Ramstein to receive $700,000 for base improvements
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 3, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Ramstein Air Base is set to receive a $700,000 prize to be used for base and quality of life improvements after winning Defense Department recognition for its performance.
The base was named one of five recipients of the 2019 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. The other winners are U.S. Army Garrison Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Ga.; Naval Base San Diego, Calif.; Marine Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; and DLA Distribution Susquehanna, New Cumberland, Pa.
Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan announced the recipients in a statement Friday.
“On behalf of the men and women of the 86th Airlift Wing and all those at Ramstein Air Base, we are humbled by this award,” wing commander Brig. Gen. Mark August said in a statement. “Our Airmen, our families, and our community work hard to make Ramstein Air Base a special place to live and work … and we couldn’t be prouder.”
The award, established in 1985 by former President Ronald Reagan, recognizes an installation from each service and a DLA facility that has done the best job with its resources to sustain the mission, increase workforce productivity and enhance the quality of life.
Base officials at Ramstein said Monday they are still determining how to spend the $700,000, but earlier this spring, wing leaders solicited ideas from personnel and their families through a livestreaming event on Facebook.
Dozens of people submitted ideas, from expanding base child care facilities and opening an indoor play area for kids to building an ice-skating rink and outdoor pool on base.
Ramstein also won the CINC award in 2006. Back then, the prize money was $1 million.
Base leaders opted to use the winnings to improve the base lake picnic area; add sod, permanent irrigation and lighting to the upper and lower soccer fields at Donnelly Park; add new lights to the two-mile base running trail and upgrade the softball fields near the Southside Fitness Center, according to a story in the Kaiserslautern American, a base publication.