HOHENFELS, Germany — After 40 years of service, an era ends as Norbert Wittl retired from his position as the Hohenfels press spokesman for U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria. In his honor, a farewell ceremony was hosted on Wednesday, July 28.
Since 2002, Wittl was the contact person for the cities, communities and counties around the Hohenfels Training Area. Both American and German neighbors valued his work and his personal commitment, which he did with passion, expertise, knowledge and the necessary sensitivity. Wittl always found the right words, and he knew how to respond to people’s problems to work out solutions.
“Wittl is the soul of the military training area,” said Albert Löhner , the late Neumarkt County Commissioner.
His various tasks also included the co-organization of the German-American Friendship Week, which is well known and liked across the region. Above all, the “Box Tours” — training area information tours — will be remembered by many, because Wittle conducted them with passion to ensure a positive exchange of information between Germans and Americans. Prioritizing German-American relationship, including social and cultural aspects of exchange, always were his focus.
Wittl took great care in honoring the history of the military training area with the former villages. Supporting cultural events in the abandoned villages of Lutzmannstein and Pielenhofen, the pilgrimages, or the Schmidheim and Enlswang Kirwa festivals in the military training area were always among his top priorities.
Prior to working in the garrison’s public affairs office, from 1980 to 2002 Wittl worked as an electrician and specialist in radio systems at HTA. He worked as a department manager at the Communications Repair Shop, before entering public affairs work.
USAG Bavaria Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck, Hohenfels Deputy Garrison Manager Patrick Rothbauer, Garrison Public Affairs Director Don Wrenn, 7th Army Training Command Commanding General Brig. Gen. Joseph Hilbert and numerous colleagues said goodbye to Wittl at a farewell ceremony. In memory of his 40 years of service, Wittl was presented with an American flag that flew in front of the USAG Bavaria – Hohenfels headquarters.
The passionate hunter and falconer will not get bored in retirement. In the future, he will enjoy more time with his family and continue to pursue his hobbies.
Editor’s Note: Alongside Wittl, Maria Pfab, from the Hohenfels S-6 Directorate, retired after 35 years of service for the U.S. Army. S-6 Director Collin Guy presented the Commendation Medal for her great accomplishments and excellent service to Hohenfels soldiers, civilians and their families.