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Grafenwöhr is a town in the district Neustadt marker, in the region of the Upper Palatinatemarker ( ) in eastern Bavariamarker, Germanymarker. It is widely known for the United States Army military installation and training area, called Grafenwoehr, located directly south and west of the town.

History

Early History

The town was founded in the 9th century on an island between the river Creussen and the Thum stream. During its early days, the inhabitants and town belonged to nobles from Schweinfurtmarker, Bambergmarker, and Leuchtenbergmarker. Originally called Weit, the name changed to Woehr (island). The name, Grafenwoehr, means Counts' Woehr. This area was very swampy and Grafenwoehr was on an island. The land was drained for agricultural use.

20th Century

In 1907, Prince Luitpold, regent of the Kingdom of Bavaria, selected the area near Grafenwoehr as the place best suited for training of the Bavarian Army. Construction began in 1908 and by 1915, the training reservation covered an area of 37 square miles. The first artillery round was fired in the training area at 0800 hours on June 30, 1910. Throughout World War I, from 1914-1918, the area was used for training and equipping of combat units. After the end of the war, the Berlin High Command utilized Grafenwoehr Training area for the 100,000 man German army. In 1936, the training area was expanded to the present size of 90 square miles. On 5 and 8 April 1945, the camp and town were subjected to an Allied air raid conducted. On 20 April 1945, the last German Commander of the training area surrendered to the American forces. After World War II it became an important Cold War training site for the United States Army and allied forces. Many German Bundeswehr units still utilize the training area for maneuver and live-fire weapons training.

Post Cold War

The military installation is also home to one of the largest Army construction projects in Europe, called Efficient Basing-Grafenwöhr. The Grafenwoehr Training Area houses the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC). The 7th Army JMTC owns almost all of the U.S. Army training facilities and assets in Europe. The Grafenwoehr Training Area is one of its largest training areas and includes ranges where almost all weapons systems from small arms, tanks, artillery pieces, guided munitions, and other military apparatus may be tested by warriors who may use them in combat. Though owned by the U.S. Army, the area is the largest multinational training area in Europe. Grafenwöhr, also known as the East Camp, is the main post and is located on the north east edge of the training area. The Vilseckmarker military community, also known as the South Camp, is on the southern boundary.

The Grafenwoehr Army Airfield is used as an assault zone for C-130's from the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein ABmarker, Germany. Due to its length and relative proximity to Ramstein, it makes for a realistic simulation of short field operations encountered around the world. Bunker dropzone is also located within the Grafenwoehr Training Area. It is used to practice airdrop of troops, equipment, and supplies, perfecting the capabilities of the United States military.

Tenant Units



Geography

The civilian town of Grafenwoehr rests nestled between low hills. The area is widely forested and the nearby region is mostly used for agricultural purposes. Farms and dairies cover much of the surrounding landscape. Grafenwöhr is positioned geographically such that it experiences very mild summers and cold winters.

Sports

  • Soccer. SV Grafenwöhr. The adults and children mostly all are in either the Kreisliga or Bezirksoberliga.
  • Fishing. The area around Grafenwoehr is excellent for fishing. There are many lakes on the training area and the surrounding area that are fished. Common fish landed in the area are Carp, Pike, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout.
  • Hunting. The area around Grafenwoehr is heavily forested and provides for excellent hunting. Wild boar (wildschwein), roe deer (reh) and red deer (Rotwild) are the most commonly hunted animals.
  • Other. The U.S. Military hosts a wide variety of sports within the boundaries of the camps.


Transport

  • Road. Grafenwoehr is located along Bundesstrasse 299. Civilian transportation to, from, in, and around Grafenwoehr is limited to automobile movement. There are a limited number of taxi services available.
  • Rail. The only railroad in Grafewoehr is used strictly for military movement. However, there are several rail stations nearby where civilian passenger trains run. The closest Bahnhofs (rail stations) are Pressathmarker, Schwarzenbachmarker, Freihungmarker, and Vilseckmarker.
  • Air.The only airfield in Grafenwoehr is used strictly for military movement. The closest international airport is located in Nurembergmarker, approximately 90 kilometers away.


VIPs and Important Visitors



Media

Armed Forces Network (AFN) Bavaria broadcasts from the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

Photo Gallery

File:Grafenwoehr AFN_Mast.JPG|Grafenwoehr AFN AM radio mastFile:Grafenwöhr 001.jpg|Grafenwoehr city centerFile:Rathaus Grafenwöhr 001.jpg|The Grafenwoehr Rathaus (Town Hall)

References

  1. SV-Grafenwoehr Online


External links




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