In his welcome speech, Czisch emphasized the long tradition of Ulm as a garrison. Be it the Confederate Fortress extending all across the city as the largest fortification of the German Confederation in the 19th century, or the “Wiley Barracks“ in Neu-Ulm that accommodated a US Artillery Regiment till mid-1991, or the Wilhelmsburg Barracks, home of the latest NATO Joint Headquarters. Through the ages, the military has always been strongly embedded in Ulm, having had up to 16 military compounds at a time. “The American soldiers brought the Jazz Music to the city,“ smirked Czisch. “That’s why I as the Mayor have to perform in a Jazz Band.“
Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe, Commander of the JSEC and the MN JHQ, was presented with the model of a traditional riverboat called “Ulmer Schachtel”. With a smile on his face, he remembered floating down the river Danube on the occasion of the “Nabada” festival the year before. Tens of thousands of people were crowding the waters with crazy and colorful improvised floating devices, trying to get each other soaking wet. He also underlined the close and strong relationship between the armed forces in Ulm and the population in Ulm.
The Deputy Commander of the MN JHQ, Hungarian Major General Sándor Fucsku, and the JSEC Director, Dutch Brigadier General Arco Solkesz, also thanked the Mayor of Ulm for the hospitality and the support of the city. "Ulm has felt home away from home the very first day and it is a great Privilege to live here," said Solkesz.