6981st Civilian Support Group celebrates 60 years of service
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MANNHEIM, Germany (May 3, 2012) – A unique unit in 5th Signal Command celebrated 60 years of service during a ceremony at the Warrior Zone on Coleman Barracks.
The 6981st Civilian Support Group was activated on May 1, 1952 and is comprised entirely of German local nationals. Their main mission is to provide cable repair and communications infrastructure support. Throughout its history, the unit has played an integral role in the evolution of communications throughout Europe.
High Frequency antennas, microwave radio towers, the Defense Switched Network (DSN), copper and fiber-optic cable installation and maintenance are just a few of the major projects where the 6981st made significant contributions over the years.
5th Signal Commander Col. (P) Bruce T. Crawford said during the ceremony, “In 5th Signal Command and, in my opinion, all of USAREUR, there is no greater group of quiet professionals than the 6981st CSG.”
“Simply stated, USAREUR could not do its job without you,” he added.
Crawford also reminded the ceremony attendees of the impressive record of awards the 6981st has received over the recent years. Some of their award highlights include first place in the Department of the Army 2010 and 2011 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence. Also, since 2003, Network Enterprise and Technology Command (NETCOM) awarded them the AAME nine consecutive times. These remarks drew a standing ovation from the crowd that consisted of members from 5th Signal Command, 2nd Theater Strategic Signal Brigade, as well as current and former members of the 6981st.
6981st Commander Gerd Drechsler also gave remarks during the ceremony and said, “We can be proud of our accomplishments, but we cannot rest upon our history. Standing still is the same as going backwards. Therefore, we must continue to be flexible and motivated in the future, recognize new opportunities as well as demonstrate our reliability and quality to our customers.”
“Furthermore, I would like to thank our command, 2nd Signal Brigade, 5th Signal Command and NETCOM for the continuing support. Many of our achievements would not have been possible without these mentors and friends, “Drechsler added.
“You forged a legacy of excellence and success that shines as an example for others to follow,” Crawford said. “My hope and wishes for you is that that the next 60 years is as productive, as fruitful and as memorable as the last 60 years.
The 6981st is a subordinate unit under 5th Signal’s 2nd TSSB consisting of about 90 personnel and is headquartered on Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany. It also has detachments at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany and at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.
MANNHEIM, Germany (May 3, 2012) – Members of 5th Signal Command and 2nd Theater Strategic Signal Brigade give a standing ovation to members of the 6981st Civilian Support Group (seated) during a ceremony at the Warrior Zone at Coleman Barracks celebrating their 60th anniversary of service in U.S. Army Europe. The 6981st is a unit in 5th Signal that consists entirely of German local nationals and specializes in cable installation and infrastructure support and maintenance for the European theater. (Photo by Kristopher Joseph, 5th Signal Command Public Affairs.)
MANNHEIM, Germany (May 3, 2012) – Col. (P) Bruce T. Crawford, commander, 5th Signal Command, presents a gift to Gerd Drechsler, commander, 6981st Civilian Support Group, during a ceremony celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 6981st. The 6981st is a unit in 5th Signal that consists entirely of German local nationals and specializes in cable installation and infrastructure support and maintenance for the European theater. (Photo by Kristopher Joseph, 5th Signal Command Public Affairs.)