The detachment of U.S. airmen assigned to Kleine Brogel, Belgium, is heavily reliant on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for logistical support.

That support can range from medical and financial assistance to office supplies, often with couriers shuttling forms and files back and forth. Like other geographically separated units — essentially, islands onto themselves — the 752nd Munitions Squadron at Kleine Brogel views its patron as a lifeline, a mission-sustaining force that helps keep things afloat.

Now, somewhat, the tables are turned and Air Force personnel at the Belgian base north of Brussels are welcoming the chance to return the favor.

Earlier this month, airmen at Kleine Brogel sent 23 large care packages to members of Spangdahlem’s 81st Fighter Squadron in Afghanistan. The fighter squadron, which deployed in early July, has more than 100 people — mostly A-10 aircraft maintainers and pilots — deployed to Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.

The assistance “is just a sign of our appreciation,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Eric Ross, who is leading the drive from Kleine Brogel.

Boxes packed with an assortment of perishables arrived at Bagram last week, Ross said. The list of goodies includes various foods and drinks, sunglasses, hair gel, shirts, shorts, laundry soap and other essentials.

“We wanted to do something special for those folks, because they always do something special for us,” said Ross, who works in the Services field, the Air Force’s morale and recreation division.

The small American community at Kleine Brogel, a Belgian F-16 fighter base, has raised $1,000 to fund the care package campaign. A recent car wash, for instance, brought in about $400.

Receiving a care package, whatever the contents, always lifts one’s spirits, Ross said. With members of the fighter squadron, nicknamed “the Panthers,” gone until late November, more boxes are likely to follow.

One item that already has them roaring at Bagram is the karaoke machine Ross shipped off three weeks ago. It was pressed into service for “open mike” night shortly after its arrival.

“Everybody,” Ross said, “loves a karaoke machine.”

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