|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|An American C-5 aircraft at Camp Marmal|
|IATA: none – ICAO: none|
Afghan Air Force
|Elevation AMSL||1,273 ft / 388 m|
Camp Marmal is the largest base of the Bundeswehr outside of Germany. It is adjacent to the Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi International Airport in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountains. The camp was opened in September 2005 and has expanded in recent years. The camp gets its name from the bordering Marmal Mountains.
Camp Marmal hosts the staff of the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan, Regional Command North of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as well as the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), stationed at Camp Mike Spann, composed of Easy Company 1-167th Infantry Battalion.
Major General Jörg Vollmer has been commander of RC-North since 23 February 2013, as well as leader of the German ISAF contingent and commanding general of the German Special Forces Division, serving under the NATO ISAF commanding general, U.S. General Joseph Dunford. He is replacing Major General Erich Pfeffer. Vollmers's deputy commander is United States Marine Corps Brigadier General Craig Q. Timberlake.
More than 5,000 soldiers are currently stationed at Camp Marmal. Additional forces come from the United States, Croatia and 14 other NATO countries. From Camp Marmal, ISAF soldiers conduct work in northern Afghanistan related to physical security and joint civil/military projects, in addition to the major task of supplying the five Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT).
RC-North supports five PRTs: Kunduz, Feyzabad, Meymaneh, Pol-e Khomri and Mazar-e Sharif. RC-North supports and protects the nine provinces under their military administration through reconstruction efforts. Foremost is cooperation with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Afghan National Security Forces. The base hosts a large medical center for ISAF forces and also local civilians. The base has been heavily involved in supporting German combat operations in Afghanistan in early 2009.
Marmal was opened in September 2005 and has expanded in recent years. Camp Nidaros is the Norwegian part of the camp and is located within Camp Marmal itself. It began operating in 2006.
The airfield at the camp used to have a large airborne detachment consisting of Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jets but due were redeployed back to Germany in 2010. Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are currently stationed there.
The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade was replaced by the 2-227TH Aviation Regiment, Task Force Lobos earlier this year and provide AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook support throughout RC North. The airfield is currently under a large amount of construction and expansion for future operations.
The German military hospital was completed in 2007. Its primary purpose is to provide emergency services to the ISAF troops. German civilians in Afghanistan and aid workers are also served, either under contract or in cases of emergency. Local Afghans are also cared for, as capacity and means permit.
Along with two operating units, there are specialists, outpatient clinics, intensive and intermediate care stations. The hospital, pharmacy, and laboratory have approximately 80 military personnel.
The German chaplains are offering space for recreation and spiritual care. There is also a Norwegian chapel inside Camp Nidaros.
There is a recreation facility at Camp Marmal called Planet Mazar located in the atrium. Planet Mazar offers pool tables, dart boards, foosball tables and a poker table.
There is also an Internet Café in which service members and contractors can connect to the pay-as-you-go internet with laptops or use the desktops provided. Internet cards can be purchased at Planet Mazar.
The German Fitness Center is located by The Atrium. All personnel must change shoes prior to working out.
There are two cafés located in the atrium, The Lounge and K2.
There is one restaurant located in the atrium, The Oases. Various food items, coffee, sodas, and alcohol are sold at Planet Mazar, The Lounge, K2 and The Oases.
A bazaar is located on base. It is open every day but Friday. Local vendors sell a variety of items such as military paraphernalia, loose gem stones, Afghan rugs, DVDs, local cell phones and electronics.
Cell phones and DVD's are no longer allowed to be sold at the bazaar per the German military. This also includes cameras and MP3 players, or anything else that can store data. The Norwegian PX has basic cell phones for sale between 40 and 60 Euros. Cell phone SIM cards and topup cards for Roshan and Etislat are still available for sale at the bazaar and the Norwegian PX. Etislat has the best cell phone signal in the base area and most of RC North.
A barber shop is also available at the bazaar.
There are three dining facilities (DFAC) on Camp Marmal: a German, American and a Norwegian. The Norwegian DFAC is invite only for non-Nordic personnel. All personnel are required to wash their hands when entering the dining facilities.
Green Bean Coffee, Pizza Hut, and Burger King are all located on the U.S. side of the base next to the PX, they all accept US Dollars or Eagle Cash. There is also a nice pizza restaurant called MAK Team on the second floor above the German PX within the Norwegian compound, they accept US Dollars, Euros, and Eagle Cash.
Most U.S. personnel are housed in air-conditioned tents, with generally 8-10 people per tent. Heat and A/C in the tents are sufficient year round, although in the hottest summer months a fan is suggested. Near the Dutch camp, music is sometimes played till midnight on the weekends. The entire side of the U.S. base near them is affected by this.
The laundry facilities are run by Ecolog and usually next day pickup is expected. However as of September 2012 Fluor has taken over the US laundry service with pickup times being extended to around 48–72 hours and there is usually a long line at the pickup area. However Ecolog are still running the service on the German side of the base.
There are two post offices located on Camp Marmal. All packages must also be thoroughly inspected by the PO personnel before it can be sealed.
There are Eagle Cash machines located at the following locations: next to the German PX, the American PX, the U.S. Post Office, and the finance office. The Eagle Cash machine located in front of finance is mostly used for withdrawing money. Personnel may also cash checks or draw advanced pay from the finance Office the Beach House.
Bentley Walker is available with dedicated Ka Band Satellite that offers sustained, high quality coverage in the entire area. They offer various high speed, affordable packages with equipment.
The USO has computers available and a WiFi center that allows visitors a no cost option for connecting to the internet.
Sniperhill offers extensive Wi-Fi coverage over all of the U.S. parts of the base with some access points reaching surrounding Swedish, Finnish, and Norwegian compounds. A few access plans are available such as 1 day access, 7 day access, or 30 day access with speed levels up to 512 kbit/s, but users often complain about connection issues and unsustainable internet speeds. They do accept credit cards, cash or PayPal.
AGN (Afghan German Network) covers the German side of the base with Wi-Fi and similar plans as Sniperhill. There is some limited coverage on the U.S. side and various other areas.
Call2Home offers Wi-Fi and GSM services for the Dutch Forces on time based payments. Wi-Fi is also covering partially some other nations.
There are four post exchanges located on Camp Marmal. The Dutch B&S store and the American Exchange PX function as all-purpose stores that sell snacks, drinks, personal hygiene products, clothing, nicotine products, and various other supplies. The main German Deutsche Speicher PX (DSPX) primarily sells clothing items and military gear. All three PX's accept dollars, Eagle Cash, and credit/debit cards. The Dutch PX and the DSPX accept euros. There is also a small German PX in the same building as the German feldpost .
- International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
- Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)
- Bagram Air Base
- List of airports in Afghanistan
- "German ‘Tornado’ aircraft deploy to Mazar-e Sharif." NATO ISAF Press Release, #2007-270. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Germany to Withdraw Tornado Jets from Afghanistan." defencetalk.com, 12 March 2010.
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