Biedenbender, Doug, SSG

Ordnance (Enlisted)
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Current Service Status
USA Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Current/Last Service Branch
Ordnance Corps
Current/Last Primary MOS
63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic/Wheel Vehicle Repairer
Current/Last MOS Group
Ordnance (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
2010-2011, 472nd Chemical Battalion
Previously Held MOS
63W-Wheel Vehicle Repairer
Service Years
1996 - 2011
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Cold War Certificate

Staff Sergeant

Six Service Stripes

Four Overseas Service Bars

 Official Badges 

35th Infantry Division CSIB 101st Airbone Division 10th Mountain Division 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) 18th Military Police Brigade

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Military Police Mountain Cold War Medal

 Military Association Memberships
Member-at-LargeNational Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS)Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)Post 384
  2008, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Member-at-Large (National President) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2008, National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2009, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2009, American Legion, Post 384 (Member) (Hoopeston, Illinois) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
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Hohenfels Training Area (HTA)
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End Year

Hohenfels Training Area was approximately 45 miles southwest of Grafenwoehr, and was less than 60 miles from the Czech Republic border. It was located in Neumarkt County in the Upper Palatinate district in the independent state of Bavaria. The region was part of the "Upper Palatinate Jura" uplands that extended from Amberg in the north to the Danube river in the south. The characteristic features of the Jura were hilly terrain with softly rounded rock formations, mixed coniferous and deciduous forests, dry valleys and a general scarcity of water resources. The arable land in the lower sections between the hills is of low fertility, frequently covered with eroded rock and limestone. These conditions explained the sparse population of the area.

Hohenfels' elevation ranged from 1,155 feet above sea level in the southeast corner of the training area to more than 2,000 feet above sea level in the southwest, and terrain varies from hills and softly rounded rock formations to dry valleys. Forests of coniferous and deciduous trees, brush and grasses grew in the yellow- and brown-clay topsoil. The limestone ground absorbed water slowly, but erosion control measures helped prevent topsoil from washing into streams.

Hohenfels had been the subject of intensive geological and hydro-geological investigations for several years to identify geotectonic zones of weakness (dolines, sinkholes) causing excessive turbidity in off-post areas after heavy rainfalls and demonstrating a potential safety hazard for training units during maneuver activities. Groundwater turbidity appeard to have increased since the construction of erosion control basins at the HTA.

Historical finds near the Vils and Naab rivers indicated settlement of the region as early as 700 BC, although human life could be traced back nearly 4,000 years. In early recorded history, the area was mentioned in 15 BC, by Emperor Augustus who sent his army north across the Alps to stop the southward move and land occupation by the Celtic and Gallic tribes. One of the tribes' strongholds was allegedly on Lindenberg Hill.

Historically, the primary occupation of the region's population was agriculture, cattle breeding, work in the forests and minor trade. Everyday life was uneventful until the area attracted military attention in 1937. The Hohenburg castle ruins on the Hohenfels Training Area was built around 1,000 AD by the counts of Hohenburg. After destruction and decay it was rebuilt in 1584. Its role was the domicile of nobility ended in 1641 when it was badly damaged by lightning that struck the gunpowder tower.

Hohenfels takes its name from the rock formations prevalent in the area and is literally translated as "high rock" or "high cliff." The name Hohenfels referred to the elevated location of the former castle. Built by a Noble of Hohenfels in the 10th century it changed hands several times. In 1631, Tilly, the famous general of the Thirty Years' War, possessed it. Later, in 1724, it was returned under Bavarian ownership and in 1804, its role as a residence of nobles ended. New private owners tore it down leaving nothing but part of the tower and wall ruins.

Numerous wars and conflicts burdened the local and regional populace including the Peasants' War in 1524 and the Thirty Years' War from 1618-1648. Between 1716 and 1721 the beautiful church "Saint Ulrich" was built. In 1743 nearly the entire town was destroyed by fire. A look at the town's buildings impressed the extent of that fire and by 2000 only few houses were over 200 years old. Conflict continued after with the Spanish and Austrian Succession War in the 18th century, and the First and Second World War, which resulted in the loss of uncounted lives and in immeasurable suffering and pain.

It was during the latter that the German army established a training area near the town of Hohenfels in 1938, and German combat units activated, reorganized and reequipped at the training area throughout World War II. Several villages were evacuated when the training area was built and expanded. A few scattered ruins remained in the training area. Polish, Ukrainian, Yugoslav, Russian, British and American soldiers were also interned at a prisoner of war camp at Hohenfels until they were liberated by the Third US Army on 22 April 1945. As one of the few facilities that had not suffered major damage, the camp became a processing station for displaced persons. US forces in 1951 expanded the training area to 40,017 acres, and American units began training there in October 1951. This facility became known as the Hohenfels Training Area (HTA).

Hohenfels and the HTA became home to the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) in 1988, a part of the 7th Army Training Command. The CMTC at Hohenfels, at 39,858 acres (16,130 hectares), was the second largest training area available to US forces in Europe. The main mission was the training of troops.

By the mid-1980s much of the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany had become a moonscape. Tanks got stuck in the sucking mud, yellow-clay soil washed into streams and lakes, killing fish, and other animals and plants suffered as the land deteriorated from constant training. In response, the Department of the Army in 1985 created the Integrated Training Area Management program to rehabilitate US Army training lands throughout the world and, more importantly, to prevent them from becoming wastelands again.

In 1985 Hohenfels was chosen as one of 4 ITAM pilot sites to bring "drawing board" concepts to reality. When the ITAM program was fully integrated into other Army training areas in 1988 and 1989, Hohenfels became a model for training area land management worldwide. The office of the deputy chief of staff for operations picked up responsibility for ITAM-DA in 1996, so that management of the program moved from the Army's environmentalists to the trainers. The change was significant, because it forced the training community to recognize the importance of land management now that funding comes through the training program.

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