Country: Germany Region: BW
Latitude: 49° 15' 56" N Longitude: 9° 3' 19" E
Area use / Military Branches: Closed
Former US Army Corps Level (Type-C) SAS Siegelsbach (1959-1991) was under CENTAG command and contained war time ammo for 7th US Army Corps and subordinated units.
After WW2 Siegelsbach was occupied by the US Army and used as an ammo storage under 9th Ord Battalion. It was steadily upgraded during the 1950’s with fences and wooden watchtowers. In 1959 command was taken over by 7th Army, 525th Ord.Company with its own personnel created guard platoon and Siegelsbach became a SW depot as the first ‘specials’ arrived forming the AWSCOM war stockpile. Poor security and the lack of qualified personnel at once became major issues.
March 1962 556th MP Co was assigned to Europe under AWSCOM command and activated at Heilbronn. 556th was first stationed at Siegelsbach SW Depot to train the security unit of 525th Ord Co and inprocessing military. However becoming operational the existing guard platoon integrated in 556th and soon started providing full security for the depot and its incoming ‘specials’. This included: 24/7 security of the exclusion area in 8 hr shifts, footpatrols and escorting special weapon convoys to and from the area.
Until 1969 towerduty was in 8 unheated towers equipped with a stool and a fieldphone only without any improvements to make the boring and monotonous duty somewhat comfortable. Personnel received little training and got no information about their mission and expected posture. This resulted in a lack of morale and motivation in the 1970’s when military alcohol and drug abuse rose.
As of 1976 finally the army became concerned about working conditions and welfare. Improvements were made. Personnel was ordently trained an briefed about the units task. The K-9 section was created, handie talkies repaced the fieldphones, the hazardous duty restrictions were lifted and women were also assigned in 556th. A major security infrastructure upgrade project started up with better lighting and heated concrete and steel towers with bulletproof windows. Unit morale and motivation boosted up again and in the 1980’s 556th MP Co even earned a military unit award.
In 1990 the Cold War came to and end in 1991 Siegelsbachs closing procedure started. In that year the ‘specials’ were removed in operation Silent Echo and flown by helicopters to Ramstein airbase to be airlifted back to the US. This ended in april 1992 but 556th remained on site being downsized until its deactivation in Pirmasens in 1992. Siegelsbach was being used to store equipment until 1994 when the property was returned to the German authorities.
- 9th Ord Battalion
- 72nd Ord Battalion
- 525th Ord Coy
- 556th MP Coy http://www.towerrat.com/
In 1998 this location was used in the motion picture Buffalo Soldiers, showing quite a different situation than the real thing...
Current status: Bundeswehr depot. Exclusion area now a solar park http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-BA008Id7c
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