Jennifer H. Svan

Journey to Invictus Games for wounded Canadians includes return to Ramstein

The Invictus Games’ Spirit Flame was lit in Kabul on Aug. 9. It made stops at Ramstein and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Tuesday to symbolize the journey of wounded servicemembers from the battlefield to the 2017 games in Toronto.

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A 6-year-old proves a worthy navigator on hike around Wolfstein, Germany

On a recent scorching July day I completed a 6-plus-mile hike in the hilly forest surrounding Wolfstein with the next best thing besides a map: a 6-year-old with a steel-trap memory and Davy Crockett-like instincts.

Website helps Americans get into rhythm of German life

If you’re new to Germany and invited to your German neighbor’s house, here’s a tip: Be on time — or better yet, 5 to 10 minutes early — and bring a gift, such as fine chocolates, a bottle of wine or flowers.

Italiano Sapori Veri in Kaiserslautern offers fresh Italian food and ice cream with flair

The meal started with a rich and gooey bite-size chocolate brownie served with a strong cappuccino.


Muslims in Kaiserslautern reflect on their role in the military during Ramadan

Muslims in Kaiserslautern say they find the military to be a protective enclave of tolerance, a “melting pot” where people generally are less insulated and more exposed to other cultures and beliefs.

‘All-star lineup’ of US strategic bombers make historic deployment to Europe

No specific threat prompted the historic deployment of all three Air Force Global Strike Command strategic bombers to the European theater, 3rd Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Richard Clark said Monday.


Bitburg High School closes doors after 60 years

The Bitburg Barons will soon take their place in DODEA Europe lore as Bitburg High School in Germany closes next week after 60 years.

Repeat Athlete of the Year Branch enjoyed another dominant season

Jada Branch raised her game to a new level this year. She not only toppled the European record in the triple jump, but she dominated the two sprint events in which she competed, the 200 and 400 meters. In the long jump, she squeaked by with a win even though she was having what she described as an “off day."

Apache helicopter makes emergency landing in German field

The bird, assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, out of Katterbach, landed in the field about 3 p.m. Wednesday as a precautionary measure after a sensor went off, said Capt. Jaymon Bell, 12th CAB spokesman.

American Legion leaders meet with veterans, servicemembers in Germany

Latoya Orr found an advocate at the American Legion town hall Wednesday morning, one of several being led by the Legion’s national leaders this week and next in Germany and Belgium to provide information about transitioning from the military and accessing benefits while living abroad.

Europe track - Day 2

Kaiserslautern's Branch, Vilseck's Scott lead run on medals

Two more records fell Saturday in the final day of competition at the DODEA-Europe Track and Field Championship - and two more barely survived.

One record falls on hot day at the track

Some track and field records set by athletes attending U.S. military schools in Europe have been on the books for decades.

American Legion leaders to visit with troops, veterans in Germany and Belgium

Leaders of the largest veterans service organization in the United States will lead a series of overseas town halls to offer information about transitioning from the military and accessing benefits while living abroad.

Honoring sons, daughters left behind in Europe

For years after her infant son died, Mary Petyo couldn’t talk about him. Michael John Petyo died in 1958, two days after he was born prematurely at the Army hospital in Landstuhl.

Athletes shine at Special Olympics at Ramstein

Despite the rain Friday, it was a day to shine for some 75 American and German youth participating in the KMC Rheinland Pfalz Special Olympics here.

Lighter-weight pilots can now fly Air Force F-35A after ejection seat, helmet fixes

Modifications to the F-35A Lightning II’s ejection seat and helmet mean pilots weighing less than 136 pounds will no longer be restricted from flying the aircraft.

Army health officials in Europe urging measles vaccine for children starting at 6 months

Amid an ongoing measles outbreak in Europe, U.S. Army health officials on the Continent are now recommending that Defense Department dependents get immunized against measles starting at six months old.


Germany’s polizei put brakes on US car culture

Servicemembers who modify their cars in Germany bump up against stringent vehicle regulations and local police who are sticklers for the law. The police show little tolerance for add-ons commonly seen in American muscle and custom cars.

Ramstein airman sentenced to 4 years in jail for crash that killed cyclist

An Air Force jury sentenced Senior Airman Benjamin Hann to four years in jail for crashing his car into the bicycle of a Ramstein airman and killing him in 2016.

Ramstein airman found guilty of negligent homicide in fellow airman's death

In an emotionally wrought sentencing hearing Thursday, a military jury listened to family members speak of their devastation from the death of Staff Sgt. Grant Davis, a Ramstein airman who was killed last year while riding his bicycle outside the base.

UMUC graduates ready to open new chapters

Tech. Sgt. Allen Adams began studying for a college degree nearly 10 years ago.

Ramstein senior bound for Harvard after acceptance to elite colleges and service academies

Some students ride a prodigious talent all the way to the Ivy Leagues.

Europe Quick Trips

Rhine trail showcases vineyards and picturesque landscapes

There are few better ways to enjoy spring than a stroll through vineyards that have been producing grapes since Roman times. Such a walk is made possible by the River Rhine Terrace Trail.

Make sure measles shots are up to date, Army health officials warn parents

U.S. Army health officials in Europe are warning military families about an outbreak of measles on the Continent, cautioning that adults and children not vaccinated against the virus could be at risk for infection, particularly when traveling around Europe.

Speed cameras are out in force in Germany

Drivers taking to Europe’s roads from Wednesday through early Thursday morning might want to ease up on the gas pedal.

WWII bombs in Kaiserslautern cause another evacuation

For the third time in less than a month, the discovery of World War II-era bombs at a construction site in Einsiedlerhof will force the temporary evacuation of hundreds of residents on Thursday while the bombs are defused.

Plans moving ahead for new Burger King on Ramstein

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is still planning to replace the Burger King on Ramstein Air Base that was destroyed in a fire on Sunday, but officials did not say whether the fire would hasten those plans.

Fire that gutted Ramstein Burger King may have started outside the building

The Easter fire that gutted the Burger King on Ramstein Air Base Sunday appears to have started from outside the building, a base official said Monday.

Fire tears through Ramstein Burger King, guts building

A fire that burned for hours consumed the Burger King here Sunday afternoon, giving base firefighters all they could handle on Easter.

Air commanders stress collaboration across sovereign skies in uncertain times

Air chiefs from across Europe met for the first time on Thursday to discuss how to work better together to protect sovereign skies and foster deterrence.


US Army Europe's only sustainment brigade on constant move in reassurance mission

The 16th Sustainment Brigade is based in Germany, but soldiers with the only large logistics unit in Europe aren’t home very often. In the past two years, the brigade has doubled the amount of time it’s spent in eastern European, training with NATO partners, validating convoy routes and distributing fuel and supplies to forward-deployed troops.

AFN to go high-definition by end of year after years of delay

After years of delay, American Forces Network is poised to go completely digital, a change that will require thousands of off-base AFN viewers to purchase new decoders to keep the service.

Acupuncture becomes popular as battlefield pain treatment

Battlefield acupuncture, a form of auricular or ear acupuncture so named because the tiny needles can be administered quickly in combat without removing so much as a helmet, has been around for more than 15 years. But use of the technique is rapidly expanding.

Army part-day preschool programs in Kaiserslautern to continue into June

U.S. Army Garrison Rhineland-Pfalz’s part-day preschool programs will continue through the remainder of the school year instead of stopping April 1, as had previously been planned because of staffing shortages compounded by the federal hiring freeze, officials said.


Students sing, play their way through DODEA honors music festival

As a tuba player, Derek Hammond has learned to play loud without blasting notes. It’s a skill that Hammond, a sophomore at Vicenza High School, Italy, and his band mates are practicing this week as they prepare for a Thursday evening performance before family and friends — just a few days after meeting and first playing together.

DODEA schools get hiring freeze exemption

The Department of Defense Education Activity plans to resume filling teaching and other staff vacancies at its schools, now that its request for an exemption from the federal civilian hiring freeze has been approved, school officials said Monday.