Here is the letter from the WWIIHA Board of Trustees
The following is the statement about the cancellation by Association Chairman Larry Mihlon:
“As Chairman of the WWIIHA Board of Trustees, it is my unfortunate duty to make the following announcement.
Members of the reenacting and living history community:
It is with deep regret that we announce that the annual Battle of the Bulge event at Fort Indiantown Gap has been cancelled indefinitely. Members of the Board of Trustees of the World War II Historical Association have put countless hours into addressing the situations that have ultimately made this decision necessary. Here are the facts.
WWII-era rifles rest in a barrack gun rack at Ft. Indiantown Gap. (Anthony C. Hayes)
1. The Garrison will now require any and all reenactors who might wish to deploy to the “ranges” (the areas where the battle reenactments usually take place) to adhere to regular Army standards with regard to using any weapon whatsoever. This would include any and all hand and shoulder fired weapons such as handguns, rifles, etc. Individual reenactors would therefore be required to be certified with these weapons to US Army standards. Since we are using historic weapons, the Army has no way to confirm our level of training as none of their personnel are trained on any of the historic US weapons or allied/axis weapons of WWII. This is virtually impossible to comply with under just about any circumstances.
2. The Garrison will now also require that reenactors in leadership capacities adhere to Army standards of certification for non-commissioned officers and officers. This would require extensive education and training to achieve that is well beyond the ability of most reenactors. Compliance with this is also virtually impossible.
3. Social Media and other internet traffic relating to the event, which was seen by the Garrison, led to significant concerns. Social media has wide visibility and what was seen by Garrison personnel was cited as potentially creating a negative public perception of Fort Indiantown Gap.
4. Continued appearance of reenactor hand grenades and land mines in the field after our events has greatly disrupted military training because that normally generates an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) call which closes down military training until the area is clear. This is unacceptable to the garrison. They cannot allow this to continue, disrupting military training on an ongoing basis.
We would like to thank everyone who has participated in the event over the many years, and to those of you who took on key volunteer and leadership roles to make the event happen.
The WWIIHA Board of Trustees”