Name: Karl Bielmeier
Job title: Transportation Management Specialist
Assigned: Personal Property Processing Office, Transportation Division, Logistics Readiness Center Bavaria, 405th Army Field Support Brigade
Location: Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany
Experience: I’ve been working for the U.S. Government for more than 44 years. I started working in 1977 at the Regional Supply Service Activity and then the Training Support Center as a supply clerk. In 1988, I moved to the Transportation Office in Vilseck, Germany, to work as a quality control inspector, and then I worked in outbound and inbound as a counselor until about 2000 when the Vilseck transportation office consolidated with the Grafenwoehr office at Grafenwoehr. In 2017, I began working as a transportation management specialist at the PPPO in Grafenwoehr.
Hometown: Freihung, Germany
Family: I’ve been married for 41 years to my wife, Christine, and we have a son, Thomas, who is 29 years old.
Q: Can you explain what you do and what you are responsible for at LRC Bavaria?
A: I’m the supervisor of 13 employees at the PPPO in Grafenwoehr, both the inbound and the outbound sections. We are responsible for all the paperwork and customs documentation for permanent changes of duty moves, retirements, separations, early return of dependents, chapters, local moves, and consignment shipments of personal property and privately owned vehicles for Army, Navy, Air Force, Reserve, Department of Defense and Department of State personnel as well as Exchange employees and school teachers within the Grafenwoehr and Vilseck area of responsibility. We are also supporting Soldiers and civilians assigned to Eastern Europe – such as Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria – with shipment of their belongings and their property. We ship to and receive from locations around the world. I do exceptions to policy for POV approvals, retirements, separation extensions and storage extensions. I’m also responsible for assisting deployed Soldiers with the storage of their belongings for durations of one year or more.
Q: Why is the service you provide so important?
A: To guarantee a calm and carefree move is quite a challenge and very important. We are challenged every day to meet the requirements of our customers. For me, good customer service is the key. We are the contact for the customers and the moving companies should any problems arise. The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting us for almost two years, and we are always facing new challenges. Moving can mean much stress for our customers. Helping them deal with this stress effectively is our biggest challenge and one we do not take lightly. That’s why the service we provide is so important.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job, and what motivates you?
A: I like helping customers, and I like a good challenge. When I see a smile on a customer’s face, I’m very happy. My town of Friehung is located directly in the middle between Grafenwoehr and Vilseck. I grew up with Americans in my community, and I have many American friends. We still connect during the holidays. We still communicate using Facebook, What’s App or email. I was just talking to a former Soldier on Christmas day who retired a few years ago and lives in St. Louis. I care about these people, and I enjoy supporting them – providing them with valuable customer service.
LRC Bavaria and 405th AFSB: LRC Bavaria is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th AFSB. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, transportation and food service management as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, and non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Bavaria directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria. LRC Bavaria reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.