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Weilerbach is a municipality in the district of Kaiserslautern, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated approximately 11 km north-west of Kaiserslautern.
Weilerbach is the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde ("collective municipality") Weilerbach (population about 14,500).
The Verbandsgemeinde Weilerbach is the site for a new American hospital intended to replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) on the Landstuhl Army Base, in nearby Landstuhl, Germany. The LRMC has been active since 1953; Citing the difficulty of maintaining the aging structure, officials have proposed replacing the LRMC with a new facility. Ground breaking took place in October 2014, and the planned completion date is summer 2020.
In 2008, the Department of Defense approved $400 million to expand and renovate the existing hospital, contingent upon congressional support for the funding. In 2010, the proposal was changed to total replacement and relocation from Landstuhl to Weilerbach, with increased funding of up to $1.2 billion (USD). Both plans were met with some opposition, both within the US and in Germany. Congressional leaders and Pentagon officials have questioned the need and costs of the new hospital, in light of the reduction of forces in Germany, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and the reduction of the military presence in Afghanistan. Some Germans who deem the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan illegal and are opposed to continued US military presence in Germany consider the significant financial commitment to medical facilities to imply an intention for long-term occupation. Concerns about deforestation at the new site, as well as potential for groundwater pollution have also been expressed. The suggested removal of the hospital from Landstuhl has led to concerns that the economy of Landstuhl will suffer.
A different view is that a new hospital would be advantageous to the local economy; it would stimulate the state's building industry, with estimates of putting up to one billion dollars (USD) into the local economy over the long term.
The proposed new hospital would combine the medical facilities from nearby Ramstein Air Base, and the existing LRMC hospital into one co-located medical center. The LRMC provides treatment for more than 245,000 U.S. military personnel and their families within the European Command. LRMC is also the evacuation and treatment center for all injured U.S. service members and contractors as well as members of 44 coalition forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as Africa Command, Central Command, European Command and Pacific Command.Local public transport is integrated in the public transportation network Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN). Busses connect Weilerbach to Kaiserslautern and Ramstein-Miesenbach.
Between 1912 and 1972 the 'Bachbahn', a local railway system, connected Weilerbach to its surrounding municipalities.
The municipality of Weilerbach is linked to the Autobahn A6 (interjunction: Kaiserslautern-West).
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