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Jennifer H. Svan

Ramstein gate closed, postal services changed, commissary baggers gone

“The closure is being done in the best interest of our” gate guards, said Sandra Archer, an 86th Airlift Wing spokeswoman.

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Separated by coronavirus pandemic, students from Navy base in Italy go online to sing moving rendition of Bon Iver song

The choir students’ a capella performance of “Heavenly Father” by the indie folk band Bon Iver struck a strong emotional chord for viewers worldwide.


Lots of screening, little testing and few coronavirus cases as Ramstein AB keeps flying

The main base in the largest overseas U.S. military community has reduced flight operations, shuttered base services and canceled group official functions as it tries to keep the coronavirus at bay.


Landstuhl increases capacity for coronavirus testing, tries to keep testing supplies in stock

The Pentagon’s largest hospital overseas recently ramped up its testing capacity to process hundreds of coronavirus tests per day if need be, officials said, as the number of confirmed cases continued to climb in the U.S. military community in Europe.


Air Force is second service to suspend fitness testing because of coronavirus

Mandatory assessments that were scheduled from now through May will be pushed back by six months, the service said.


Kaiserslautern, home to largest US military community overseas, restricts businesses

In Kaiserslautern, the largest city in an area where about 50,000 Defense Department personnel and their families live, city officials late Monday ordered numerous businesses to close and banned gatherings of more than 75 people until July 10.


Army puts off-base clubs, lounges, restaurants off limits as military coronavirus cases rise in Germany

The commander of the Army’s 21st Theater Sustainment Command signed the temporary policy Saturday placing hookah lounges, movie theaters and some restaurants off-limits, after a second service member in Europe tested positive for coronavirus.


Nearly all military schools in Europe close over coronavirus concerns

All but a handful of the Pentagon’s 66 schools across Europe will close Monday to students as a precautionary measure to help curb the spread of COVID-19


NATO firefighters hold live fire training with Americans at Ramstein

Firefighters from four countries took turns putting out a propane-fueled fire on a burning jet simulator.


Pentagon travel ban extends to US personnel, families in much of Europe

New Pentagon travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the United States could affect up to 70,000 military and civilian personnel in Europe.


Plans to move tankers, special operations wing from Mildenhall to Germany are put on hold

Plans to close RAF Mildenhall in England and move its refueling tankers and a special operations wing to Germany have been put on hold, the Pentagon said this week.


Ramstein airman faces court-martial over car crash that killed German teen

A young Ramstein airman faces negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter charges for his role in a car crash that killed a German teen more than a year ago.


europe quick trips

Sustainable living is highlighted at the House of Sustainability in the forest near Kaiserslautern

The house hosts events and exhibitions throughout the year to highlight a sustainable lifestyle and the work of local artisans and vintners.


Teachers at US military base schools battle policy requiring extra work without pay

The Department of Defense Education Activity wants the 24 hours of unpaid work per quarter for professional development and says the teachers’ union agreed to the terms during negotiations for a long-delayed labor contract.


Ramstein middle schooler wins second European spelling bee

Jonnen Messer earned his ticket back to the national spelling bee with the word “sacrament,” letting out a big sigh of relief when the judges said, “that is correct.”


Expanded on-base shopping for many US veterans faces hurdles overseas

The new rules that extend on-base shopping privileges to an additional 4.1 million U.S. veterans can’t be applied in some countries and face restrictions in others, officials said.


Kaiserslautern, home to largest US military community overseas, confirms first case of coronavirus

A 32-year-old Kaiserslautern man has contracted the coronavirus and 17 others are in self-quarantine after being in contact with him, city health officials said Friday.


D-II girls

Wildcats surge past Vicenza to ascend throne

It was a tale of two halves in the DODEA-Europe Division II girls’ basketball title game Saturday between the Naples Wildcats and Vicenza Cougars.


D-II boys

Naples pulls away from Aviano to triumph

Much of the DODEA-Europe Division II boys’ title game Saturday between the Naples Wildcats and Aviano Saints was a stalemate.


New Kaiserslautern school opening delayed indefinitely over US fire code compliance

Getting the new Kaiserslautern Elementary's kitchen ventilation system to comply with U.S. fire code will push back the opening of the school.


Space Force’s first chief enlisted adviser has ‘leadership running through his veins,’ top officer says

Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, senior enlisted leader of the Air Force’s Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., has been named the first top enlisted leader of the Space Force.


Power loss, bad weather caused Spangdahlem F-16 crash in Germany, Air Force says

A partial power failure during bad weather caused an F-16 fighter jet from Spangdahlem Air Base to crash last fall during a routine training flight, the Air Force said Tuesday.


Sabine storms across Europe, damaging areas near US bases in Germany

There will be periodic lulls but “the winds will pick up speed again” in Rheinland-Pfalz, a meteorologist said, adding that winds were expected to average 30-45 mph on Tuesday in the Kaiserslautern area.


High winds, severe storms moving toward US bases in Kaiserslautern area

The U.S. military in the Kaiserslautern and Baumholder areas ordered most base facilities to be closed Monday.


Air Force saw record suicide rate in 2019

The 2019 figure includes active duty, reserve, guard and Air Force civilians and compares to 103 suicides across the service in 2018 — a 33 percent increase.


Poland, USAFE mark arrival of F-35 in former communist bloc

Poland was scheduled to sign on Friday a $4.6 billion contract for 32 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, setting itself up to become the first country in Eastern Europe to fly the 5th-generation aircraft.


Air Force aerial refueling facing critical gaps as KC-46 deliveries lag, top official says

The Air Force has already planned on the retirement of some aging tankers, even as the KC-46 program struggles to field new tankers,the U.S. Transportation Command’s top officer said.


New York airman dies during deployment to Antarctica

Staff Sgt. George Girtler IV died at McMurdo Station in Antarctica while deployed with his Air National Guard unit.


Air Force awards $425 million contract for Ramstein, Spangdahlem improvements

The Air Force has awarded a $425 million contract to improve bases in the Kaiserslautern area and at Spangdahlem to half a dozen U.S. and German companies, officials said.


Air Force captain who was found dead after fleeing court-martial was to be dismissed

Capt. Kevin Larson was convicted at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada on charges of drug use, possession, and distribution, as well as assault, conduct unbecoming of an officer and making a false official statement, officials said.


Air Force captain found dead after fleeing court-martial at Nellis

An Air Force officer was found dead in a California forest Sunday of an apparent suicide, two days after fleeing a court-martial at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.


gallery

DODEA-Europe students immerse themselves in jazz

Students from across Europe transported their trombones, trumpets and other instruments to Kaiserslautern this week for a long-standing tradition that aims to give the military school system’s youth an appreciation for an American art form.


2020 VISION

In response to alarming Air Force suicide rates, commanders focus on connecting with airmen

If the alarming suicide epidemic in the Air Force drives any change in 2020, it could be a grassroots effort that starts at the unit level, with commanders communicating more on a personal level with their airmen and knowing more about them and the struggles they face.


Spangdahlem airmen found dead in dorm room were both 20 years old

Xavier Leaphart and Aziess Whitehurst were assigned to the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.


Two Spangdahlem airmen found dead in dormitory room

The airmen were found unresponsive at about 6:30 p.m. and pronounced dead 20 minutes later by emergency responders, officials with the 52nd Fighter Wing said in a statement.


Walmart to pay back wages, change policies after denying Navy reservist a job over military duties

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Hunger said the retail giant refused to hire her at a Colorado store after she mentioned she would need time off for Navy duty.