At Checkpoint Alpha on the west end of the autobahn to Berlin is the Helmstedt Support Detachment.

Food, gas and lodging can be obtained at the NAAFI (Navy, Army, Air Force Institute) Station at a minimal cost. Single male personnel who reserve lodging can spend the night at the American installation, but married men must take their families either to the NAAFI station or a nearby hotel.

Food and gas are also available at the Helmstedt Detachment. Coffee and doughnuts are available anytime but meals are served according to a schedule.

The detachment has its own facilities including a PX, Foodland and Class VI store, a theater, a medical and dental clinic, a library and a games room. The local hospital is available in case of an emergency.

Within the compound, there are tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, football and baseball fields and a weightlifting room.