The 1,400-person strong German military force in North America is now under the command of Brigadier General Gero Schachthöfer. The command, based on Sunrise Valley Drive, hosted a change of command ceremony for dignitaries from the German embassy, the Pentagon, Reston Association and other military and civilian organizations on Friday morning.
"I am looking forward to making our contribution here in Reston and here in the State of Virginia," said Schachthöfer after taking over the command, thus becoming the highest-ranking military officer of German Armed Forces — Bundeswehr — on the American continent.
Rear Admiral Christoph Diehl, Commander of Armed Forces Office, flew from Germany to conduct the ceremony. Diehl said the attendance of dignitaries from various civilian and military institutions at the ceremony was proof of strong relations the Reston command maintains in the community. He commended departing commander Brigadier General Volker Zimmer for his efforts to promote community awareness of the command. "You have left your mark on this command. Close relations with U.S. Armed Forces and civilians was of great concern to you," said Diehl.
Under Zimmer’s leadership, the Reston command held events to benefit local charities. Reston Interfaith received a check from the command earlier this year, after funds were raised at a German Christmas Market last December.