GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Fifty emergency call boxes will be installed from Netzaberg Hill to Tower Barracks and across the Rose Barracks and Hohenfels communities over the next few months as an additional layer of security for U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community members.
The call box installation is a result of 7th Army Training Command and USAG Bavaria leadership working together to modernize the Commanding General’s installation security measures.
“We all want the safest possible living and working environment for our people,” said Garrison Commander Col. Adam Boyd. “With the call boxes, we look to provide community assurance, and deter would-be criminal activity. As you see more of these call boxes appear across our communities, you will have immediate access to our emergency service personnel.”
The call boxes are designed to deter criminal activity by providing a visible and robust two-way communication system in case of emergency events. The boxes are equipped with cameras, lights, easy push-to-talk operation, and voice instruction messages for users.
A community member who uses a call box will activate notification at the Military Police Desk with the call box identification number and location, which will trigger a swift response from emergency responders.
Community members should use the call boxes any time they feel that their safety is threatened, if they need roadside assistance, or if an injury occurs during physical training.
“This is an added mechanism for the community to get in touch with law enforcement and emergency first responders,” said Capt. Andrew Matwijec, deputy Provost Marshall for the USAG Bavaria Directorate of Emergency Services.
For community members who use call boxes located in Netzaberg, the MP Desk can also simultaneously coordinate emergency response from local host nation first responders.
“We have a very close relationship with our host nation fire and law enforcement throughout the entire footprint of Bavaria,” said Matwijec. “When someone pushes the button on a call box, they will be put in touch with the local MP Desk. If warranted, the MP Desk can subsequently call the host nation at the same time that we are dispatching internal emergency and law enforcement assets on base.”
Installing these call boxes also allows DES to have ears in certain locations where law enforcement and first responders can’t necessarily be present all the time, said Matwijec, citing the Grafenwoehr Training Area’s Fifth Community as an example.
“We can’t necessarily have a law enforcement patrol [in the Fifth Community] 24/7. So as somewhat of a remedy, we have a call box there to be used as an option when patrols are not present,” he said.
As a power projection platform in U.S. Army Europe, USAG Bavaria is the largest overseas installation with more than 40,000 service members, families, civilian employees and rotational forces. USAG Bavaria comprises U.S. Army installations at Grafenwoehr (Tower Barracks), Vilseck (Rose Barracks), Hohenfels and Garmisch. The “Fifth Community” was established in 2017, represented by the camps, and is home to rotational troops.
The call box project has been in the works since 2018 and is funded using European Deterrence Initiative money, which is intended to keep rotational troops safe and ready.
The first call box was installed by the ATM at the Tower Barracks Theater on Aug. 1.
DES expects the installation of all call boxes to be complete no later than Sept. 15. Once a call box is installed, it will be operational within 24 to 48 hours.
In the event of an emergency when not near a call box, community members should dial DSN 114, CIV 110 for the police or 112 for the fire department.