them. There is a wide range of Bible study groups, classes and retreats offered by the program.
There are active scouting programs for both boys and girls. They advertise and recruit members through the schools, libraries, youth activity centers, media and various other institutions.
Historical and Cultural Museum
The Historical and Cultural Museum, located next to the city pond in Grafenwöhr, has a section showing the entire history of the training area from its beginning in 1907 with the Royal Bavarian Army through today's use as a live fire facility for the U.S. Army and other NATO units. There are displays, with explanations in English, of uniforms and representations of the daily lives of soldiers. A courtyard at the museum features outdoorpublic concerts in summer.
Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers (BOSS)
This program is designed to bring single Soldiers' quality of life in line with their married counterparts. Billets afford them more living space so they may decorate to their own tastes and include amenities such as floor kitchenettes, private facilities, fitness equipment and government furnishings. It also involves single personnel in recreational travel and community help programs.
People stationed at Grafenwöhr have the benefit of the big Consolidated Exchange, one of the best in Europe. The commissary, the size of six basketball courts, was named the Best Large Commissary Overseas for 2009. In addition to the even larger department store, it offers a food court (Popeye’s, Baskin-Robbins, Subway, Taco Bell etc.) and everything from wireless internet connections to a health spa and “retailtainment.” Under the last named musicians, car shows and other features draw weekend customers. The commissary and exchange at Vilseck remain open.
The Libraries have fiction and nonfiction book selections, reference materials, travel guides, videos, educational resources, children's books, magazines and computers with internet access.
The Tower Inn at Grafenwöhr and the Kristall Inn at Vilseck offer affordable and comfortable alternatives to local hotels and pensions. A big new guesthouse is under construction at Grafenwöhr.
The Army Post Office (APO)
The Army Post Office (APO) is a full-service facility, providing parcel service and transport of all classes of mail from priority to express. It also transports mail for free from APO to APO when "MPS" is written in the upper right corner of envelopes and packages.
The Community Banks offers full service banking. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) offer 24-hour service for deposits and withdrawals from both checking and savings accounts.
Auto Craft Shop
The Auto Crafts Shop offers assistance in performing automotive maintenance and repair. Equipment, tools and trained mechanics make everything, from charging a battery to major overhauls, possible at great cost savings.
Arts and Crafts Center
The Heart & Home Craft Shop at Grafenwöhr provides many opportunities for crafters, including quilting, framing, sewing, engraving and painting, and also has many craft items for sale. The Grafenwöhr program features a state-of-the-art photo lab in Grafenwöhr, and there is a recording studio in Vilseck.