A different kind of farewell call in the german armed forces

A different kind of farewell call in the german armed forces

Site bivouac, open house, crowds of visitors in the barracks area, and the rousing marching music of a bundeswehr marching band. When the soldiers used to say goodbye to their comrades for foreign missions at the volkach federal army base, there was always something to do. Festive mood prevailed. But this time everything was different: from the foreign contingent only a part of the soldiers in the bright foreign deployment suit had marched up to the assembly area. With mouth masks, in rows of four and with wide distances to the next man.

The soldiers remaining at the site were otherwise also in rough "man strength" entered. But now there were only small delegations from the individual companies symbolically bidding farewell to their comrades. Also the livery music of the army band was missing. The bavarian and german national anthem came "out of the can. As "the strictest hygienic inspections the press spokesman of the german armed forces, daniel hechtfischer, described the situation. "You have to adapt to the circumstances". Even in the guest tent, where a rough number of local and business celebrities usually met, there was still plenty of room.

Kosovo, iraq, lebanon, afghanistan

Commander frank dannenberg, who also has a place in the foreign contingent, addressed the challenges facing the soldiers in his speech. "But they have had general military and post-specific training that has prepared them well for their country of deployment.". The locations are spread over half the world: from kosovo, iraq, lebanon, afghanistan to mali in africa.

First sergeant sven herchenroder is one of the participants flying to afghanistan. The 31-year-old is looking forward to his first foreign assignment, even if it stretches over christmas and the new year. "I am looking forward to the time and I think that I can collect many impressions and experiences as a soldier." He is not afraid, but has respect for the situation, he concludes, "and then it will be a good thing!"

Do not become careless

This was also the point made by the battalion chief frank dannenberg, who warned against the daily routine: "don’t become careless in the course of time and keep a cool head in every situation". Heiko bauerlein, mayor of the garrison town of volkach, paid his absolute respect to the soldiers and had a rough wish: "come back healthy to your home volkach area of operations!"

Then there was another surprise: thomas schilling, the site’s longest-serving sergeant, was officially retired by the commander. After his laudation, frank dannenberg accompanied him to a russian transport vehicle from the 1960s, which a soldier had lovingly restored. And with that he was allowed to "pass by" his comrades. By the way: before the soldiers board their aircraft in the fall, they are placed in strict quarantine 14 days beforehand near the airport in cololn. Also a point to the statement of the press spokesman: "one must adapt to the circumstances."


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