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United States Army, Europe & Seventh Army
United States European Command

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Chronology (1943 - 1989)

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Chronology (1943-1989)
CHRONOLOGY OF U.S. GROUND FORCES IN EUROPE
(1943 - 1989)
SECTION I: Organizational Developments
(Source: Chronology of the U.S. Ground Forces in Europe, (1943-June 1971), Military History Office, HQ USAREUR; additional information added from other sources, such as: The Replacement and Augmentation Systems in Europe, (1945-1963), Historical Sec, Ops Div, HQ USAREUR, 1964)
NOTE: The entries into the Chronology that originated from the manuscript provided to me by the Military History Office, HQ USAREUR appear in black. My own entries (Theater, Army and Corps level key events) will be presented in blue. The purpose is to fill in some of the gaps and extend the Chronology past the original June 1971 cutoff date.
1943   30 October   The Combined Chiefs of Staff appoint LTG Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander.
   
1944   16 January   General Eisenhower again assumes command of the European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (ETOUSA), a headquarters responsible for operations, which he had commanded for a short time after its creation on 8 June 1942; ETOUSA COMZ is responsible for administration and supply.
  17 January   General Eisenhower activates Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) and consolidates ETOUSA and ETOUSA COMZ to administer and supply the U.S. Army elements of SHAEF.
   
1945   18 April   Establishment of the Office of the Deputy Military Governor (Germany) with LTG Lucius D. Clay as Deputy Military Governor. He is also Deputy CG, ETOUSA and CG, U.S. Group, Control Council.
  8 May   V-E Day.
11 May Bremen and Bremerhaven Ports are organized as the Bremen Port Command. (Port of Bremerhaven is opened 12 May 1945.)
  May/June   The main elements of SHAEF move from Rheims to the I.G. Farben Building in Frankfurt. Hq U.S. Naval Forces in France, redesignated U.S. Naval Forces in Germany, also moves to Frankfurt. Initially, U.S. Naval Forces in Germany is subordinated to U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, situated in London, but later it becomes a major command of USFET. Eventually both Naval headquarters move to Bremen.
  1 July   General Eisenhower redesignates ETOUSA as U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET) with main headquarters at Frankfurt and a rear echelon (COMZ) at Paris.
  5 July   USFET redesignates the U.S. contingent of the disbanded 15th Army Group as U.S. Forces in Austria (USFA) and extends its boundaries to include Austria.
  14 July   General Eisenhower dissolves SHAEF.
15 July USFET assumes command of all US forces in Europe.
  24 July   USFET reorganizes the former U.S. Strategic Air Force in Europe, commanded by LTG Carl A. Spaatz, into an occupational air force and redesignates it as U.S. Army Air Forces in Europe (USAAFE) -- one of its major commands.
  1 August   USFET redesignates its COMZ as Theater Service Forces, European Theater (TSFET). LTG J.C.H. Lee continues in command until 28 December 1945.
2 September V-J Day
  1 October   General Eisenhower redesignates the U.S. Group, Control Council in Berlin as the Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.) (OMGUS).
November First post-war replacements arrive at Bremen.
  11 November   General Eisenhower relinquishes command of USFET and as U.S. Military Governor to GEN George S. Patton, Jr. (acting).
  26 November   GEN Joseph T. McNarney assumes command of USFET and as U.S. Military Governor. General Clay continues to serve as deputy commander and deputy military governor.
  10 December   USFET activates Continental Base Section at Rheims.
   
1946   3 January   Continental Base Section moves to Bad Nauheim.
  15 January   USFET activates Western Base Section, with headquarters in Paris.
31 January Ground Forces Reinforcement Command is inactivated.
  28 February   USFET discontinues TSFET. Continental Base Section assumes its supply and other functions, and -- as a major command of USFET -- becomes responsible for the logistical support, redeployment, etc., of all U.S. forces in Germany and Austria. Western Base Section assumes all logistical responsibilities in liberated areas and also becomes a major command of USFET.
31 March Port of Antwerp is closed.
16 April First US dependents arrive in Europe.
12 May Redeployment program is terminated, with 3,044,985 troops having been redeployed to the Pacific Theater or to the United States in one year.
20 June US military activities at (Port of) Le Havre are closed, leaving Bremerhaven as the sole port for personnel entering or leaving the US occupied zone of Germany.
30 November 1,472 personnel are transferred to EUCOM upon inactivation of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
   
1947   15 March   USFET becomes the European Command (EUCOM). General Clay replaces General McNarney as CINC EUCOM and U.S. Military Governor and creates a personal headquarters designated the Office of the Commander in Chief, European Command (CINCEUR). This office, a few EUCOM staff divisions, and OMGUS remain in Berlin. MG Clarence R. Huebner, the new Deputy Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff, EUCOM, with the majority of the EUCOM staff divisions moves to Frankfurt. U.S. Ground and Service Forces, Europe is the Army element of the joint headquarters.
15 March 7749 Staging Area (Bremen Port Command) is redesignated the Bremerhaven Port of Embarkation (BPE).
  15 November   U.S. Ground and Service Forces, Europe, renamed U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), is a nonoperational organization that provides the ground and service commander with the command functions required for administrative and logistical support. The offices and personnel of the general and special staff divisions of EUCOM headquarters perform USAREUR's general and special staff duties. The principal function of the commanding general of USAREUR is the establishment and maintenance of high standards of discipline. General Huebner is also CG, USAREUR.
  15 November   Hq EUCOM has four major subordinate commands, USAREUR, USAAFE, USNAVEUR, and USFA; later also the U.S. Constabulary, First and Second Military Districts (area commands), etc.
   
1948   Spring   The British and U.S. Zones, merged for economic purposes to form Bizonia, establish the bizonal capital at Frankfurt. Some military government agencies move from Berlin to Frankfurt. EUCOM headquarters moves to Heidelberg, and the headquarters of the U.S. Constabulary from Heidelberg to Stuttgart. They complete these moves in 1949. The U.S. Air Forces, Europe (USAFE), establishes headquarters at Wiesbaden.
  26 June   Berlin Airlift begins.
   
1949   1 March   EUCOM announced on Jan 12, 1949 that effective 1 March 1949, all US Army personnel assigned to the European Copmmand would wear the EUCOM shoulder patch. The only exceptions to this rule will be personnel assigned to units which have been authorized a distinctive shoulder sleeve insignia by the War Department, Department of the Army or Department of the Air Force. (The two exceptions listed are personnel of the US Constabulary and USAFE.)
    March   First Army L-17 liaison airplanes have arrived in EUCOM and are being assembled at the Air Force depot at Erding. The new planes will be used for courier and communications services as well as for trasnsportation requirements for field and unit commanders and key staff personnel. The aircraft will be based at airfields in Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Munich, Fritzlar, Heidelberg, Straubing, Bad Toelz, Erlangen, Schweinfurt, Linz and Vienna.
  11 May   EUCOM assigns tactical troops to USAREUR
  12 May   Berlin blockade ends officially.
  15 May   General Huebner replaces General Clay as CINC EUCOM and U.S. Military Governor.
  23 May   USFA, relieved from assignment to EUCOM, becomes an independent command under the JCS. EUCOM now has only three major subordinate commands. USAREUR, USAFE, and USNAVEUR. But EUCOM is not a true joint command since Army personnel continue to staff the headquarters almost exclusively and EUCOM and USAREUR have identical staff divisions.
  12 August   OMGUS headquarters moves from Berlin to Frankfurt.
  2 September   GEN Thomas T. Handy assumes duties as CINC EUCOM, vice General Huebner. General Handy moves his office from Berlin to Heidelberg. He is also CINCUSAREUR.
  2 September   Mr. John J. McCloy becomes U.S. Military Governor and U.S. High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG).
  21 September   With the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, HICOG replaces OMGUS and moves from Berlin to Frankfurt.
  30 September   Berlin Airlift ends.
   
1950   1 February   USNAVEUR moves its headquarters from Berlin to Heidelberg.
25 June Korean hostilities begin.
  18 August   LTG Manton S. Eddy assumes command of USAREUR vice General Handy.
  24 November   EUCOM activates Seventh Army at Stuttgart to take over the command of the ground and service forces from USAREUR, while other USAREUR functions revert to EUCOM. General Eddy becomes CG of Seventh Army. USAREUR continues to exist, but without troops; it fulfills certain legal requirements in connection with court-martial and other responsibilities. EUCOM organizes the Twelfth Air Force as a tactical component. USAFE becomes an independent headquarters directly subordinate to the Department of the Air Force.
1 December Seventh Army is activated as a field army; 1st Infantry Division and the US Constabulary are assigned to it.
  18 December   General Eisenhower announced as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR).
   
1951   28 May 4th Infantry Division, first of the augmentation divisions, is assigned to Seventh Army.
15 July EUCOM establishes EUCOM COMZ as a subordinate command in France with headquarters at Orleans, a Base Section at La Rochelle and an Advance Section at Verdun.
15 July 2nd Armored Division is assigned to Seventh Army.
3 August V Corps is assigned to Seventh Army.
21 October 43rd Infantry Division is assigned to Seventh Army.
2 November VII Corps is assigned to Seventh Army.
  23 November   HICOG completes its move from Frankfurt to Bad Godesberg, near Bonn.
26 November 28th Infantry Division is assigned to Seventh Army.
   
1952   1 April LT GEN C.L. Bolte assumes duties of CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG, vice LT GE M.S. Eddy.
  1 May   The EUCOM major commands are Seventh Army, Twelfth Air Force, and U.S. Naval Forces, Germany; its subordinate commands are the military posts (except Wiesbaden) and EUCOM COMZ.
  30 May   GEN Mathew B. Ridgway replaces General Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
July The newly organized U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean establishes its headquarters in London.
1 August General Ridgway assumes command and General Handy is the Deputy Commander of the newly established U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) headquarters at Frankfurt.
1 August Hq EUCOM becomes Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), with General Handy in command for 12 days.
1 August General Handy also assumes command of the newly organized (1 August) Central Army Group (CENTAG) headquarters. NATO organizes Northern Army Group simultaneously.
12 August General Eddy assumes command of USAREUR and CENTAG, and LTG Charles L. Bolte becomes the new commander of Seventh Army.
29 September LT GEN W.M. Hoge assumes duties of CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG, vice LT GEN C.L. Bolte.
10 October USEUCOM begins move from Frankfurt to the vicinity of Paris.
1 December USAREUR consolidates the military posts into area commands. COMZ becomes a major subordinate command.
1953 1 April General Bolte replaces General Eddy as CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG. LTG William M. Hoge takes command of Seventh Army.
29 September General Hoge assumes command of USAREUR and CENTAG, vice General Bolte.
1954 9 April Transfer to USAREUR of certain TRUST personnel begins.
3 May 328th Trans Co (Helicopter) arrives at Bremerhaven POE on the board the aircraft carrier USS Tripoli. This is the first H-19 CHICKASAW unit to arrive in USAREUR (21 H-19's).
25 May 5th Infantry Division officially replaces 43rd Infantry Division.
25 May 9th Infantry Division officially replaces 28th Infantry Division.
1955 1 February GEN Anthony C. McAuliffe announced as CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG, vice General Hoge.
25 March Experimental "Little Gyroscope" unit, 216th Field Artillery Battalion, docks at Bremerhaven.
5 May U.S. occupation ends; the Allies grant sovereignty to the Federal Republic of Germany.
26 May Under Gyroscope I, 10th Infantry Division advance party begins arriving in Europe.
1 June Transfer of about 5,000 military personnel from USFA to USAREUR begins.
11 July First main increment of the 10th Infantry Division arrives in Europe; 2nd and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiments begin Gyroscope exchange.
31 August Absorption of USFA military personnel into USAREUR is completed.
27 September 10th Infantry Division officially replaces 1st Infantry Division.
25 October Inactivation of USFA; last U.S. troops withdraw from Austria; USASETAF is activated in Northern Italy.
1956 27 February 587th Trans Co (Helicopter) arrives at Bremerhaven POE on the board the MSTS utility carrier, USS Corregidor. This is the first H-34 CHOCTAW unit to arrive in USAREUR (21 H-34's & 2 H-13's).
1 May GEN Henry I. Hodes becomes CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG, vice General McAuliffe.
9 June 3rd Armored Division officially replaces 4th Infantry Division.
1957 1 March 11th Abn Div is officially reorganized under the pentomic structure (ROTAD).
1 June CINCNELM assumes direct command of U.S. Naval Forces in Germany.
1 July The changeover for enlisted men from OD (olive drab) Shade 33 uniforms to the new Army green uniforms (Shade 44) started on this day. The worldwide switch was to be completed by September 30, 1960. The circular (Army Circular 670-14, dtd 3 May 1957) that set forth the way in which the changeover would be implemented, also stated that during the transition period enlisted men could wear any of the uniforms (appropriate to the season) that had been issued to them or which they were required to purchase. (As of Oct 1, 1960 - the wear of the O-33 uniform and Army Shade 1 and 61 garrison caps would be prohibited.)
1 October HQ USAREUR has determined 1 Oct 1957 to be the changeover date for the new Army green uniform for officers.
1958 1 January USEUCOM transfers the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force (USASETAF), created after the withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Austria in October 1955, from its jurisdiction to that of USAREUR.
7 January Gyroscope rotation of battle groups and smaller units replaces rotation of divisions.
23 April 3rd Infantry Division officially replaces 10th Infantry Division.
1 October HQ USAREUR has determined 1 Oct 1958 to be the changeover date for the new Army green uniform. As of that date all EM in the command will be required to own at least one green uniform.
1959 1 April GEN Clyde D. Eddleman replaces General Hodes as CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG.
June Point-to-point assignment procedure is initiated.
August First H-37 MOHAVE medium helicopters arrive by ship from the States (at Bremerhaven) prior to being assigned to a 7th Army aviation unit.
1 September Operation Gyroscope is discontinued; it is replaced by the Carrier Company Replacement System, using 4-man teams.
1960 1 October CENTAG becomes an independent headquarters subordinate to LANDCENT.
20 October GEN Bruce C. Clarke announced as CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG, vice General Eddleman.
         
1961   11 August The Secretary of Defense defines the scope of the large-scale troop augmentation to be conducted due to increasing critical international situation (Berlin)
    16 August All duty tours are extended involuntarily.
    19-20 August Berlin is reinforced by a reinforced USAREUR battle group.
    7 September The first augmentation of 3,000 troops to mechanize USAREUR's infantry divisions is authorized.
    9 September A further augmentation of 37,000 troops to round out USAREUR force structure is authorized.
    12 October The Department of the Army directs the prepositioning of equipment for two divisions in Europe.
    31 October The prepositioning of equipment for 10 support units is directed.
    9 November 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment arrives as an additional augmentation unit.
    December Prepositioning of equipment for two divisions and 10 support units is completed.
         
1962   1 May GEN Paul L. Freeman, Jr. assumes command of USAREUR and CENTAG, vice General Clarke.
    June USAREUR strength reaches an all-time high of 277,342.
    1 July USAREUR begins to return Roundout logistical units to the United States, and assumes liaison and maintenance mission for prepositioned equipment.
    18 September US military services adopt a common designation system for their aircraft. All Army aircraft and helicopter types are redesignated according to the new system. E.g. the MOJAVE H-37 is redesignated as CH-47.
22 October - 20 November On Monday evening, October 22, President Kennedy spoke to the world from the Oval Office; U.S. military forces around the world went to the DEFCON-3 alert posture, with the exception of U.S. Forces in Europe, which remained at DEFCON-4 because of its integration with NATO forces. [Chapter note #17: 'The NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR), General Lauris Norstad, USAF, had been ordered to try to persuade NATO forces to assume a comparable alert posture, but he was authorized to "exercise his discretion in complying this directive."  Norstad conferred with British prime minister Macmillan, who strongly argued against 'mobilizing' European forces.  Aware that a U.S. alert might weaken European support for the United States, Norstad decided not to put U.S. forces in Europe at DEFCON-3. 
SOURCES: [1] Cable from Joint Chiefs of Staff Announcing DEFCON 3 Military Alert, October 22, 1962; text of message to Lauris Norstad on the impact of the Cuban Crisis on NATO, October 22, 1962.')" [2] DEFCON-2: Standing on the Brink of Nuclear War during the Cuban Missile Crisis (by Norman Polmar and John D. Gresham, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006, p. 138.) (Submitted by Jim Chorazy)
         
1963   27 January USAREUR begins ROAD reorganization.
    1 July The Supplementary Agreement, governing the status of NATO forces in the Federal Republic of Germany, goes into effect.
July/August 1st Bn, 94th Arty (4th Armd Div) is the first USAREUR artillery unit to receive the new 155-mm M109 self-propelled howitzer - it replaced the M44 SP howitzer.
1 September ROAD reorganization of USAB (US Army, Berlin) begins.
22 October Exercise BIG LIFT begins.
   
1964   1 July USAREUR consolidates Northern and Southern Area Commands (NACOM and SACOM) and organizes the U.S. Army Area Command (USAACOM) with headquarters at Frankfurt.
   
1965   1 Jan APO numbering scheme changes from 3-digits to 5-digits.
    18 March GEN Andrew P. O'Meara succeeds General Freeman as CINCUSAREUR and COMCENTAG.
    15 April - 11 Aug USAACOM headquarters moves from Frankfurt to Munich.
    1 Sept - 1 Dec Functional reorganization of USAREUR headquarters; several separate staff divisions are discontinued to reduce the span of control.
1966 29 March The French Government declares its intention to withdraw its military forces from NATO by 1 July. The United States must vacate its bases in France and must remove its personnel and materiel within one year.
1 December USAREUR and Seventh Army headquarters merge at Heidelberg.
6 December LTG James H. Polk becomes the first USAREUR Deputy Commander in Chief for Seventh Army.
1967 1 January The U.S. Army General Depot, United Kingdom, is organized at Burtonwood.
14 March USEUCOM headquarters moves from Camp des Loges to Stuttgart, and AFCENT from Fontainebleau to Brunssum, the Netherlands.
31 March All USACOMZEUR headquarters, units, and supplies are, out of France, except for the Military Liquidation Section, which remains to turn over the U.S, bases to the French.
31 March SHAPE headquarters is officially established at Casteau, Belgium.
1 April USACOMZEUR headquarters, formerly at Orleans, France is established at Worms, Germany.
1 June General Polk succeeds General O'Meara as CINCUSAREUR, COMCENTAG, and Commanding General of Seventh Army.
15 June LTG John A. Heintges is assigned as Deputy Commander in Chief for Seventh Army.
1 July USACOMZEUR and USAACOM headquarters merge at Worms.
20 December The redeployment of forces from Germany (REFORGER), involving 28,003 Army personnel, is announced.
1968 1 April The first REFORGER unit leaves for the United States.
1 July The U.S. Army Medical Command, Europe (USAMEDCOMEUR), (Prov), is organized, using resources from USAREUR Office of the Surgeon, 9th Hospital Center, and USACOMZEUR Hospital Center (Prov).
1 July USACOMZEUR reorganizes the 10 support districts in the Federal Republic of Germany into 5 districts that conform to the state boundaries.
21 October The REFORGER moves are completed.
    2 December The U.S. Army Transportation Command, Europe (USATRANSCOMEUR) (Prov), is organized as part of the CCLS-70 reorganization.
   
1969   1 January USAMEDCOMEUR is organized in place of USAMEDCOMEUR (Prov).
    15 March VII Corps Support Command (COSCOM) is organized at Boeblingen.
    31 March The 66th Military Intelligence Group is reassigned from USAREUR and Seventh Army headquarters to USAREUR and Seventh Army Troops.
    15 April The 56th Artillery Group (Pershing), including assigned units, is transferred from USAREUR and Seventh Army headquarters to USAREUR and Seventh Army Troops.
    15 April The U.S. Army, Europe, and Seventh Army Special Troops Group is organized at Heidelberg.
    25 April V COSCOM is organized at Frankfurt.
    25 April USACOMZEUR is redesignated the U.S. Theater Army Support Command, Europe (USTASCOMEUR).
    25 April USACOMZEUR Supply and Maintenance Agency is redesignated U.S. Army Materiel Command, Europe (USAMATCOMEUR).
    25 June Seventh Army Support Command is inactivated.
    27 August LTG Heintges, Deputy CINC (formerly Deputy CINC for Seventh Army) departs for an assignment in Korea.
    1 October LTG Charles W. Eifler is assigned as Deputy CINC, USAREUR and Seventh Army.
    28 November EES headquarters completes its move from Nuernberg to Munich.
    31 December The Military Liquidation Section in Paris is discontinued.
         
1970   24 February   Seventh Army Communications Command is discontinued; 7th Signal Brigade is activated in its place.
25 March Army Management Information Systems Support Agency, Europe, is organized and assigned to USAREUR and Seventh Army Troops.
15 April 24th Infantry Division is redesignated 1st Infantry Division.
1 July Subdued insignia became mandatory for wear.
25 July U.S. Army Procurement Center, Frankfurt, is redesignated U.S. Army Procurement Agency, Europe.
28 July LTG Eifler, Deputy CINC, USAREUR and Seventh Army, is reassigned as CG, USTASCOMEUR.
August First CH-47A CHINOOKS arrive in USAREUR to be delivered to the 4th Avn Co, Schwaebisch Hall. Six of the helicopters arrived at Bremerhaven by ship and were flown to Nellingen Airfield. 10 more helicopters destined for the 4th Avn are scheduled to arrive by August 22.
15 September 11th Transportation Terminal Command is inactivated; U.S. Army Transportation Terminal Group, Europe, is organized.
18 September 56th Artillery Group is redesignated 56th Artillery Brigade.
28 October U.S. Army Petroleum Group, Europe, is discontinued.
29 October USAREUR Augmentation Readiness Group (UARG) is redesignated U.S. Army Combat Equipment Group, Europe.
1971 16 February LTG Arthur S. Collins, Jr. is assigned as Deputy CINC, USAREUR and Seventh Army.
15 March USAMEDCOMEUR and 15th Military Police Brigade are reassigned from USAREUR and Seventh Army to USTASCOMEUR headquarters.
15 March 9th and 42d MP Groups are reassigned from 15th MP Brigade to USAREUR and Seventh Army Troops.
20 March LTG Collins succeeds General Polk as CINC, USAREUR and Seventh Army, and COMCENTAG.
10 May 4th Armored Division is redesignated 1st Armored Division.
10 May USAREUR and Seventh Army Troops is redesignated USAREUR and Seventh Army Combat Support Command.
26 May GEN Michael S. Davison assumes command of USAREUR and Seventh Army, and of CENTAG; LTG Collins is Deputy CINC, USAREUR and Seventh Army.
1972 April 1st Bde, 8th Inf Div (Mannheim) received a first allotment of 36 Gama Goats. (The brigade is schduled to receive a total of 52.) The 8th Inf Div is the first USAREUR combat unit to receive this type of vehicle. The division will receive a total of 395 cargo-carrying Gama Goats and 39 ambulance Gama Goats.
1973 June The first battery of Improved HAWK missile equipment refurbished at Pueblo Army Depot was delivered to U.S. troops in Europe.
1974 1 July HQ US Army Theater Army Support Command, Europe (TASCOM) is in the process of merging with HQ USAREUR. The merger is scheduled to be completed by Sept 30. On July 1, the last subordinate commands of TASCOM are reassigned to other commands. .
1978 October 1st Armored Division begins practice of mounting yellow halogen flashing lights on all oversized vehicles for traffic safety. (First combat division unit to do so?) Before that, USAREUR regulations had only called for lights at the beginning and end of a column of vehicles.

 
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