KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Air Force has formed a new group that will support airmen and their families in the Kaiserslautern area.

Lt. Col. Peter Ellis assumed command of the 431st Air Base Group earlier this week.

The unit falls under the 38th Combat Support Wing and will be responsible for taking care of Americans stationed in the Kaiserslautern area but not assigned to the sprawling Ramstein Air Base.

The unit will oversee such things as libraries, lodging and fitness centers in the Vogelweh, Kapaun, Einsiedlerhof and Sembach areas, Air Force spokesman Capt. Phillip Ulmer said.

The group also will provide police service in those areas and at 10 Army posts in the region.

The Kaiserslautern area is the largest American military community outside the United States with more than 40,000 servicemembers, Department of Defense civilians and family members.

In addition to the 431st Air Base Group, the wing formed the 431st Civil Engineer Squadron and the 431st Air Base Squadron.

The 38th also took over the 700th Contracting Squadron and the 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron.

The wing helps provide services and support to 3,300 military members and their families at 45 small units — which the Air Force calls geographically separated units — spread across nine countries.

The wing is based at Sembach Annex, which is about 20 miles east of Ramstein.

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