Alongside the Paderborn Station Commander, Lt Col John Mateer, and the Commander Westfalen Garrison, Col John Connelly, the General marked the opening of the venue with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in front of a host of special guests.
The visit, which took place from October 3-5, saw Maj Gen Stanford, who is based in Aldershot in the UK, view some of the firm base projects that have recently been completed across Westfalen Garrison.
He looked at a number of facilities in Barker Barracks, including the Welfare Centre, which is currently undergoing renovations, and the recently revamped gym.
The General also visited a number of organisations across Bielefeld Station, including the Sixth Sense offices located in Rochdale Barracks, before heading to Catterick Barracks to make a special presentation to WO2 Phil Guest who, after more than 30 years’ service, was awarded the Bar to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Speaking during Gen Stanford’s three-day visit, Commander Westfalen Garrison Col John Connelly said: “Throughout Westfalen Garrison a number of projects have been planned and delivered within Bielefeld and Paderborn Stations.
“All the projects have been conceived to develop the type and availability of community spaces within barracks locations, to improve the quality of life and increase the number of distractions within unit lines.
“Downstream the improvements provide community hubs that will be invaluable in 2019 when the Germany Theatre will close and we are all marching out at the same time.
“Children need a safe place to play, adults somewhere to get a coffee and spend some time on Wifi. The impetus is to establish the new and refurbished facilities as rapidly as possible so that we can inculcate them into our daily lives and to build and reinforce successes.”
Montgomery’s bar has had a full refurbishment and now provides a comfortable environment for personnel of all ranks. The revamp included a full replacement of furniture, darts board and pool table, a Costa Coffee bar and the installation of flat screen televisions and a projector.
The renovated gym on Barker Barracks has had a complete and comprehensive overhaul including new equipment and flooring, all of which will relocate with the units upon relocation to the UK in line with Home 2020.
The revamped gym has been used to facilitate rehabilitation lessons and squadron PT sessions.
The new facilities on Barker Barracks, which are utilised by the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR), 3 Close Support Battalion REME (3 CS Bn REME)and 35 Engineer Regiment (35 Engr Regt), have and will continue to improve the experience of the modern soldier and encourage further out-of-hours health and fitness classes for military personnel, entitled civilians and their dependants.
The Welfare Centre on Barker Barracks is due to be finished by the end of the year. The centre will be a joint facility between 35 Engr Regt and 3 CS Bn REME and aims to provide a centralised support service and deliver sustained community support to all on Barker Barracks.
Impressed with high standard of the revamped facilities, Gen Stanford said: “Refurbishment work being completed in line with Westfalen Garrison’s Community Action Plan has delivered truly first-rate facilities throughout.
“The renovation of Montgomery’s bar, (formerly Monty’s), provide tangible proof that the Army is still investing in soldiers in Germany with fantastic facilities for all.
“These renovations not only help to improve the quality of life for our soldiers and their families, but also ensure the transition from Germany is a smooth one.
“These facilities flawlessly align with the needs of the barracks and will be invaluable come the barracks closure plan in mid 2019.”
During his tour of Westfalen Garrison, the GOC took time out of his busy schedule to visit the Sixth Sense offices in Rochdale Barrcks on October 4, where he took a keen interest in how BFG’s weekly Forces newspaper is put together.
After a tour of the offices and spending some time speaking with the Sixth Sense team, the GOC’s message was for everyone to continue with the good work.
Gen Stanford’s tour of the numerous renovation projects across BFG certainly left a lasting impression.
Regional Command, based in Aldershot Garrison, leads the way on the Army’s firm base concept across the UK and overseas and ensures the quality of life for all across BFG is kept to the highest standard.