History of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach
U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach is located in Middle Franconia and is in an area that includes the city of Ansbach and the town of Illesheim. Within this areas are several different installations: Barton Barracks, Bismarck Kaserne, Bleidorn Kaserne, Franken Kaserne, Katterbach Kaserne, Oberdachstetten Training Area, Shipton Kaserne, Storck Barracks, and Urlas Kaserne.
USAG Ansbach was originally designated as the 87th Support Battalion Oct. 16, 1991. It was re-designated as the 235th Base Support Battalion Nov. 27, 1991 and assigned to VII Corps. Upon activation the battalion was placed under the 99th Area Support Group - Nürnberg with the primary mission of managing base operations. The battalion originally consisted of a headquarters and headquarters detachment located in Ansbach and three area support teams in Schwäbisch Hall, Crailsheim, and Illesheim.
With the drawdown of U.S. forces in the fall of 1991 the battalion went through several significant changes and in 1993 the 99th ASG inactivated and the 235th BSB became part of the 98th ASG in Würzburg. The drawdown also initiated the closure of Dolan Barracks in Schwäbisch Hall, which occured Sept. 30, 1993, and McKee Barracks in Crailsheim Jan. 15, 1994. In 1993 the 98th ASG in Würzburg inactivated and became U.S. Army Garrison Franconia, assigning the 235th BSB to U.S. Army Garrison Franconia, whose headquarters was located in Würzburg.
In 2006, the Installation Management Agency (IMA), Community and Family Support Center, and the Army Environmental Center were consolidated to create the Installation Management Command, or IMCOM. On Oct. 13, 2006, USAG Franconia was deactivated in a ceremony at Leighton Barracks in Würzburg, and USAGs Ansbach, Bamberg and Schweinfurt were all realigned as separate reporting garrisons under the command and control of IMCOM - Europe.
On Oct. 1, 2009, the military communities of USAGs Bamberg and Schweinfurt were designated as indirect reporting activities and aligned under the USAG Ansbach as the Franconia Military Community. The name "Franconia Military Community" paid homage to the regions within the German state of Bavaria that each community was based in. USAG Bamberg was located in the region of Upper Franconia, Oberfranken, USAG Schweinfurt was located in the region of Lower Franconia, or Unterfranken, and USAG Ansbach is located in Middle Franconia, or Mittelfranken.
Both USAG Bamberg and USAG Schweinfurt closed in September 2014. The stories of these closures area available here for USAG Bamberg and here for USAG Schweinfurt. The USAG Bamberg legacy page is located at www.ansbach.army.mil/BambergLegacy.html. The USAG Schweinfurt legacy page is located at www.ansbach.army.mil/SchweinfurtLegacy.html.
Elements of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade began moving to the USAG Ansbach in 2006 with the formation of the 12th CAB completed in 2007. Today, the 12th CAB is the largest tenant unit in USAG Ansbach. With the decision in 2007 to keep USAG Ansbach as an enduring U.S. military community, a large number of renovation projects began. Construction of a new housing area began at Urlas Community, formerly a military training site, and it includes passive energy efficient townhouses. A new Post Exchange and a new Commissary have also been completed, as well as a new Auto Skills Center, car wash and gas station. Within the installations of Katterbach Kaserne, Bismarck Kaserne, Barton Barracks, Storck Barracks, and Bleidorn Kaserne construction projects to renovate housing and barracks buildings, roadways, sewers and gateways are either ongoing or have been completed.
USAG Ansbach continues its vital mission of streamlining base support operations management, allowing tactical commanders to concentrate on their essential training and missions. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 10,000 Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members, who are working and living within the USAG Ansbach area.
USAG Ansbach consists of six sites and nine kasernes dispersed between the town of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Bismarck, Katterbach and Shipton Kasernes and the Urlas Community are located to the northeast of Ansbach; Barton Barracks and Bleidorn Kaserne are in southwest Ansbach. Twenty-four miles northwest of Ansbach, Storck Barracks is adjacent to Illesheim, and the Oberdachstetten Training Area and Franken Kaserne are located near Marktbergl.
Katterbach Kaserne is the where the Headquarters of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade is located. Katterbach Kaserne also has on its grounds the Central Processing Facility for in- and out-processing, a child development and school age center, the garrison's elementary school, the garrison's middle / high school, a fitness center, a chapel, a U.S. post office, two banking facilities, a shoppette, medical and dental clinics, Army Family Housing, and much more.
Storck Barracks is located approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Ansbach and is adjacent to Illesheim. Storck Barracks also has an airfield to accommodate rotational aviation forces and is home to Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Overseas (TASM-O), and one of only two flight simulation building complexes in Europe. At Storck Barracks there is a fitness center, a bank, a Postal Service Center (a combined community mail room and U.S. Post Office), a gas station with shoppette, and the Storck Recreation Center.
Bleidorn Kaserne is made up of Army Family Housing, the garrison's library, and the garrison's live community theater, the Terrace Playhouse.
At what used to be a training area, Urlas Community has been repurposed and is now home to a new Post Exchange with food court, a new Commissary, Military Clothing Sales, barber shop, dry cleaners, flower shop, Ansbach Army Lodge Brainard Hall, a gas station, an auto skills center with car wash and dog wash, and brand new townhouse-style Army Family Housing.
Barton Barracks is the command center of USAG Ansbach. Here are the USAG Ansbach Garrison Headquarters, vehicle registration, U.S. Customs, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Equal Employement Opportunity, Central Issue Facility, arts and crafts center, vehicle processing center (POV shipping), and the vehicle inspection station.
At Bismarck Kaserne there are the Von Steuben Community Center, Army Family Housing, bachelor officer/bachelor enlisted quarters, single Soldier housing unit, a movie theater, a car care center (auto parts store), and a gas station. Bismarck Kaserne is colocated with Katterbach Kaserne, from which German Federal Highway 14, commonly known as B14, separates it.
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation operates a recreation facility close to the entrance of Shipton Kaserne called Soldiers Lake. Soldiers Lake offers outdoor grills and facilities for picnics and is a favorite fishing spot for the USAG Ansbach community.
Franken Kaserne is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city of Ansbach in the direction of Storck Barracks, is situated near the towns of Munasiedlung and Marktbergel, and is used as a training facility.