Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends
The Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) is a joint community with all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces working together to successfully complete our U.S. Department of Defense mission. It is my distinct honor to represent the largest community of Americans living outside the continental United States in my capacity as KMC Commander. American military members live and work harmoniously with our German hosts, so being good neighbors and reliable partners is especially important to us.
We all strive to promote the integration of American service members and their families into their local German communities. We want them to prosper as members of their community and we want the communities to which they belong to become better because of their presence. The unique German-American Community Office (GACO) opened in February 2003 to assist in this endeavor.
Based on a joint initiative by the City of Kaiserslautern and the KMC, the office quickly established itself as an international drop-in point attending to German and American citizens alike. Its competent bilingual staff assists in handling administrative and cultural matters, as well as provides information on host nation policies to include, among others, pet and recycling regulations.
The office not only facilitates the communication between officials and residents of the Kaiserslautern Military Community and the greater Kaiserslautern region, but also furthers German-American partnership. Newly arrived military members are provided the full spectrum of information to help them settle quickly in the local area. Fortunately, there are many clubs and private initiatives in the city and throughout the area whose commitments complement this joint effort.