By Nanette Schneider, USAG Bavaria Hohenfels Environmental Division
HOHENBURG, Germany — An extremely heavy rock fragment, weighing about one ton, came loose and fell off the cliff right above the town of Hohenburg. It was caught by a safety net, preventing serious damage to the well-known Hammermühle. Looking at the potential consequences, the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria project — to secure rocks along the border of the Hohenfels Training Area — already proves to be successful and fully operational.
In 2019, the area was secured by approximately 100 feet of long heavy fence. During a routine check, Dr. Albert Böhm and Willi Weber, from the Hohenfels DPW Environmental Division, discovered the massive piece of rock caught in the net. The rock securing located at the foot of the Martinsberg is 1-of-7 projects already implemented by the Environmental Division. Further projects are currently in a planning stage. The security measures along the borders of the training area are not only conducted in Hohenburg, but also in Hohenfels, Schmidmühlen and Rohrbach. The efforts are aimed at protecting local residents, their houses and important infrastructure such as roads and bike trails.
According to Böhm, several parts of the rock formations — that were assessed during the survey — needed to be secured immediately. Subject matter experts suggested the erection of a permanent falling rock protection fence. Weber supported the measures as a technical advisor.
The Hohenburg rock securing project cost 120,000 Euro, and it was funded by the U.S. Army.