Jennifer H. Svan

European track - Day 1

Branch breaks own record on sweltering K-town track

Branch’s jumping feat was part of an exciting day of competition that saw another record almost fall on the track, a slew of new champions emerge, and a few familiar faces exert their dominance again.

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Military parents, educators reflect on their own resiliency to help their teens

Organizers of an event said parents and mental health professionals are seeing increased reports of teen depression, anxiety, self-harm and other mental health issues in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

Germany sentences asylum seeker to prison for role in attacks on US, Afghan forces

An Afghan refugee seeking asylum in Germany has been sentenced to four years and 10 months in jail for his role in attacks against U.S. and Afghan government forces while he was a teenager in Afghanistan.

DODEA students brighten Kaiserslautern city hall with art

An exhibit features watercolors, mixed-media works, photographs, pencil drawings, ceramics and other kinds of art from six Defense Department schools in the Kaiserslautern, Baumholder and Wiesbaden communities.

New United pet ban could spur military family heartache

When United Airlines resumes shipping pets in June, it will no longer transport some 25 breeds of dogs and cats and will bar oversized carriers commonly used for large dog breeds, such as Labradors, golden retrievers and German shepherds.

Carla Ohio another fine coffee hangout in Kaiserslautern

Considering how bustling the Kaffeeroesterei is, it stands to reason that Kaiserslautern has room for another establishment dedicated to fine coffee. Carla Ohio Coffee and Things is trying to fill that niche.

Deadline extended for female sailors to convert to sub force ratings

Sailors in ranks E-1 to E-8 now have until June 1 to apply, the Navy announced this week. The deadline had been April 11.

DODEA students get high marks in America's report card

U.S. military students are right up there with academic powerhouse Massachusetts, according to the latest national test results. The Department of Defense Education Activity held its own against a state that traditionally outperforms the nation in student assessments.

Former US servicemember arrested after German train station fight turns deadly

Police said a 33-year-old American killed a German man outside the Kaiserslautern train station last month.

Europe Quick Trips

Interactive exhibits at German dinosaur museum educate, entertain, frighten

When you visit Gondwana - Das Praehistorium, you’re in for a few surprises.

Vets say Air Force should have allowed retirement speech that mentioned God

A retired senior master sergeant, Rodriguez had been invited by Master Sgt. Charles Roberson to speak while the flag was folded during Roberson’s retirement ceremony at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., two years ago.

Air Force: Colonel had religious right to refuse signing same-sex spouse appreciation letter

The Air Force has affirmed the religious rights of a colonel who claimed he was wrongly disciplined for refusing to sign a certificate of appreciation for the same-sex spouse of one of his airmen last year.

Construction begins at Ramstein on biggest DODEA school in Germany

The new high school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021, which means this year’s 8th graders will be the first class to attend and graduate from the new school.

As Air Force grapples with pilot shortage, Flight Academy provides hope for the future

The Air Force plans to put kids into the cockpit to teach them how to fly in hopes of sparking youth interest in aviation as the military struggles with a pilot shortage.

Military family pets stranded as United Airlines suspends shipments

Military families on Guam moving to the U.S. mainland may be forced to leave their pets behind, following United Airlines’ decision to suspend its pet transportation program until no later than May 1, following multiple delivery mistakes and at least one pet death.

Third-grader brings knife to Fort Belvoir school; no injuries following scare

A third-grade student brought a pocket knife to Fort Belvoir Elementary School in Virginia on Thursday and may have threatened other students with it, according to parents critical of the school’s response and base officials.

Fighter jet operations ramp up during basewide Spangdahlem exercise

Spangdahlem Air Base wrapped up a two-week exercise Thursday night, during which flying ramped up day and night. Loud sirens signaled for airmen to take cover under desks, among other training drills.


Students at overseas military bases protest school shootings with walkouts

At bases from Japan to Germany, students joined a national gun violence protest, walking out of class Wednesday in memory of peers and teachers killed in a Florida school shooting last month.

Medical retirement can leave servicemembers fighting for their pensions

Though uncommon, getting discharged between 19 and 20 years on medical grounds does happen. It almost happened to Jerred Mitchell, a noncommissioned officer at Ramstein Air Base.

Ramstein 5th-grader wins European PTA Spelling Bee

After 38 grueling rounds and more than four hours on stage, Ramstein Intermediate School 5th-grader Jonnen Messer won the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee, with the word "stalactite." His final-round opponent Ramstein Middle School 7th-grader Ramon Padua Jr., fell on the word "trillado."

Blank shots fired in German city near US bases lead to arrest; no one hurt

A German man caused a commotion downtown Wednesday when he fired multiple blank shots with a starter pistol, scaring and threatening shoppers before he was taken into custody.

How a US soldier’s death in Afghanistan ended up in a German court, 4 years later

Although prosecutors say it’s the first time Germany has tried anyone for an alleged role in the death of a U.S. soldier abroad, the case against Abdol Moghadas S., 20, has received little attention.

It's cheerleaders' turn to get applause in European championships

Eighteen cheer squads competed in DODEA’s 23rd Annual Cheer Tournament of Champions in the Clay Kaserne Fitness Center Saturday morning, giving fans who packed the gym early something to cheer for ahead of the European basketball finals.

Getting their ‘wiggles’ out — flexible seating comes to military schools in Europe

Flexible seating is part of a growing trend that’s transforming classrooms from a one-seat-fits-all model to an eclectic design more common in coffee shops or living rooms.

Ramstein base commuters will begin testing new east gate traffic circle Saturday

Only one interior lane in each direction will open Saturday. But when it’s completed by December 2019, the new circle will be what’s called a “turbo circle."

Judging starts next week for Army’s version of the Tony Awards in Europe

Performers at U.S. military theaters in Europe will be playing to more than just the crowds when the annual drama competition opens next week.


Americans get into Germany’s wacky Fasching spirit

Ramstein-Miesenbach threw its 67th annual Fasching parade, capping what’s known as carnival season in Germany with a grand display of elaborate floats, marching bands and costumed revelers.

Ramstein-area restaurant Schlemmerscheune looks like a barn, tastes like a dream

The Schlemmerscheune restaurant in Weilerbach, a village near Ramstein Air Base, is aptly named. In English, it means “gourmet barn.” The building that houses the restaurant, which is connected to Hotel Degen, looks like a former barn inside. The downstairs, with high-arching stone ceilings — and the most charming place to sit — appears to be an old wine cellar. That’s the barn part. The food, meanwhile, certainly meets my definition of gourmet. In this case, that includes eating a sugar doughnut with a fork.

Air Force drops re-enlistment bonuses in 17 career fields

Air Force cryptologic language analysts who specialize in Korean or Hebrew and who are eligible to re-enlist may want to submit their paperwork now. Re-enlistment bonuses in fields across the service are going extinct.

NASA ‘flying lab’ takes to European skies for experiments with German research plane

NASA’s DC-8 “flying laboratory,” an aircraft based near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and decked out with various sensors and intake valves, is in Germany this month to conduct joint research with the German Aerospace Center and its Airbus A320 research aircraft.

AFN programming, including NFL, among affected services for overseas military families

Defense Department personnel and their families overseas woke up over the weekend to confusion, uncertainty and some anger about how their lives would be affected by the U.S. government shutdown.But

Red Cross to roll out welcome mat to contractors and their families

The American Red Cross in Europe is trying to erase the difficulties many contractors and their spouses face in integrating into their new communities on the Continent.

Flying emergency rooms are classrooms for first European and Africa aeromedical symposium

More than 40 flight nurses, physicians, pilots and planners from NATO and partner countries shared their experiences in airlifting wounded and sick patients on military aircraft during the event.


DODEA students get their groove on at annual jazz seminar

The annual jazz seminar for U.S. military schools in Europe is the one chance many students get to play this quintessentially American music in a group setting.


Air Force video shows Lakenheath fighters' intercepts of Russian aircraft

The United States will hand over the lead in NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission to Denmark next week, concluding a four-month stay in Lithuania that saw U.S. fighter jets scramble about 30 times to identify Russian aircraft flying near NATO air space, officials said.

Air Force eliminating EPRs for airmen first class and below

The service announced Thursday that Enlisted Performance Reports are no longer required for all active-duty airmen until they reach the rank of senior airman or have served for 36 months, regardless of grade. For reservists, EPRs will be required for senior airmen and above. The change is effective immediately.