USAG Schinnen is the only military facility run by the United States of America in the eastern part of BENELUX. It is located in Netherlands and is actually a co-base, which means the American may run it, but they have to stick to the Dutch laws and regulations. BENELUX is a fictional area that includes three countries – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Although it is the only base in the East, it is only a few hours away from its headquarters – USAG Benelux. This means it is somehow functioning in a shadow cone. The site hosts troops from plenty of countries, including Canada, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark and of course, Netherlands and the United States of America. The units hosted on site are among the most dispersed ones in Europe, with squadrons, companies and regiments in Belgium, Germany and Netherlands.
Although the location of this base is unique in that area, its history didn’t include any notable events. As a matter of fact, it has a relatively short history. It all started in 1967, when the AFCENT Support Element decided to relocate from France to Netherlands, after spending one year in France. It had three squadrons and each of them was hosted in a different place. Between 1969 and 1970, the Support Element moved to Schinnen and this is how USAG Schinnen was brought to life.
Although its mission clearly states that the troops are supposed to provide full military support for local or international activities conducted by the United States of America in the NATO interests through Netherlands, the base was never included in any major plans, whether you count the Afghanistan or Iraq invasions. At the same time, its main objective was to be a benchmark installation for USAG Benelux. On the other hand, USAG Benelux was more active, therefore the Schinnen base was indirectly part of the latest activities. At the same time, the area it is located in is known to be among the most peaceful places in the world, therefore the military activities are very low in intensity.
When deployed to USAG Schinnen, the Americans may have a little shock at the huge culture change. People in Europe think freely, especially in Netherlands. The newcomers are hosted on site through an application that takes in consideration whether you are a single soldier or you come with your family, your rank and the duration of your stay. Your local sponsor will help you accommodate and let you know how things go around the place.
At the same time, you may choose the off site system, which is privatized and extremely affordable. Your options are even more varied, while the facilities are significantly improved. The off site system will give you access to the entire Dutch experience, a place where prostitution and most drugs are legal.
When deployed at USAG Schinnen for small periods of time, the local inns and hotels are just as affordable. Therefore, you have options. Simply make the right decision for your necessities and enjoy your European experience.