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AFRC Europe Targets Junior Service Members

American Forces Press Service

GARMISCH, Germany, Aug. 25, 1998 – Armed Forces Recreation Center-Europe is offering low rates and a free ride to attract junior-grade service members to its facilities in the Bavarian Alps of southern Germany.

From Aug. 23 to Dec. 18, Armed Forces Recreation Center-Europe is featuring low-cost, convenient travel packages specifically to introduce junior-grade service members to its hotels, campgrounds and recreational facilities in Garmisch and Chiemsee.

Groups of 38 to 48 people can book a four-day, three-night "Weekday Getaway" for $169 per person, double occupancy. This rate represents a 30 percent savings over the regular price of $239. The package includes group transportation from locations within Germany and three nights in AFRC hotels. The trips run from Sunday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Saturday.

The recreational centers are open to DoD civilians and family members assigned to U.S. European Command. U.S. reserve component members assigned to Europe, NATO allies assigned to NATO or SHAPE headquarters, and U.S. military retirees are also eligible.

Although the packages are available to all ranks, they're geared toward E-1 to E-5 service members who make up 50 percent of the command, said Marc J. Jannsen, AFRC Europe operations manager. "It's a great opportunity to get out of the barracks," he said.

"We'll send a luxury tour bus from Chiemsee to Baumholder or wherever they are in Germany, pick them up and bring them down," Jannsen said. "We push the program really hard in our border months, when our occupancy rate is down, so we can discount the rooms and give them a great value."

Once they arrive, they can take advantage of AFRC's wealth of recreational facilities; sailing and windsurfing in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter. This year's fall program also includes tours to Berchtesgaden, Munich, Salzburg, Jannsen said.

"Last year, this program drew 69 groups made up of 1,600 junior service members," he said. "We had a lot of soldiers come down for the first time with this program and really enjoy themselves, so much so we found them returning during the winter season."

Demand for the discount package is at an all-time high, recreation center officials said. Advance deposits and contracts are required for groups to guarantee accommodations and activities. For reservations, call the AFRC group travel coordinator at DSN 440-2860, civilian 0049-8821-729173 outside Germany, or 08821-729173 inside Germany.

For information about the Armed Forces Recreation Center Europe facilities in Germany -- and all other Armed Forces Recreation Centers around the world -- point your Internet browser to http://trol.redstone.army.mil/mwr/afrcs/index.html.

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