Return to Hidden Stories

  The Days of Change: After You Left ... We Had Much Work
 Slideshow (click on the icon at left)

The opening of the inner German border and end of the border observation mission brought great changes for both the Eaglehorse squadron and the BGS at Orlenbach and Coburg. In November 1989, as the border first opened, the cavalry continued to observe and helped with traffic control as curious East Germans streamed into the West for a taste of freedom.

The BGS was fully involved in all aspects of the "new" border and working with both the local police and Zoll, carefully monitored the new gates that seemed to appear almost overnight. As the political reality became clear, that the DDR was finished and reunification was going to occur, the cavalry gradually withdrew from what was clearly a German civil affair. US Patrol continued into the Spring of 1990 and OP Tennessee maintained watch on the Meiningen area, however, the Cold War was rapidly ending.

Within a few short months, the squadron was intensively involved with helping units train for deployment to the Gulf area and, following the fighting, the Eaglehorse was on its way to Kuwait as part of the post war continued US presence. In Germany, the BGS was also busy. Along the border corridor, former East German Border Troop units were tasked with the disassembly of the barrier system. SFC ( Ret) Eric Petoff, SFC Ricardo Herrera and Erwin Ritter recall the days of change in words and images.

Eric Petoff

"I was in H Company from December 1989 - January 1992 and remember those final days of the border. I am pretty sure that H Co was at Camp Lee when the border actually opened. There had been plenty of rumors but when we got word that a new crossing point was suddenly being built by Melpers in the north of our sector, I think everyone was still very surprised. I donít recall if there was any increase in patrolling when this happened but I certainly recall all the roads of the border area were suddenly jammed with East German cars heading south. I also recall that the SCO, LTC Speaks was in the area much of the time."

"After our tour was done and we returned to BK, I sort of lost track of the detail but I think the US Patrol was kept out of the way of the new crossing points and maintained a low profile. Eventually, there was talk that Camp Lee would be closed and I think that Troop E was the last unit to rotate through. Then, we were patrolling directly from Daley Barracks for a while and I guess it stopped all together in the late Spring or early Summer of 1990. We were busy with the usual sorts of training and the international situation in the Middle East certainly had our attention. We did not take part directly in the Gulf War but were alerted while we were at Grafenwoehr that we would deploy for the post war Kuwait mission. Even with the border mission over, the Eaglehorse was always very busy."

"Between assisting the USAREUR units get ready for the Gulf then our own deployment to Kuwait, return to BK and almost immediate move to Wildflecken, I donít think I ever gave a second thought to what was going on along the border."


Return to Hidden Stories