On June 27, 2012, the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim celebrated the change of command from COL Gregory Zellmer to COL Kenneth Rector. The ceremony took place on the kaserne’s airfield. Invited was also the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society. Since 2005, the unit that was the last to serve in Augsburg before base closure, regularly attends the Augsburg Plärrer Fair Parade. The Society was represented by 1st Chairman Georg Feuerer and its oldest member, Mr. Sepp Ittner. Both emphasize further friendly contacts between Augsburg and the 66th MI.
Chairman Georg Feuerer says farewell to COL Zellmer (left), and welcomes the new commander, COL Rector (right).
June 27, 2014: Also this year, a representative of Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society attended the change of command from COL Kenneth Rector to Commander COL David Pendall. In the welcoming speech, Augsburg as former garrison town of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade was especially mentioned.
Left: Cutting the celebration cake. Right: COL Pendall (left) and spouse in conversation.
All Photos: Gerhard Rankl.
On 22 July 2016 the biennial Change of Command Ceremony of the 66th MI Brigade took place. This time, however, there was not only a change of the Commander but also a change of the Commander’s gender: COL David W. Pendall, the departing C/66th MI Brigade, relinquished command to COL Devon M. Blake at Wiesbaden-Erbenheim. Also invited to the ceremony was the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society, five of its members reminding that Augsburg had once been the garrison of this last U.S. Army unit stationed there - the 66th. Once again, this reflected the demands of international understanding between the former U.S. military guests and the citizens of Augsburg. Also present was MAJ Rick Cervenka (Ret.) of the American Legion Augsburg, Dwight D. Eisenhower - Post GR 13. Noticeable was the cordial, familiar atmosphere among those present, regardless of their diverse ranks. The welcome speech was given by Major General Christopher Ballard, Commanding General, INSCOM.
The Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society delegation in front of US States flags.
COL Devon Blake turning over the unit colors in Hangar 1036, Clay Kaserne.
COL Devon Blake during her maiden speech.
Heinz Strüber, Georg Feuerer and Rick Cervenka are making themselves and the Augsburg e.V. Society known to COL Devon Blake.
The new Commander of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, posing for the photographers with the Society’s representatives from Augsburg.
Left: A warm farewell: Chairman Georg Feuerer and COL Devon Blake. Right: Several US State flags on stands.
A final talk with former Commander COL David Pendall and his wife (middle). Thomas Dollrieß, Gerhard Rankl and Heinz Strüber of AiA Society (from left).
The legendary celebration cake.
All photos: Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society.
Also in 2018 the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society could follow the present INSCOM-Commander’s, Major General Gary Johnston, invitation to attend the Change of Command ceremony of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade Wiesbaden. Besides numerous guests of honor, the Bundeswehr sent a delegation of honor as well as a German color-bearer together with he U.S. Color Guard.
On July 10, 2018 Colonel Devon Blake handed her command over to the new Commander, Colonel Gregory L. Holden. When talking with AiA member Gerhard Rankl during the following reception in front of the 66th MI headquarters, he showed open towards maintaining the long-standing relations between the 66th MI BDE and Amerika in Augsburg e.V.
Left: Major General Gary Johnston, Presiding Officer. Right: Handing over of the colors from outgoing to incoming commander.
Colonel Devon Blake (left) and Colonel Gregory Holden (right) during their speeches.
Gerhard Rankl, Amerika in Augsburg e.V., talking with COL Holden during the reception in front of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade’s headquarters.
All photos: Gerhard Rankl, Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society.
Even the 2020 Change of Command did not remain untouched by Covid-19 induced restrictions. So the June 30 ceremony on Clay Kaserne’s Allen Field in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim was held with just a few active soldiers and selected guests. USAREUR commander Lieutenant General Christopher Cavoli had invited. Colonel Gregory Holden turned over his command of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade to Colonel Bryan Hooper. To permanently keep up contact between Augsburg and its final garrison unit, a member of the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. society attended the ceremony. The partnership between Augsburg and the 66th MI Brigade was expressed in the speech.
Left: LTG Cavoli during his speech on Allen Field. Right: The stone sphinx, the mythological symbol of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade.
COL Bryan Hooper, the incoming commander, at the lectern.
Tumover of command salute.
All Photos: Gerhard Rankl, Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society
For the seventh time in succession, Amerika in Augsburg e.V. visited the biannual change of command of the 66th Military Intelligence in Wiesbaden. The delegation of our society intends to forge once again the link between Augsburg’s last U.S. unit and the civic society on the Lech.
INSCOM’s commanding general MG Michele H. Bredenkamp was in charge of the change from outgoing Commander COL Bryan E. Hooper to incoming COL Christina A. Bembenek. As last time, the ceremony took place on Lucius D. Clay Kaserne’s Allen Field.
COL Bryan E. Hooper and COL Christina A. Bembenek during their addresses.
Gerhard Rankl (left) and Georg Feuerer (right) during an informal conversation with outgoing Commander Hooper.
Photos: Gerhard Rankl and Georg Feuerer