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HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Anyone can now call the Army in Europe's official Defense Switched Network phone numbers from the U.S. via a standard stateside commercial telephone number: 301-981-1059.

The number gives callers in the U.S. who do not have a DSN line available immediate commercial access to an operator in Germany, who will then connect them to the appropriate DSN number in Europe.

"We realized that some people stateside not used to calling overseas are put off by foreign access codes and country codes," U.S. Army Europe Chief of Public Affairs Bryan Hilferty said. "I know I was.

"So we designed this system to encourage communication with incoming Soldiers and families, as well as with U.S. citizens or researchers who have questions about the Army in Europe."

However, callers still must know the unit they want to connect with or their DSN number so the operator can complete the call.

"And remember, the Army in Europe is six hours ahead of the East Coast, so best to call us when it is morning in the U.S.," Hilferty said.

Callers must pay commercial calling costs to the Maryland 301 area code, but there are no overseas calling charges.

The number is accessible from any phone and is for official use only -- not for "morale and welfare calls" to access a civilian number, or for other personal use.

The primary method for official communications remains DSN or email.

For more information, email ocpa.pi@eur.army.mil.

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