Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein, the largest US Air Force base in Germany, is not only the headquarters of the United States Air Forces Europe, but also the central airlift hub for the European Theater and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) installation.
As the headquarters it exercises day-to-day command and control over all USAFE units from Great Britain to Turkey. As the airlift hub it operates a gigantic passenger terminal to rival the ones at commercial airports. And it soon is to be the home of a huge shopping/community center, right across the street from the new passenger center.
The base, located in the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz, opened in 1952 following construction under the provisions of a reciprocal agreement with France, which was then the occupying authority in this part of Germany.
Rheinland-Pfalz, in the southwest corner of Germany, is the country's main wine growing region and also the location of its largest unbroken stretch of forest, the Pfalzerwald.
The air base is part of the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC), home of more than 57,000 Americans and the largest American community outside of the U.S. Ramstein, Kapaun, Air Station and Vogelweh are the predominately Air Force communities within KMC.
As a NATO installation, Ramstein has Canadian, German, British, French, Belgian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch military personnel in addition to the Americans.
The base's beginnings are colorful. Its construction came as no surprise to the local inhabitants who were no strangers to airpower. The Luftwaffe had converted a section of the local autobahn into an airstrip at the beginning of World War II. The advancing U.S. Army Air Forces also used the airstrip during the final months of the conflict.
When it opened in 1952, the base served as the home for the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing and its fleet of F-84F Thunderstreaks. For a while Ramstein was headquarters of the Seventeenth Air Force, but that headquarters moved to nearby Sembach Air Base in 1972 to make room for United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) Headquarters, which moved to Ramstein AB from Lindsay Air Station, Wiesbaden. Ramstein had a major change of mission in 1994, when it switched roles from a fighter base to an airlift one.
The handling of passengers and cargo switched there from Rhein Main Air Base, making necessary the construction of the new passenger terminal. Features of it include automated luggage handling and passenger bridges for boarding planes right from the terminal. It also has air conditioning, dining and shopping facilities, a children's play area and a TV lounge.
The host unit at Ramstein is the 86th Airlift Wing, whose commander also serves as the Kaiserslautern Military Community commander.
For more information visit the base's website at www.ramstein.af.mil.
Einsiederlerhof Air Station
Einsiederlerhof Air Station hosts the Warrior Preparation Center (WPC), a fully functional, computer-assisted war-gaming center, providing operational-level training and exercises to US and NATO staffs worldwide. The WPC was initiated and is directed by both USAFE and USAREUR.
Kapaun Air Station
Another element of the Vogelweh complex is Kapaun Air Station, an Air Force facility. Among its units is the Kisling NCO Academy, which provides professional military education to Air Force NCOs. The school is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and each graduate earns 10 semester hours of college credit through the Community College of the Air Force. The school is named in honor the late Richard D. Kisling, who had a distinguished career as an Air Force NCO and rose to become Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
The Defense Commissary Agency also has its headquarters on Kapaun.
The Air Force also has a number of facilities in Vogelweh.
Services and Facilities
Ramstein Air Base, Kapaun AS, Vogelweh
The KMC Consolidated Exchange covers the military communities in Ramstein Air Base, Sembach, Panzer Kaserne, Daenner Kaserne, Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern Vogelweh, Pulaski Barracks, Kapaun Air Station, Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Miesau Army Depot, Landstuhl Hospital and Baumholder. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), now referred to as the Exchange, is a major part of the big Kaiserslautern Military Community Center (KMCC) at Ramstein. The KMCC is a retail and entertainment center housing state-of-the-art shopping, dining and entertainment options. There is also a 350-room hotel, Outdoor Recreation Center with a climbing wall and parking for 2,800 cars.
The Exchange Main Store at the KMCC has a large number of departments common to most large department stores in the USA. The KMCC itself is modeled after a large mall. A food court offers all your American favorites, such as Baskin Robbins ice cream, Subway, burgers, pizzas,Taco Bell, Starbucks and Cinnabon and also some new food fare including Chinese specialties, seafood, and a 50s Diner: Johnny Rockets.
If you want to relax, you can enjoy the new massage and wellness spa. Or you can drop in for a cappuccino or browse the largest bookstore and Internet café in Europe. You'll find a wide variety of unique gifts and European souvenirs throughout the mall. The stadium seating in the new 4 PLEX Theater will be just like you find back home, offering movies throughout the afternoon and evening.
The Exchange Express stores are scattered throughout the KMC. You'll find them on the south side of Ramstein and at Kleber, Kapaun, Landstuhl, Pulaski and Sembach. Many are open longer than the Main BX.
AFN Kaiserslautern, presenting a great variety of TV and radio programming, is the local station of the American Forces Network, Europe. Located in the heart of the Kaiserslautern Military Community, it serves more than 57,000 American military, their families and Department of Defense civilians. AFN Kaiserslautern operates with a staff of local nationals, DoD Civilians, US Army and US Air Force Personnel.
From its facilities in Vogelweh, it broadcasts the primary television signal for AFN in the KMC. It also produces a daily newscast, promotes local events and command information through radio and television commercials, and airs more than 64 hours of live radio programming every week.
AFN Television (and some AFN radio) is received via cable on government housing areas and via satellite at off post/base locations.
The AFN radio stations (The Eagle) is broadcast over the air at 100.2 FM. AFN Radio also streams a larger number of shows and content over the internet.
The telephone numbers for AFN Kaiserslautern are DSN 489-7206 or CIV 0631-536-7206.
Airman and Family Support Services
Airman & Family Readiness Center (A&FRC)
The Airman & Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) in Building 2120 offers services to personnel and their families through core programs that offer workshops, special events and one-on-one consultations. The programs include: Relocation Assistance - Established to make the move to your new base as smooth as possible.
Transition Assistance - Available for active duty members, civil service employees and their family members who are separating from the military or civil service.
Key Spouse Program
Air Force Wounded Warrior Program
Volunteers Resources - There are many opportunities for volunteers. Many are administrative or clerical. Volunteers may be able to be placed in their area of job interest to enhance their knowledge and skills in that particular area.
Personal & Family Life Education - A practical approach to building and maintaining healthy relationships.
Personal Personal Financial Management Program - A counselor can help prepare a personalized budget and spending plan. Assistance is also available in areas such as military pay and allowances, consumer rip-offs, savings, insurance, car buying, the financial aspects of home buying and credit card management.
The Air Force Aid Society - The official charity of the Air Force, helps out in emergencies through interest-free loans or grants for basic needs such as emergency leave, medical emergencies, car repairs and respite childcare.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) -A mandatory program for family members (child or adult) with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disability that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training or counseling.
Employment Assistance & Career Focus Programs Personal & Family Readiness Program - Offers a wide array of support services to military members and their families throughout the entire deployment process.
Arts & Crafts
The Arts & Crafts Center in Building 522 features a wood-craft area, frame shop, craft store, and engraving center. We also offer a variety of classes for adults and children. Monthly class schedules are available at the center and include ceramics, pottery, cake decorating, scrap booking, framing, and more.
There are three Ramstein Automotive Centers: the Auto Annex, the Auto Hobby Shop and Auto Recycling. The Auto Hobby Shop offers self-help bays and lifts, a car wash and coin-operated vacuums. The Auto Annex provides professional mechanical diagnoses and repairs, performed by certified mechanics. The Auto Recycling offers vehicle disposal and parts pulling, along with a towing service.
Banks & Credit Unions
Full service Community Banks on Ramstein Air Base are located at the KMCC and in Building 2163. There is also a bank at the Vogelweh Commissary. ATMs are in the Base Commissary, the Officer's Club, the Enlisted Club, the North Post Office, the Food court at the KMCC and in the KMCC Hotel. Service Credit Unions are at the KMCC and in Building 2410 on Ramstein.
Child & Youth Services
The Child Development Centers provide weekly care for children ages six weeks to five years. There are also family day care programs at the homes of certified providers through Family Child Care (FCC). Hourly care is available on a limited basis.
KMC Youth Instructional programs offer a wide variety of programs for youth and families. They offer classes in dance, gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, acting, musical instruments, singing and other special specialties. Classes are conducted on Ramstein Air Base (RAB) and the Vogelweh Military Complex (VMC) and class locations vary.
The School Age Program provides before and after school care, camps during winter, spring and summer breaks and daily care for school holidays. Locations are on Ramstein, Vogelweh and Kapaun. The School Age Program is COA accredited.
The Teen Centers offer a variety of activities ranging from video games, pool, ping-pong, real-2-real, dances and lock-ins. There are also clubs that young adults can join. The Centers are on Ramstein AB in Building 411 and at Vogelweh Building 2059.
The Youth Centers sponsor many events and offer a wide range of programs for kids and families. Sports programs are a big part of the offerings. Both Centers have their own gymnasium. Another part is a number of after school clubs. The Youth Centers are in Building 428 on Ramstein and Building 1057 in Vogelweh.
Youth Sports Programs operates sports and fitness programs for organized seasonal sports such as football, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, swimming and cheerleading.
Civilian Personnel Office
For those seeking civil service employment in the area and other jobs. Located in Building 2120.
The Defense Commissary Agency Europe (DeCA) is headquartered at Kapaun Air Station in Kaiserslautern, and two of the biggest commissaries under its control are at Ramstein and Vogelweh. Both stores are seven-day operations with ample shopping space and numerous checkouts, including four self-checkouts. They each have an ATM, bakery, deli, fresh sandwiches to go, hot foods department, party cakes, plants, rotisserie chicken and a salad bar. There is a smaller commissary on Sembach Kaserne open Monday - Friday.
Dining & Entertainment
There is no lack of eateries and great entertainment on Ramstein Air Base, in addition to the Food Court and other restaurants in and near the KMCC.
Romano's' Macaroni Grill is a top notch Italian restaurant open 7 days a week and located inside the KMCC. The Enlisted Club in Building 2140 has a Chili's, the E' Street Café on base and at Vogelweh Crossroads. There is a J.R. Rockers Sports Café in the Club.
The Enlisted Club also has rooms and a full catering menu available for special occasions or ceremonies. Reflections is equipped with over 70 entertainment machines and a full service bar as well as food served from J.R. Rockers. The Wi-Fi Lounge is a private area downstairs with free Internet access. Karaoke, Football Madness, poker tournaments and other great activities are on tap at the club. It is also the location of the Tadros Shop that offers home décor items, paintings, mirrors and other products.
The Officer's Club in Building 302 is a multi-facility dining and entertainment complex. It has The La Casa Dolce Coffee Shop and the Wings Lounge. There is a daily lunch buffet in the Rheinland-Pfalz Dining Room. The Club hosts the Lifestyle and More Vinothek. It offers professional catering for functions and events and has a gaming room.
Military Dining Facilities include the Rhineland Inn (Building 2107), the Jawbone Flight Kitchen (Building 3332, next to the Passenger Terminal) and the Lindberg Hof (Building 2791 on Kapaun).
The Woodlawn Grill "On the Greens" is the restaurant at the golf course. It specializes in quick grill items and soups salads and is open for breakfast and lunch.
The NATO International Dining Facility (Building 313) is accessible to all U.S. military, dependent and retired ID card holders, and to all personnel with a valid installation pass.
The facility is open from 11:30 AM to 1 PM Mondays through Fridays and offers three different meals each day along with a salad bar.
The coffee bar is open from 8 to 11:30 AM and from 1 to 2:30 PM.
The Deutsches Haus restaurant is on the ground floor of building 544 on Ramstein Air Base. It is operated by the German element of NATO on base and offers a variety of German fare. It's open for lunch and dinner Monday - Thursday and for lunch on Fridays.
First-class community centers in Ramstein and Vogelweh offer a relaxed atmosphere featuring tournaments in pool, table tennis and chess, special events, television rooms and much more. Musical equipment, games and other items can also be checked out for use in the centers. Concert tickets are sold and one-day tours are also organized. There are also murder mystery dinners and theater performances. Language classes are available, too. Services offered also include sending and receiving Faxes, table and chair rentals for private functions, mailbox rental and free computer and Wi-Fi access. On Ramstein there is Celebrations - a Balloon and Gift shop.
MOMS Movies and Music has outlets on Ramstein and Vogelweh. Just about everything for your for entertainment needs is available. MOMS is an all-in-one stop shop for pictures, movies, instruments, and navigational systems. There are weekly new movie releases and Wednesday rental specials. MOMS also offers special DVD/Blu-ray movie ordering. The Ramstein location has a photo lab for official photo processing, passport photos, photo restoration and digital photo processing.
The Ramstein Education Center is located in Building 2120. There are counselors to assist local Air Force members, civilian personnel and families with their educational needs.
Several colleges and universities offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. They include: Central Texas College, University of Maryland, University of Oklahoma, University of Phoenix and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Representatives of these schools normally have offices in the Education Center.
Emergency Relief Services
American Red Cross offices provide an Emergency Communications Service 24/7/365 for active duty, family members and civilians and their families.
There are emergency relief services available through the Airman and Family Readiness Center on Ramstein.
Although many medical specialties are available at the Ramstein Medical Treatment Facility (Building 2114), all in-patient care is at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (15 minutes away). A clinic provides dental care for non-flying military members and their families. Dental care for family members is limited because of space limits and the needs of the active duty population.
Family housing is available on Ramstein AB and in Vogelweh. Depending on rank, neighborhood preference and number of dependents, housing will consist of two to four bedroom stairwell apartments and/or townhouses. There are also off-post housing opportunities. Check with the Housing Office for details on availability.
The housing office for the KMC is located in Building 1001 at Vogelweh. Customer Service hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Ramstein Legal Office staff provides free legal assistance to service members, Department of Defense civilian employees assigned overseas, Department of Defense Contractors who have "SOFA status," and their dependents. It is located in Building 2137.
The Ramstein and Vogelweh Libraries offer an extensive array of materials and resources to include the latest bestsellers, periodicals, newspapers, journals, CDs and DVDs. The Ramstein Library has over 70,000 books and subscriptions to over 100 newspapers and magazines, while the Vogelweh Library offers an inventory of over 10,000 books. The libraries also have computers and printers and offer free Wi-FI with high speed Internet access.
The Ramstein Inn has two facilities on the base - the General Cannon Hotel (Building 1018) with 12 distinguished visitor/business suites, and Ramstein Inns-Ramstein with 1,050 rooms. These include VQ, DVQ, temporary lodging facilities and pet-friendly temporary lodging. The facilities are in 20 buildings throughout the base. Other Ramstein facilities are at Vogelweh and Landstuhl.
There are three Air Force postal facilities in the KMC. Ramstein North Side Post Office (Building 426), Ramstein South Side Post Office (Building 2110) and the Kapaun Air Station Post Office (Building 2763).
The field registration station is in the Vehicle Registration Building 2806 at Kapaun.
Recreation & Travel
Ramstein's Woodlawn Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course that ranks with the very best in Germany, and membership rates are reasonable.
The Kaiserslautern Rod and Gun Club in Vogelweh provides activities including paintball, archery, skeet/trap shooting and rifle and pistol shooting. It also has a retail store offering paintball equipment, fishing equipment, firearms and knives. Archery, hunting, fishing and sport shooting courses are offered throughout the year. It is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Rod and Gun Club is operated by the Air Force's 86th Force Support Squadron.
RTT Travel is a full-service leisure travel agency. It is located at the KMCC and open Monday - Saturday.
The Skate Express offers open skating for all ages. In addition, it has a snack bar, video games and equipment sales and rental.
Ramstein Outdoor Recreation Center is at the KMCC (Building 3336). Its retail operation offers a large selection of outdoor clothing and equipment as well as bikes and equipment, camping gear, fitness apparel and snowboarding and skiing gear. Rental equipment is also available. You can book hiking, biking ski and snowboard trips and tours. There is a rock- climbing wall, too!
The Ramstein Bowling Center (Building 2139) has 32 lanes, a pro shop and slot machine game room as well as a snack bar. It is open seven days a week.
The Crossroads Skating Rink is across from the Commissary at Vogelweh. It was recently renovated and upgraded. Skate rentals are available. There is an E' Street Café and DJ Station. Private conference rooms are available.
There are KMC Air Force Chapels on Ramstein AB. The North Chapel is in Building 1201 and the South Chapel is in Building 2403. There are chapels in Vogelweh (Building 2063) and on Kapaun Air Station (Buildings 2781/2782).
They offer not only Catholic and Protestant services, but also other services including Jewish, Islamic and other denominations.
Schools - DoDEA-Europe
There are 11 schools in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. They are Kaiserslautern Elementary School (K-5), Kaiserslautern Middle School (6-8), Kaiserslautern High School (9-12) Landstuhl Elementary/Middle (K-6), Vogelweh Elementary School (K-5), Sembach Elementary School (K-3) and Sembach Middle School (4-8). On Ramstein Air Base there is a High School, (9-12) Middle School (6-8), Intermediate School (3-5) and Elementary School (K-2).
All schools are located near government housing areas. The school your children attend will depend on where you live, not where you work. Students who live on base walk to school; all others ride the bus. Government-contracted buses provide school bus transportation. It is recommended that before you rent quarters on the economy you check with the housing office to determine if the residence is along an established school bus route.
Sports & Fitness
Sports enthusiasts have three Fitness Centers available, each with a basketball court, weight lifting rooms, cardio equipment, saunas, locker and shower facilities for men and women and racquetball courts and other amenities and activities.
The Ramstein Aquatic Center has 3 indoor pools - a 25-meter fitness pool with lap lanes and diving board, a wading pool and a recreation pool with water slides and a playground. Various programs are offered as well as SCUBA classes. It is in Building 422 on Ramstein and open 6 days a week (closed on Mondays).
A full range of intramural and base-level sports programs are offered.
The Gear Up Sports Store provides clothing, shoes and accessories for many sports. It is in Building 2113 on Ramstein.
VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) relief forms can be processed on Ramstein AB at Building 2108.
The Kaiserslautern Veterinary Treatment Facility is located in Building 2928, Pulaski Barracks. You need an appointment to have your pet registered and seen. Services include health certificates, annual examinations, vaccinations, fecal examinations, heartworm testing, laboratory workup and surgeries. There are also a number of German vets in the area that can take care of your pets if they require care that can't be delivered by the post facility. Emergency cases are referred to German vets.