21 January 2010

Talks continue on possible Landstuhl hospital move

Following on from an evaluation process announced last summer:

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. military commanders met with German officials this week to discuss the possibility of moving Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to the site of an old Army depot east of Ramstein Air Base.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon, commander of the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein, told local mayors on Wednesday that U.S. leaders would recommend moving the center to Weilerbach Army Depot, according to Sandra Archer, an Air Force spokeswoman.

The depot is now used only occasionally for military training, according to U.S. Army Europe spokesman Bruce Anderson.

USAREUR’s commander, Gen. Carter Ham, discussed the proposal on Thursday with Rheinland-Pfalz Minister President Kurt Beck and the German state’s Minister of the Interior Karl Peter Bruch.

In August 2008, hospital officials received congressional approval for a $400 million improvement project.

"They got money allocated to improve LRMC, but they are trying to determine whether a consolidated medical facility would be better [near] Ramstein," said Lt. Cmdr. Taylor Clark, U.S. European Command spokesman.

In an earlier interview, Army Col. Brian Lein, then the hospital commander, said any move would involve [...] support facilities.

"It’s not just the hospital we’re talking about," Lein said during a July 2009 interview with Stars and Stripes. "It’s the USO, the [medical transient detachment], the barracks and the Fisher houses. You can’t just move the hospital. You’d have to take everything from here and then move it to some place over on Ramstein."

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