Despite numerous base closures within Germany in recent years, the Army still has significant presence within southern Germany where the vast majority of its bases are located. Visiting these bases has always been subject to security restrictions. This was true before Sept. 11, 2001, and is even more so now. However, the army still has the same demand for access into its installations as before. They still need supply trucks to deliver goods. Family members want to see loved ones who are stationed at these bases. The press wants to cover media events. Each base maintains a goodwill relationship with their host community through joint activities and celebrations. United States Army Europe (USAREUR) has a complex system of access levels to its installations depending upon who you are and your purpose for being there.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Identify your main purpose in visiting the Army base in Germany. You have to have a sponsoring authority and valid reason to visit the base. You may already have a military identification card and a security clearance, but these are not automatic tickets.
Contact someone you know who has sign-in privileges to that Army base in Germany. For visiting family members, this is a foregone conclusion. But you may be a visiting active-duty member stationed outside of Europe and you have the contact number of an old friend who you know is stationed at the base you would like to visit. This method will get you inside the base, but you must be escorted at all times; it is not good for recurring needs. You will still need some form of identification and must state your expected departure time. Your friend is your sponsoring authority.
Determine if you are registered in the Installation Access Control System (IACS). Everyone who is assigned within the region overseen by Armed Forces Europe and who has a Department of Defense identification card should already be enrolled.
Have your name put on an access roster. This is good for nonrecurring, specific events in specific areas withing a 60-day period. For instance, a contractor performing work at a specific facility in three weeks should be put on a roster. The sub-level command seeking the contract work sponsors the contractor.
Obtain an installation pass or a temporary installation pass. If you are a member of the U.S. Embassy in Germany and need access to a base you can apply for an installation pass. The sponsoring authority would be the State Department in this case.
Tips and warnings
- If you are merely a curiosity seeker, give up now. The chances of the U.S. Army granting you access are zero.
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