The United States has signed a contract to build the largest military hospital outside the country at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany.
The German Construction Administration, together with the US Army Corps of Engineers Europe District and the US Defense Health Agency, has awarded a contract worth 859 million euros ($969 million) to Züblin and Gilbane Joint Venture to construct the facility.
The deal includes the construction of a modern 985,000 square foot hospital, which will host nine operating rooms, 68 beds with a surge capacity of 25 additional beds, and 120 exam rooms.
The construction is likely to be completed by 2027.
The German government will also contribute 151 million euros (over $180 million) for the design and construction management of the hospital.
“We are incredibly proud of our team’s contribution to achieve this critical milestone that will enable us to provide our service members and their families with the best facility modern medicine has to offer,” the government statement quoted Col. Patrick Dagon, US Army Corps of Engineers Europe District Commander, as saying.
Largest Overseas Hospital
The new hospital will replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center — the largest overseas hospital constructed in 1953 — and the 86th Medical Group Clinic to become the largest US medical center abroad.
Landstuhl Medical Centre, operational since the Cold War era, has played a crucial role in treating soldiers wounded during the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts. The 86th Medical Clinic will also be shifted to the new complex, located seven miles from the Landstuhl facility.
The health facility will provide primary care, hospitalization, specialized consultative care, and treatment for more than 200,000 US soldiers, Department of Defense, and interagency civilians and dependents in Europe.
Delay of Five Years
The construction of the medical facility has been extended five years beyond the previous estimate. In 2018, Army Corps of Engineers officials said that the facility would be completed by December 2023 and operational by 2024.
However, the project has been delayed due to numerous setbacks, including technical issues before awarding the contract, complexities in design and building codes, and non-incorporation of German energy and sustainability regulations.
“We recognize that this project has taken longer than expected, but we are extremely excited to take the next step forward in providing our servicemembers and their families the modern, world-class medical facility that they deserve — one that will serve this community for decades to come,” Stars and Stripes quoted US Army Corps of Engineers project official Catherine Bingham as saying.
Germany hosts the second-highest number of US troops in the world after Japan and the highest in Europe. According to 2021 estimates, the country hosts 33,900 US troops, a number that has significantly decreased over the past two decades.