The following is from "The U.S. Army Germany" web-site. I would like to thank Walter Elkins, the webmaster, for allowing us to use this information on our site. To check out Walters site click on the following link. U.S. Army Germany
The History Of The 59th Ordnance Brigade AWSCOM
At one time, the 59th Ordnance Brigade was the largest brigade in
the U.S. Army. The 59th covered 95,000 square miles from the border of
Denmark, south to Switzerland, west into the Netherlands and spread
throughout western Germany with over 7,000 soldiers. The soldiers within
the 59th came from a wide variety of different occupations. The vast
majority of soldiers were artillery, ordnance and military police,
however, several support occupations were included to fill out this
well-rounded brigade. One word stands out when describing the 59th
Ordnance Brigade. Unique.
The history of the 59th Ordnance Brigade and its forerunners, the Advanced
Weapons Support Command (AWSCOM) and the Special
Ammunition Support Command (SASCOM), reaches back into the
1950s, several years before the command's headquarters was organized. In April 1955, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 71st
Ordnance Group was
organized and assigned to the Seventh U.S. Army and stationed in
Pirmasens, Germany. In June 1959, the 71st Ordnance Group was officially
redesignated as AWSCOM as part of Theater
Army Support Group. AWSCOM was redesignated as the 59th Ordnance Group (Ammunition) in March
1962. The Group assumed a record of service that went back to 1943 with
the Headquarters and Headquarters Company. By May 1962, 21 units were
assigned to the 59th Ordnance Group. In June 1965, AWSCOM was authorized
as the official abbreviation for the 59th Ordnance Group (Ammunition).
In 1957 President
Eisenhower offered certain special weapons to NATO. Congressional
restraints prevented this offer from becoming an outright grant.
Instead, it was provided that weapons should be positioned in allied
countries but these weapons would remain United States property.
The brigade's mission was to provide direct and general special weapons support for all U.S. Army, Europe, and NATO forces. In reality, this mission was one of the most unique, complex and difficult to be found in any army in the world.
At the time of the inactivation announcement, the brigade was composed
of five artillery groups, two ordnance battalions and a headquarters
support battalion, totaling more than 2,900 military and 100 civilian
personnel. The artillery groups consisted of an ordnance company,
artillery detachments and a headquarters detachment. The groups provided
custody, control, maintenance, and supply of ammunition for our NATO
allies. Some detachments had the dual mission of performing technical
support and maintenance, while simultaneously performing custodial agent
59th ORD AMMO GP ORGANIZATION - 1 JUNE 1976
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