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8th Infantry Division (Mech)
(Page 2)

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

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5th Inf Regt

13th Inf Regt

28th Inf Regt

1st Brigade / Abn

2nd Brigade

3rd Brigade


1st Bn, 59th ADA

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13th Infantry Regiment

Wiley Barracks, Neu Ulm, home station of the 13th Infantry Regiment (Chuck Charnquist)
(Source: Email from Chuck Charnquist)
Background: Served with Med Co, 13th Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, Wiley Barracks, Neu-Ulm, Germany, from Sep 1956 to July 1957.

Click here and here to see additional Old Wiley pics submitted by Chuck.

1st Brigade (Airborne)

1st Brigade sign at Lee Barracks, Mainz-Gonsenheim, 1980 (Terry Walters)

1958 - 1973
(Source: Annual Historical Report, 1958-59, HQ USAREUR)
The Restationing of the Airborne Battle Groups

On 1 July 1958, the 11th Airborne Division was redesignated as the 24th Infantry Division. The division remained responsible for providing the airborne elements of Army Task Force 201, consisting of two airborne battle groups, a composite artillery battalion, and a quartermaster parachute company. To enable the 24th Division to comply with this requirement, it was organized as a composite division with a strength of 14,311, whereas the standard infantry division was composed of 13,580 personnel.

At the time of the Lebanon operation, when part of ATF 201 was deployed to the Middle East and the 24th Division was reduced by over 2,200 personnel, plans were prepared to shift the burden of supporting the task force to the 8th Infantry Division, which was earmarked as the reserve division. The potential reduction in the combat capability of the reserve was considered as the lesser of two evils. But the entire problem would be eliminated if the Department of the Army approved General Hodes' recommendation to transfer the primary Army responsibility for supporting contingency plans in the Middle East to the Strategic Army Corps in the United States. However, the Department of the Army not only refused to relieve USAREUR of its Middle East support mission, but also indicated that the planned gyroscope of the 504th and 505th Airborne Battle Groups could not be canceled.

As a result, the 8th Infantry Division was reorganized as a composite division on 1 December 1958, so that it could assume the airborne support responsibility hitherto held by the 24th Infantry Division. On 21 December 1958, the 504th Airborne Battle Group of the 8th Division replaced the 503rd Abn BG of the 24th Division as Force BRAVO and one month later the 505th Abn BG of the 8th Division relieved the 187th Abn BG of the 24th Division as Force ALPHA. On 5 February 1959, the 24th Infantry Division was reorganized as a standard infantry division.

504th Airborne Infantry Regiment patch (1957-1959)
Airborne units assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in the PENTOMIC configuration (1958-1963):


1st ABN BG, 504th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz [1] [3]
1st ABN BG, 505th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz [2]
[1] The unit was redesignated as the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 504th Infantry on 1 September 1957. On 12 December 1958, the 1/504 became part of the 8th Infantry Division and was based at Lee Barracks, in Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany. On 1 April 1963, the battalion was relieved from assignment to the 8th Inf Div and assigned to the 82nd ABN Div.
[2] Co A, 505th Abn Inf was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry on 1 September 1957. On 15 January 1959, the 1/505 became a part of the 8th Infantry Division and was based at Lee Barracks, in Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany. On 1 April 1963, the battalion was relieved from assignment to the 8th Inf Div and assigned to the 82nd ABN Div.
[3] It appears that some or all airborne units moved to Rhein Kaserne in Biebrich (Wiesbaden) at some point, maybe during the Berlin Crisis, 1961.

1. 1st ABN BG, 505th Inf arrives in Mainz, 1959

2. 1st ABN BG, 504th Inf, DZ near Alzey, Oct 1959

3. 1st ABN BG, 504th Inf, DZ near Alzey, Oct 1959

4. 1st ABN BG, 505th Inf, in a troop carrier aircraft on way to DZ near Neu Ulm, April 1960
Airborne Brigade DI
Airborne units assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in the ROAD configuration (1963-1973):


HHC, 1st ABN/Mech Brigade Lee Bks, Mainz
1st ABN/Mech Bn, 509th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz [1]
2nd ABN/Mech Bn, 509th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz [2]
[1] On 27 March 1963, Co A, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion was redesignated as HHC, 1st Bn, 509th Inf and assigned to the 8th Inf Div (organic elements concurrently constituted). The Battalion was activated on 1 April 1963 in Germany.
[2] On 27 March 1963, Co B, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion was redesignated as HHC, 2nd Bn, 509th Inf and assigned to the 8th Inf Div (organic elements concurrently constituted). The Battalion was activated on 1 April 1963 in Germany.
In 1973, the existing 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 509th Infantry were replaced by two mechanized infantry battalions (2d Bn, 28th Inf and 2d Bn, 87th Inf) which brought the 8th Infantry Division to fully mechanized status and provided it with the enhanced cability to defend Central Europe, its primary task. To provide greater mobility to the Mediterranean area, the 1st Battalion of the 509th Infantry (ABCT) was assigned to Vicenza, Italy.

(Source: Special Organization Day 1960 Issue of the ARROW, 8th Inf Div newspaper, July 1, 1960),
1st Airborne Battle Group, 504th Infantry
After years of training in the States, the regiment was reorganized under current concepts and redesignated as the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 504th Infantry.

During World War II, troopers of the 504th earned one Medal of Honor, 20 Distinguished Service Crosses, 200 Silver Stars, 2,972 Purple Hearts, and were awarded the Belgium Fourragere and the Netherlands Orange Lanyard. In addition to it's three combat jumps, (Sicily, Salerno and Holland), the 504th participated at Naples-Foggia-Anzio, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and Rhineland.

It is interesting to note that the Regiment fought 14,000 miles through 11 countries with 365 days in actual combat.

In April 1958, the 504th was alerted for its gyroscope move to Germany and in December, 1958, became a member of the 8th Inf Div.

The first large scale airborne exercise in which the unit participated as part of the 8th Div, was "Arrow Drop."

In November, 1959, the "Devils" were the airborne striking force in Exercise "Heaven Sent," where in a matter of minutes the entire unit had jumped and assembled into position to complete their part in one of the largest tactical airborne operations in Europe since World War II.

Continuing their intensive training the 504th "Devils" spearheaded operation "Fer De Lance," an exercise designed to test the effectiveness of small airborne units deployed on isolated missions in unfamiliar territory during hours of limited visibility. This operation was conducted at Pau, France.

In the final weeks of FY 1960 the 504th "Devils," commanded by Co! Joseph B. Seay, again demonstrated their combat readiness when they, along with other units of the 8th Div Airborne Brigade, participated in "Operation Fleche d'Or."

As a result of their continual rugged training and insurmountable pride in being paratroopers of the 8th Inf Div, the "Devils" of the 504th are today, as always, prepared to "Strike-Hold" which is the motto inscribed on the 504th's distinguished Blue Shield, below the flaming sword.
1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry
In Sept., 1957, the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment was reactivated under the current concepts and re-designated as the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry.

January 1959, the Panthers again returned to Germany, this time as a part of the 8th Div's Airborne striking force. It was the 5O5th's first return to this soil since the 1946 Berlin Honor Guard assignment.

Highlighting the year 1959, the distinguished unit represented the United States Army in the 10th Anniversary NATO Parade held in Mainz, Germany. Ten other countries participated in the huge spectacle, the largest international military parade in modern history.

In Sept., 1959, the 505th welcomed a new commander, Col Theodore C. Mataxis, who had served formerly as the 8th Div Chief of Staff and Dep Brigade CO. At a colorful change of command ceremonies the 1500 man battle group honored Col Lamar A. (Bill) Welch with a departing parade as he passed the colors to Col Mataxis.

1960 started another cycle of training for the Panthers with renewed vigor and seasoned interest. In Baumholder, the unit underwent two weeks of intensive training topped off by a three-day field exercise. Cold as it was, the unit proved that effectiveness cannot be crushed by snow and ice.

The 505th lot jumped over Pau, near the Pyrennes, at the rate of a company a day, consuming over 121 flight hours and 33 aircraft flights. This exercise marked the first long range airborne exercise held in USAREUR.

For the second consecutive year the Panthers won the Division Le Clerc matches, outshooting their opponents by 200 points. They then went on to win the Corps, Le Clerc matches.

Airborne exercises continued to fill the schedule. Two weeks after the Pau exercise the Panthers jumped nearly 1500 troopers in two lifts over the Leipheim drop zone in South Germany in Operation "Devil's Claw."

Early in May preparations were made for participation in the largest joint airborne exercise conducted to date, "Exercise Fleche d'Or." On May 19th 505th Infantrymen jumped from the first of 33 aircraft over Haguenau, France.

Ste Mere Eglise, France, June 6, 1960: The veterans of the 505th returned to this small village on the Normandy peninsula for the second year. Greeted by the entire throng of 1200 citizens, the troopers arrived by helicopters. Again living with the families, they reminisced the many heroic events of the village's liberation.

Other notable accomplishments of the Panthers during early 1960 include: 903 blood donations to the Landstuhl Blood Bank, the largest donation by any unit in the past eight years.
11th Quartermaster Company (Parachute Supply & Maintenance)
  The 11th QM Parachute Supply and Maintenance CO is one of the youngest companies in the Army, having been activated in 1944, but during its short life of 16 years, it has seen duty in both the Far East and Europe, in addition to the United States.

Commanded by Capt William B. Smith, the Company has the mission of providing men for inspection, packing, storage, maintenance and issue of parachutes and related equipment, including technical supervision and assistance in loading heavy drop equipment in support of the 8th Inf Div's Abn troops.
The 11th QM PS & M was constituted on Oct. 28, 1944, as the 11th Parachute Maintenance Co at Oro Bay, New Guinea, and later redesignated as the 11th QM PS & M Co on Mar. 1, 1957. Prior to joining the 8th Inf Div in Jan., 1959, the unit was part of the 24th Div. Previously, while a member of the 11th Abn Div, the Company participated in the Libanon movement and maintained parachute packing facalities for the paratroopers duriing their stay there.

Proud of their motto, "Try Jumping Without Us," the members of the 11th Prcht Main Co are qualified parachutists who have earned the right to wear the red cap with wings distinguishing them as parachute riggers. Each rigger has been thoroughly schooled on inspection and classification of equipment, and how to repair and operate the equipment.

The Company is composed of several sections and platoons, one of which is the Hqs Section, which is responsible for the administration, operation, mess management supply and motor maintenance.

The Aerial Delivery Platoon has the responsibility of packing the cargo chutes for the support of the Abn units.

The Maintenance Platoon is responsible for maintaining the several thousand items of equipment and parachutes.

The Parachute Packing Platoon is the group into whose hands are entrusted the lives of all parachutists each time they step from the door of an aircraft. Every parachute is inspected each time it is packed, and the names of the packer and inspector are listed in the log book. The members of this platoon do not take their responsibility lightly and this is proven by the parachute malfunction record. During the four years that the Company has been in Germany, a total of over 200,000 parachute jumps have been made. Of this huge total, only nine injuries were due to parachute malfunction, none of which were due to improper packing.

Every rigger is proud of the responsibility that is entrusted him. In addition he is prepared to prove the quality of his packing. Riggers regard their duties as a profession, not merely a "job".

This is part of the code by which the riggers work, to be ready to jump with any of the parachutes they pack.
8th Division Airborne School
  The modern Army is more reliant upon speed today than at any other time in its history. For this reason, the Army of today must be a highly mobile force that is second to none, for in war, a nation finishes first or not at all. The 8th Inf Div is unique in that it is composed of both airborne and non-airborne elements. Therefore, the Division must, at all times, be fully prepared for parachute and air transport operations. The 8th Inf Div's Airborne School, commanded by Maj Adolph E. Warnecke, was organized with the purpose of giving initial instruction to both elements within the Division, which includes keeping these units up to date on current changes.
In anticipation of the arrival of the 504th and 505th Abn Infs, the Airborne School was assigned to the 8th Division in the later part of 1958. At that time the cadre consisted of personnel who originally taught at the now deactivated 11th Abn Div Jump School. As the instructors from the 11th Abn began rotating, they were replaced by personnel from the 504th and 505th, many of whom had taught at the 82d, 101st, or Fort Benning Jump Schools. With this blending of experience, the 8th Inf Div Airborne School has one of the finest staffs of airborne instructors in the world.

The majority of the 1400 students who have been graduated from the school since its inception have attended only one of the seven courses taught at the school.

Before he is permitted to jump, a soldier goes through a rigorous two-week period of pre-jump training in which he must meet the standards required of an airborne soldier. The training a student receives during this period is drilled into him so rigorously that the essential elements of parachuting are ineffaceably impressed upon him. But, in many cases, there is usually a period in which an airborne soldier serves, either in isolated duty, or in a non-airborne outfit. The purpose of refresher training is to re-familiarize the individual with basic precepts of parachuting, and to introduce him to the newest inovations in the ever changing forms of modern airborne techniques.

Every plane load of airborne troops is controlled by one individual who is designated as the jumpmaster. Because of the various types of aircraft used and the many forms of equipment dropped with personnel, the responsibilities of the jumpmaster are many and encompass a wide range of topics. All the knowledge required to jumpmaster an aircraft is taught at the Airborne School with graduate work given in jumpmaster refresher courses to keep qualified men up to date with current changes.

There are two courses taught at the Airborne School dealing with the different types of aircraft used by the 8th Inf Div, including both Army and Air Force aircraft. The purpose of these courses is to impart sufficient knowledge to key officers and NCOs in all units of the Division so that each unit is independently capable of moving its personnel and equipment by either Army or Air Force aircraft.

The terminal guidance course taught at the Airborne School corresponds to the duties of the Pathfinder in parachute operations. As the Air Force Pathfinder sets up a drop zone for a parachute jump, the Army Pathfinder establishes a landing zone for airmobile operations.

Aerial Delivery of supplies is another course taught at the school. There are many inaccessible areas in which the only possible source of re-supply would be from the air, by parachute. Supplies ranging from plasma to D-4 bulldozers are now available much faster than ever before. Rigging these supplies for heavy drop and familiarization with Air Force aircraft are a few of the important factors making up this course.

At all times there is a constant awareness that each course of instruction will readily attest to its effectiveness for, after completion of each course, students are asked to evaluate the instruction and offer recommendations for improvement.

The ability to air move a unit is gained only through the personal efforts of each individual and the Division's ability to perform well in this respect rests primarily on the shoulders of the cadre at the Airborne School. In all their instruction, the cadre keep one fact in mind:"Future combat operation will be won by the most highly trained forces."

(Source: Email from Carl C. Rittenhouse, son of Harley C. Rittenhouse, 1st Abn BG, 505th Inf, 1962-64)
You were requesting pictures of the 505 and 509 assigned to the 8th INF in Germany. My father was stationed over there from 1962 to 1964. He was in the 505 and was there when it changed over to the 509 in April of 63.

In early 64 he was reassigned to the 48 INF (a leg unit) then came home. He was proud to be Airborne.

He reentered the service in 1978 and went full time in 1980, he retired this year. Enclosed are some pictures of him and friends in Germany. My fater and his cousin went to Jump School together in 1962 and both were sent to Germany.  
Front side of US Gov't Motor Vehicle Operator's ID issued to Harley Rittenhouse. The back of the card (bottom image) certifies that Harley is qualified to drive trucks with ¼, ¾ and 2½ -ton capacity.

1. Main gate

2. Main gate from inside the post

3. 1st ABG, 505th Inf

4. Delta Company

5. 1st Abn Bn, 509th Inf

6. An M113 APC of the 3rd Inf Div

7. Motor pool

8. Post theater

9. D Co billets

(Source: Email from James D. Queen)

Class 60-5, 8th ID NCOA
  I was with the 8th Infantry Division a long time ago. I was with the 505th Airborne unit and the 504th stationed at Lee Barracks, Mainz-Gonsenheim, between 1959 and 1962.

We were supported by the 16th Transportation Company of the 20th Transportation Battalion in Baumholder. The 16th Trans Co was stationed at Lee Bks. Those guys were great for all the support they gave us. When we jumped they were there for us. They were there as late as June 1962. I see the 20th Trans Bn on the web but not the 16th Trans Co.

The picture on the left is of Class Number 60-5 that graduated from the 8th Infantry Division NCO Academy.

1st Abn BG, 504th Inf

1st Abn BG, 505th Inf

1st Abn Bn, 509th Inf

2nd Abn Bn, 509th Inf

(Source: STARS & STRIPES, April 30, 1963)
1st Brigade and its major units, 1st Bn, 509th Abn/Mech Inf and 2nd Bn, 509th Abn/Mech Inf were established on April 29, 1963 at ceremonies held at Lee Barracks, Mainz (home of the 1st Brigade).

The 1st Brigade has a strength of 3,500 officers and enlisted personnel. It serves as USAREUR's principal airborne punch.

1st Bn and 2nd Bn were formed through the merger of the former airborne battle groups: the 1st Abn BG, 504th and 1st Abn BG, 505th. Lt Col Robert C. McLane is CO of the newly formed 1st Bn. Lt Col Robert M. Hall is commander of 2nd Bn.

Supporting artillery for the airborne battalions is 5th How Bn (Abn), 81st Arty (part of DivArty).

Other units assigned to support the 509th battalions:
11th QM Parachute Supply & Maintenance Co
Co D, 708th Maint Bn
Avn Pltn (1st Bde)
Fwd Comd Supply Section (including elements of 8th Signal Bn)
16th Trans Co
23rd Trans Co

(Source: Author's private collection)

Airborne Elements

1. Airborne Tab worn over Division Patch









(Source: USAREUR Telephone Directory - Troop Units, Spring 1980)
ORGANIZATION (Spring 1980):
  Hq/Hqs Company Lee Bks, Mainz
  2nd Bn, 28th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz  
  2nd Bn, 87th Inf Lee Bks, Mainz  
  1st Bn, 68th Arm Wildflecken (1)
  4th Bn, 69th Arm Lee Bks, Mainz  
(1) 1st Bn, 68th Armor joined the 8th Inf Div as a result of the ROAD reorganization. The battalion was stationed at Baumholder as of 1 April 1963. The battalion was relocated to Camp Wildflecken sometime in the late 1970s (1978 I believe).

2nd Brigade
(Source: USAREUR Telephone Directory - Troop Units, Spring 1980)
ORGANIZATION (Spring 1980):
  Hq/Hqs Company Baumholder
  1st Bn, 13th Inf Baumholder  
  1st Bn, 39th Inf Baumholder
  1st Bn, 87th Inf Baumholder  
  2nd Bn, 68th Arm Baumholder  

3rd Brigade

2nd Bn, 13th Infantry at Coleman Barracks, 1973 (Chuck Webster)
(Source: USAREUR Telephone Directory - Troop Units, Spring 1980)
ORGANIZATION (Spring 1980):
  Hq/Hqs Company Coleman Bks, Mannheim
  2nd Bn, 13th Inf Coleman Bks, Mannheim  
  3rd Bn, 68th Arm Mannheim-Kaefertal
  5th Bn, 68th Arm Mannheim-Kaefertal

Division Artillery
(Source: US Army STATION LIST, 15 Aug 1956)
  Hq/Hqs Battery  
  28th FA Bn (155mm How, Towed) (1) Schwäb. Gmünd  
  43rd FA Bn (105mm How, Towed) (2) Neu Ulm  
  45th FA Bn (105mm How, Towed) Neckarsulm
  56th FA Bn (105mm How, Towed) Schwabach  
(1) reorganized and redesignated as 1st FA Bn (Rkt/How), 28th Arty while in Göppingen
(2) reorganized and redesignated as 1st How Bn, 2nd Arty while in Neu Ulm

(Source: Email from John Propelka)
From April 1959 to July 1960, I served in D Battery (Honest John), 1st FA Bn, 28th Artillery at Ernst Ludwig Kaserne in Darmstadt. We were detached from the other batteries which were located in Baumholder. Our other batteries were 105 or 155 mm units.

Other units in our Kaserne were 16th FA Bn with 8" towed howitzers and 38th FA Bn with 280mm cannons. As a young shooter and engineering student, this made for a very interesting duty station!

Reference Harald's M-125 truck comments: The 16th received these trucks to replace the M-8 tractors while I was there. We heard this was to speed travel and reduce road damage. We also heard that some M-8s were retained because the M-125s could get stuck on wet grass and needed help!

I found your site while looking for buddies from my old unit. No luck here,but you have a very interesting site which brought many fond memories. Keep up the good work.

(Source: USAREUR STATION LIST, 31 Dec 1960)
  Hq/Hqs Battery Baumholder
  1st How Bn (T), 2nd Arty (1) Baumholder  
  2nd How Bn (T), 12th Arty (1) Baumholder
  7th How Bn (SP), 16th Arty (1) Baumholder  
  1st Rkt/How Bn, 28th Arty (2) Baumholder  
  5th How Bn (T), 81st Arty (1) Mainz  
  5th How Bn (SP), 83rd Arty (1) Baumholder  
(1) 105mm / 155mm SP
(2) 8in / HJ
Webmaster note: were the SW warheads for the 8th Inf Div Arty located at NATO Site 31, Wackernheim/Ober Olm in the 1960s?

(Source: USAREUR STATION LIST, 30 June 1967)
  Hq/Hqs Battery H.D. Smith Bks, Baumholder
  1st How Bn, 2nd Arty (2) H.D. Smith Bks, Baumholder  
  7th How Bn, 16th Arty (3) H.D. Smith Bks, Baumholder  
  1st Rkt Bn, 28th Arty (4) Lee Bks, Mainz  
  5th How Bn, 81st Arty (1) Rhein Ksn, Biebrich  
  5th How Bn, 83rd Arty (2) H.D. Smith Bks, Baumholder  
(1) 105mm SP
(2) 155mm SP
(3) 155mm / 8in SP
(4) Honest John

(Source: USAREUR Telephone Directory - Troop Units, Spring 1980)
ORGANIZATION (Spring 1980):
  Hq/Hqs Battery Baumholder
  1st Bn, 2nd FA Baumholder  
  3rd Bn, 16th FA Baumholder
  2nd Bn, 81st FA Idar Oberstein  
  1st Bn, 83rd FA Baumholder  

(Source: COMMUNITY NEWS, May 14, 1982)
Field Artillery - "Outstanding'', "excellent" describes units

by Kathy Bonney and John Falkenbury

Over the last five months the Baumholder Military Community has undergone the most critical, technical inspection given to field artillery units, the Technical Validation Inspection (TVI). This year-round inspection is given to nuclear capable units and it is one of the few zero-defect inspections left in the Army.

The nuclear surety program in Baumholder is controlled and supported by the community as a whole and executed by the field artillery battalions. In order to successfully complete the TVI a wide range of community support is required. To facilitate quality assurance, a nuclear surety board for the military community meets quarterly. This board, under the auspices of Community Commander Brig. Gen. Dave R. Palmer and chaired by the 8th Infantry Division Artillery Commander, Col. Dennis J. Reimer, consists of representatives from DIVARTY, 257th Personnel Company, 766th Med. Det. (DS), Community Counseling Center, 30th Field Hospital, 708th Maint. Bn., Directorate of Engineering and Housing, Security Plans and Operations, field artillery battalions and 5th Bn 6th ADA (3rd Bn 59th ADA). This board discusses how the nuclear surety program will be maintained throughout the community and implements any changes or recommendations which will uphold the recognized high standards.

Throughout the year the DIVARTY units, 3rd Bn 16th F.A., 1st Bn 2d F.A., 2d Bn 81st F.A., 1st Bn 83rd F.A., and 2d Bn 20th F.A., train for both ARTEP's (Army Training and Evaluation Program) and TVI's. Eighteen months prior to a TVI, field artillery units must undergo a battalion level ARTEP. This is done in a field environment and encompasses simultaneous operations in conjuction with the conventional role of the artillery.

The training of these nuclear capable units during the battalion ARTEP's includes evaluations of the entire unit and usually lasts 72 hours. The battalions must successfully complete this before the TVI.

After the ARTEP and within the specified 18 months, the unit undergoes a series of TVI preparation inspections. These are conducted by DIVARTY FSE (Fire Support Element) and V Corps FSE.

The TVI takes place in a sterile environment. It is conducted by USAREUR DCSOPS (Deputy Chief of Staff of Operaions), Department of the Army (DA) or Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA). The personnel conducting this inspection have 15-20 years in the nuclear field.

There are five functional areas that are inspected. These include the Personnel Reliablity Program (PRP), plans and standing operating procedures (SOP's), technical operations, tools and equipment, and publications. The inspection usually lasts from three to five days.

A unit always strives to achieve either an "excellent" or "outstanding" rating. An "outstanding" rating indicates no comments and no deficiencies and identifies the unit as far exceeding the Army standards. An "excellent" rating indicates no major problems within the unit evaluated.

.The results of this most critcal inspection were exceptional. Three battalions, 3/16, 281, 1/2, all achieved "outstanding" ratings from the three major inspecting headquarters. Also earned by 2/81 was a USAREUR certificate of achievement for their fine nuclear surety program. Additionally, 1/83 and 2/20 received "excellent" ratings during their TVI.

These ratings were given for the overall nuclear capability of the unit. However, if any portion of the five functional areas controlled by a supporting agency is unsatisfactory, the battalion will be given a satisfactory rating with support rated as unsatisfactory. For this reason, the assistance and cooperation within the community is vital. For example, SSgt. Gerald Ladymon, NCOIC of Surety Records, PFC Byron Page and Cpl. Ward are responsible for maintaining over 1,000 PRP records. On every inspection the nuclear surety section of 257th has been rated "outstanding". Ladymon's expertise in the PRP has been identified throughout V Corps as exemplary.

In the Baumholder tradition of competitive excellence, the "Home of Champions" has established the pinnacle for which other USAREUR units strive.

1st Battalion, 59th Air Defense Artillery
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, July 3, 1970)
1st Bn, 59th ADA is the first USAREUR unit to take their self-propelled Vulcan tracks to the German Army's ranges at Todendorf (on the coast of the Baltic Sea) for live firing training. The troops were billeted at Camp Danzig.

Some 245 officers and enlisted men with 24 Vulcan tracks were deployed to Todendorf (most likey by rail). Each of the 24 four-man crews fired a total of practice 40 courses on air defense and low-level ground-fire targets before it was graded for the record.

Supporting units for the practice period on the Todendorf ranges included:
-- a detachment of the 8th S&T Bn
-- 91st Ord Det (DS) for maintenance of the Vulcan tracks
-- a laundry unit from the 14th S&S Bn

1st Bn, 59th ADA arrived at Mainz eight months ago (Nov 1969).

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