Jennifer H. Svan

Air Force identifies California guardsman killed in Ukraine

The California guardsman killed Tuesday in a fighter jet crash in Ukraine has been identified as Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring.

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Fast track to spy plane training opens for Air Force student pilots

The Air Force is launching an experimental program to put pilots into the cockpit of the legendary U-2 spy plane faster and earlier in their careers. The move is in line with a service effort to increase pilot production in all airframes.

Saving the rod and gun club: The fight for the last US military facility of its kind in Europe

Volunteers passionate about hunting, fishing and sport shooting are trying to save the last standalone U.S. military rod and gun club in Europe.

Royals win mid-season showdown with German rivals

Ramstein narrowly tops Kaiserslautern in boys cross country event and defeats Raiders by larger margin in girls race.

Meet the 'Gruseter': New Air Force test will push explosive technicians to their physical limits

Air Force explosive ordnance technicians soon may become painfully familiar with the “Gruseter,” the nickname for a grueling component of the career-specific fitness test being introduced for them.

Pentagon watchdog cites corrosion, maintenance problems at Europe supply caches

Army and Marine Corps combat stocks intended to supply thousands of troops in an emergency or conflict showed signs of corrosion and poor upkeep at multiple sites in Europe, a Pentagon watchdog said.


Ramstein airman cuts through stereotypes to win Air Force recruiting video contest

In his winning video, Senior Airman Lane McCall shows dazzling footage of fighter jets, bombs and paratroopers, then he says: “But that doesn’t mean we’re all pilots, jumping out of planes, blowing stuff up. Get real.”

US Air Force to join large-scale aviation exercise in Ukraine

The U.S. Air Force and eight other nations will participate next month in independent Ukraine’s largest aviation exercise, which aims to promote regional security and improve that country’s cooperation with NATO members, the military said Tuesday.

Questions pour in for Air Force Chief Master Sergeant's Reddit AMA

In his first “ask me anything” appearance on the popular website Reddit, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright and his team fielded live questions on a range of issues, from fitness and uniforms to warrant officers and facial hair.

Air Force encourages crews to end missions when safety in question

The message underlying the results of an Air Force-wide review of flying and maintenance units earlier this year is that airmen may be pushing – and being pushed – to do too much, sometimes at the expense of safety.

3rd Air Force bids farewell to one commander, welcomes another

Maj. Gen. John Wood assumed command on Friday of 3rd Air Force, where he’ll direct U.S. air operations in Europe and Africa.

Bistro-Cafe Stellwerk’s compact menu in Kaiserslautern varied enough to be exciting

Ordering a veggie burger anywhere — but especially in a land famous for its sausage — can be a roll of the dice.

Survivors pay tribute to victims of Ramstein disaster 30 years ago

This field dotted with yellow flowers was the scene of one of the most horrific air show disasters in Europe. A brief ceremony was held to remember the 70 victims and hundreds whose lives were changed by the accident on Aug. 28, 1988.


Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden schools catch up to the 21st century

After years of planning and construction, students and parents had their first glimpse inside the new Kaiserslautern High School at an open house Friday.

New Air Force dress blues may draw on service’s heritage

Approval of a new uniform design would be the first update to the Air Force’s service dress uniform in decades. Airmen have long complained that the current service dress uniform looks more like corporate than military attire.

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From Norway to Spain, fifth-generation fighters fly for defense of Europe

It took a deployment to Germany and a shorter hop to this remote Norwegian air base for Florida-based F-22 Raptor pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Tromans to get a close encounter with another premier fifth-generation aircraft.

Ramstein’s new leader is a seasoned airlift squadron commander

Brig. Gen. Mark R. August took command Thursday of the 86th Airlift Wing, a job that puts him in charge of more than 8,500 airmen in four locations across Europe and the busiest U.S. military airport on the Continent.

US, African air forces find common ground on retention, extremism fight

Retention - as part of overall force development - along with the fight against Islamic extremism and general aviation, are among the common ground being covered between U.S. airmen and 34 African representatives during the African Partnership Flight program at Ramstein.

Searchers increase efforts to find those lost in past wars

The return of 1st Lt. William “Bill” Gray’s remains to his family reflects the renewed push for DPAA to bring fallen World War II troops home from across the European and Mediterranean theaters and expand its focus beyond the Vietnam War.

Dead Spangdahlem airman, found unresponsive near German autobahn, identified

The Spangdahlem airman found unresponsive on a German roadway and declared dead Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Staff Sgt. Justin Vandervort, base officials said Thursday.

Europe Quick Trips

Colorful Chagall: A modern master’s art illuminates Gothic church in Mainz

To reach St. Stephan’s in the storied city of Mainz, Germany, you have to climb. But the heart-pounding pilgrimage is worth the effort, once you swing open the creaky, heavy church doors and see a sea of blue.

Enjoy breakfast all day at Wiesbaden’s Du and Ich

It’s hard to choose a restaurant in Wiesbaden because, frankly, there are just so many. Seemingly countless cute cafes and posh eateries with names like Scotch N Soda and Chez Mamie beckon to hungry pedestrians wandering the old town’s cobblestone streets. A quick review of TripAdvisor led me to Du and Ich, a popular cafe that serves breakfast all day as well as lunch and dinner.

GAO report says military must learn why pilots leave for commercial airlines

The military needs to get a better handle on why pilots are leaving the military and how many are leaving for jobs with commercial airlines, a new Government Accountability Office report said.

Air Force’s B-1B Lancers cleared to return to flight after fleetwide safety stand-down

The Air Force’s B-1B Lancers have been cleared to resume flying after a safety stand-down that grounded the fleet on June 7 because of concerns about the plane’s ejection seat components, officials said.

Senate may require Pentagon to study permanent US presence in Poland

Specifically, the Pentagon is to examine whether a permanently assigned Army brigade combat team would be effective and how Russia might react to such a move. Poland currently hosts U.S. Army and NATO forces, who rotate between Poland and the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

No last-minute deals this time: AFN secures World Cup rights early, will broadcast starting Thursday

Soccer fans serving with the U.S. military overseas will get to watch the World Cup on American Forces Network when it starts Thursday.

31 families to move after ceiling collapse at Air Force’s Vogelweh housing

Air Force housing officials are preparing to move 31 families from two Vogelweh multistory housing complexes as quickly as possible after an apartment ceiling collapse that brought down a fan and lighting fixtures.

No one injured in apartment ceiling collapse at Air Force’s Vogelweh housing area

Residents of an apartment in a multistory building at Vogelweh were fortunate not to be home Tuesday evening when a ceiling collapse brought down lights and a ceiling fan and exposed electrical wires.

More than 74 years after his B-24 Liberator was shot down, a US airman is coming home

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency found the remains of Army Air Forces Sgt. Alfonso O. Duran's remains last summer next to a church in the Slovenian countryside. He had been missing since his plane was shot down during World War II.

Air Force begins operating Reaper drone from Poland

U.S. Air Forces in Europe said in a recent statement that it is operating an MQ-9 Reaper aircraft at Miroslawiec Air Base “as a visible expression of U.S. efforts to enhance regional stability.”

Serrano couldn't be beaten at season-ending meet

Jose Serrano set a new European mark in the 3,200 - his fourth gold in two days after winning the 800, 1,600 and anchoring the Royals’ winning 3,200 relay team.

There's apparently no limit to Branch's track feats

Kaiserslautern’s Jada Branch spent the first few weeks of her track and field season this spring nursing an injury.

United says military families worldwide can ship pets back to US, but for how long remains uncertain

All U.S. military families overseas — regardless of where they are stationed — are eligible to use United Airlines to fly their pets to the States under an exception to policy for military members announced by the carrier and the Defense Department this week.

United will fly barred pets home if they originally sent them overseas

Some U.S. military families moving back to the States from the Pacific may be able to fly United Airlines with their pets, regardless of the carrier’s stricter pet travel rules that ban some 25 breeds of dogs and cats.

New rule forces some base workers to accept changes to pay, benefits or lose jobs

Ramstein is believed to be the first base overseas to convert services jobs held by foreign employees to the host-nation or non-U.S. employment program earlier this year. At least one other base in Germany is considering the same conversion.

European track - Day 2

Branch, Serrano wow crowd, set new marks

Kaiserslautern senior breaks second mark in two days by winning 400, while Ramstein senior finishes with five gold medals and sets new record in 3,200.