The History of the Nuernberg Military Community

Brief History of the Nuernberg Military Community

On 20 April 1945, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Germany surrendered to Seventh Army troops. On 25 July 1945, the 1st Infantry Division 26th Infantry Regiment moved into the Nuernberg-Fuerth area to take over the German Kasernes here, reestablish utilities and highways, and prepare the Nuernberg War Trials.
During the Trials, the 26th ''Blue Spaders'' had some unusual duties including the operation of four hotels, two night clubs, a bus line and 90 billets in private homes.

The Nuernberg-Fuerth Enclave was officially established on 17 May 1946, and a station complement unit was billeted in what was then known as the Sadan Kaserne in Fuerth, the present William O. Darby Kaserne. It was renamed on 29 March 1949 in honor of the late Brigadier General William O. Darby, famed commander of the Ranger Forces in the European and Mediteranean Theathers.

The Nuernberg area became part of the Southern Area Command in 1954. A number of redesignations followed. From 1959 to 1965 it was known as Nuernberg Post. After the Northern and Southern Area Command merged in the United States Area Command, the post was designated as Headquarters North Bavaria District, USAACOM, on 1 July 1965. Within the District were five sub-districts: Illesheim, Erlangen, Ansbach, Bayreuth and Bamberg.

During 1966/67, the U.S. Army Communications Zone, Europe, left France, moved to Germany and merged with USAACOM which was designated as COMZ. Soon it was redesignated as the U.S. Theater Army Support Command Europe (TASCOM). In 1967, Nuernberg became the headquarters for the Nordbayern Support District under TASCOM with eleven Support Activities: Ansbach, Aschaffenburg, Bayreuth, Erlangen, Kitzingen, Bad Kissingen, Bamberg, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Wertheim and Wuerzburg.

In July 1970, Support District Nordbayern was restructured into five Support Activities: They are Ansbach, Aschaffenburg, Schweinfurt, Bamberg and Wuerzburg. Regensburg came under control of the Seventh Army Training Center and the remaining support activities became Support Detachments, consisting of Bad Kissingen, Bayreuth, Erlangen, Kitzingen and Wertheim. In July 1973, Support District Nord- and Suedbayern merged to form the Bayern Support District with the same areas of responsibilities.

Concomitant with the dissolution of TASCOM in 1974, the Bayern Support District inactivated and subdivided into military communities, generally along the organizational lines of the former Support Activities, under Corps responsibility. This major organizational change was called "Project Chase". Nuernberg became U.S. Military Community Activity Nuernberg and consisted of the garrisons at Erlangen, Herzogenaurach, Schwabach and Zirndorf as subcommunities as well as the Installations of W. O. Darby Kaserne, Johnson and Monteith Barracks in Fuerth, the U.S. Army Hospital Nuernberg, Merrell Barracks in Nuernberg and the Army Airfield in Feucht.

The duties of Community Commander were performed by the assistant commander of the 1st Armored Division and the first Community Commander of Nuernberg MILCOM was Brigadier General Clay T. Buckingham. The USAREUR MILCOM structure remained in effect until 1991.

The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War era ushered in major organizational changes, troop reductions and base closures. On 1 October 1991, USAREUR military communities consolidated into Area Support Groups (ASG), Base Support Battalions (BSB), and Area Support Teams (AST). The military communities of the greater Nuernberg area became part of the 99th Area Support Group with headquarters at W. O. Darby Kaserne, Fuerth.

As the largest ASG in Germany, the 99th assumed the mission of base operations for all or parts of the former military communities of Ansbach, Augsburg, Bamberg, Bad Toelz, Goeppingen, Heilbronn, Munich, Neu Ulm and Nuernberg. These former military communities were organized into four Base Support Battalions and eight Area Support Teams. They were the 235th BSB headquartered at Ansbach, the 236th BSB headquartered at Augsburg, the 279th BSB headquartered at Bamberg, and the Nuernberg BSB (Provisional) later designated as the 416th BSB headquartered at W. O. Darby Kaserne, Fuerth. ASTs were established at Bad Aibling, Berchtesgaden, Craislheim, Erlangen, Garmisch, Illesheim, Schwaebisch Hall, and Zirndorf.

During 1992, major units which had been stationed for several decades in the Nuernberg area, moved or were inactivated. In July 1992, the 2nd Army Cavalry Regiment, which had been stationed for almost half a century at Merrell Barracks Nuernberg, was redeployed to the United States. The 1st Armored Division moved to bad Kreuznach, Germany. Its 2nd Brigade, stationed at Ferris Barracks, Erlangen, was first reflagged to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, but then deactivated in 1993. These major troop withdrawls from the Nuernberg area were a clear signal of future major organizational changes.

On December 1993, only two years after its activation, the 99th ASG Nuernberg was vanished. The BSBs at Ansbach and Bamberg were transferred to the 98th ASG Wuerzburg and BSB Augsburg was assigned to the Stuttgart ASG. The 416th BSB Nuernberg was transferred to the 100th ASG at Grafenwoehr, but later deactivated on 15 September 1994. The remaining military community was downsized to an Area Support Team (AST) under ASG Grafenwoehr and BSB Hohenfels control. The AST Fuerth-Nuernberg with headquarters at W. O. Darby Kaserne, Fuerth, retained Johnson Barracks, Kalb and Dambach Housing, the Shopping Center in Fuerth, as well as Pinder Barracks, Zirndorf, accommodating the headquarters of the Army & Air Force Exchange System (AAFES) since 1992.

However, the latter was not the last drawdown and base closure measure for this area. On 27 October 1994, HQ USAREUR announced a total closure of the remaining facilities in Nuernberg-Fuerth not later than 31 December 1995.
This represented the end of 50 years of U.S. Army presence and military history in Nuernberg.

U. S. Military Community Activity Nuernberg (1990)

* Provide base operations support to enhance readiness and improve quality of life.
* Transitions to war planning and execution
* Execute Noncombatant Evacuation Order

* 11 installations:
* Total geographical area 1,750 square miles

* 15,200 military personnel (62% married)
* 11,700 family members
* 1,400 U.S. civilian employees
* 1,700 Local National employees

* 3 elementary schools
* 1 middle school
* 1 high school
* 8 government housing areas
* 23 leased housing locations
* 2,800 total family housing units
* 6 modern child care centers
* AAFES shopping center (largest dollar volume in Europe)
* New Fuerth commissary (largest Army store in Europe) * New Erlangen commissary
* Mulitude of morale, recreation, welfare systems

Local Information
* Cities within U.S. installations:
Nuernberg (population 500,00)
Fuerth (100,000)
Erlangen (100,00)
Schwabach (35,000)
Zirndorf (21,000)
Herzogenaurach (18,000)
Feucht (12,000)
* $167,000,000 annual U.S. dollar impact on local German Economy

Date: 13 February 2002