Dr. Peter Ammon, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, recently requested a stop at White Sands National Monument as part of his first visit to New Mexico.
Park staff collaborated with officials from the German Air Force (GAF) Flying Training Center, who hosteda barbecue at the monument and provided a ranger-guided tour for the ambassador on June 6th. Ammon is considered Germany's highest-ranking representative to the U.S. government. As ambassador, he represents German interests in the U.S. and works to foster and deepen German-American relations, politically and culturally.
The GAF has trained its aircrews in the United States since 1958 at various bases around the country. In 1992, the GAF moved their Flying Training Center to Holloman Air Force Base, which shares a boundary with White Sands National Monument.
White Sands is the only national park unit completely surrounded by military land. Park employees collaborate daily with military partners from the U.S. Air Force, German Air Force, and U.S. Army (White Sands Missile Range) on topics from interpretive programming to missile tests.
“A positive and productive working relationship with our military neighbors is key to the success of both the monument and the neighboring military installations,” said Superintendent Marie Friás Sauter.
Dr. Ammon visited the Land of Enchantment to help pave the way for more German business to come to New Mexico.
"I consider myself very lucky to be here and have this enjoyable afternoon at White Sands," Ammon said. "This is a beautiful spot of nature and unique in the world. It's very much worth traveling here."