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Jennifer H. Svan

Thousands more eligible to give blood to Pentagon’s program as donor restrictions are relaxed

Troops, veterans and military retirees who’ve lived in Europe for an extended period once again may give blood to the Defense Department’s program after donor restrictions were relaxed to boost supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Name of Air Force pilot who died in North Sea crash is stenciled on two F-15s

Air Force maintainers on both sides of the Atlantic have honored the memory of 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, who died this week when his F-15C crashed in the North Sea, by temporarily stenciling his name on two fighter jets.


New general order allows international travel for Army personnel in Rheinland-Pfalz

Some Army personnel in Germany can once again travel internationally after a general order issued Friday by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command lifted more coronavirus restrictions.


Watch for toxic caterpillars and more ticks in Europe, Army public health says

A hairy, toxic caterpillar frequently found in forests and a rising tick population have Defense Department health commands in Europe warning families to take precautions while outdoors in the months ahead.


Ramstein honors airman killed in 2008 attack while on secret mission in Pakistan

On Sept. 20, 2008, Air Force Maj. Rodolfo Rodriguez was outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, when a dump truck rammed the hotel’s security gate and caught fire.


Workouts by appointment: Military gyms reopen for some in Germany

The open doors at one of the military’s largest overseas bases come as gyms throughout Europe slowly reopen with strict safety and hygiene rules.


'It's not a joking matter': Soldier wants Ramstein commissary worker fired for 'I can’t breathe' comment

“Somebody lost their life. Black, white or indifferent – it’s not a joking matter,” said Sgt. Andera Peeples of a recent incident at Ramstein Air Base in which commissary employees appeared to joke about the death of George Floyd.


Space Force draws 8,500 volunteers from Air Force ranks

More than 8,500 active-duty airmen are interested in moving over to the U.S. Space Force, the new service said Tuesday.


Army in Germany will stop subsidizing AFN programming in military housing

The American Forces Network will no longer be provided for free via cable to military family housing and barracks at Army bases in Germany, starting this fall, officials said.


Air Force’s top lawyer urges action against racial discrepancies in service’s legal system

The Air Force must address racial inequality in its legal system, the service’s top lawyer said this week, noting that young, black enlisted airmen are punished more frequently than their nonblack counterparts.


Now serving those who serve: Army food truck comes to Germany

The 21st Theater Sustainment Command food truck is the first to be shipped overseas to Europe and the seventh in the Army. It began full operations this week, visiting Baumholder, Sembach and Panzer on different days, serving breakfast and lunch to up to 200 customers per mealtime


Service members returning to US with pets face limited space, thousands in fees during pandemic

Many service members returning from overseas with pets are scrambling for limited spaces, as commercial shipping costs skyrocket amid the disruption to air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Enjoy a beer, maintain social distance at Bremerhof beer garden in Kaiserslautern

Under clear, blue skies in mid-May at the Bremerhof beer garden in Kaiserslautern, Germans did what they do every spring when it’s warm enough to sit outdoors: They soaked up the sun and emptied their beer mugs.


GALLERY

Finding ways around coronavirus restrictions, Ramstein airmen practice ‘perishable’ jumping skills

Parachuting over Ramstein kicked off the Agile Wolf exercise Tuesday, allowing the 435th Contingency Response Squadron to practice with other units its core missions of opening air bases and supporting mobility aircraft across Europe and Africa.


Face masks and gown or virtual? Graduation ceremonies for DODEA Europe schools adapt to the coronavirus

Some commencement exercises will be entirely virtual, featuring recorded speeches and video clips of graduates, while others will be live ceremonies with rules meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


Air Force crew from Ramstein leapfrogs around Italy flying medical supplies

The itinerary was a first for a C-130 cargo plane crew from Ramstein: fly to Milan, continue to Rome, back to Milan, then back home to Germany, all in the same day.


Ramstein’s ‘COVID Armada' is equipped to shuttle passengers in safety

Air Force buses are still in regular service shuttling air crews and other personnel around the base, but the ride is very different these days.


Sonic booms from German Eurofighters rattle residents near Ramstein Air Base

German Eurofighters flying over the state of Rheinland-Pfalz broke the sound barrier several times in recent days, shaking houses, rattling windows and unnerving more than a few people and pets.


Restaurants, hotels poised to reopen in Germany will remain off limits for many US personnel

U.S. military personnel in Germany may have to bide their time before they can enjoy a night out again in the country, where restaurants and hotels will begin to cautiously reopen this month after weeks of coronavirus closures.


Air Force B-1B strategic bombers arrive in the Baltics for NATO training

Two B-1B Lancers arrived in the Baltics to work with NATO allies this week, marking the heavy bombers’ first flights to Europe in about 18 months.


Travel restrictions are eased on some US personnel in Germany, Benelux

Thousands of service members and their families can travel three times farther from their homes than they could over the last six weeks as one of the largest U.S. Army commands in Europe eased coronavirus restrictions Tuesday.


'It makes it feel like you’re in the military again': Haircuts are back at Ramstein

For the first time in six weeks, airmen ar Ramstein Air Base in Germany were able to do something they once took for granted: get a haircut.


US bases reviewing restrictions as barbershops, playgrounds and more prepare to reopen in Germany

U.S. military bases across Germany are still reviewing what services and facilities to resume and reopen, following Germany’s lead.


DODEA schools worldwide will close doors for rest of school year, with possible exception of South Korea

All of the Defense Department’s schools will close their doors for the remainder of the school year with the possible exception of those in South Korea, officials said Friday.


Deaths of 20-year-old airmen found in Spangdahlem dorm room were accidental and drug-related, OSI says

Two airmen in Germany died from “multiple drug toxicity,” according to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.


Air Force issuing 150,000 free gun locks in bid to improve safety and reduce suicides

The cable locks will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Airmen should contact their base’s violence prevention officer for details about local distribution, officials said.


Speeding a factor in car crash that killed Spangdahlem airmen last year, Air Force says

Excessive speed was a factor in a car crash that killed two airmen and injured a third last fall on Spangdahlem Air Base, Air Force officials said Wednesday, citing a monthslong investigation into the accident.


Italian schools to close until September as DODEA mulls decision for its schools in Europe

Italian schools won’t reopen until September, a decision that could impact U.S. bases in the country, as military officials determine whether to recommend online instruction for the remainder of the school year in Europe.


F-16 at Spangdahlem first in Europe to hit 10,000 flight hours

An F-16 combat jet at Spangdahlem Air Base achieved a landmark 10,000 flight hours on Thursday, nearly 27 years after it rolled off the production line and began flying for the 52nd Fighter Wing.


Neil’s Pub in Mackenbach is open for takeout

The former Mack Du’s on the east side of Ramstein Air Base in Mackenbach is now Neil’s Pub, but customers might not have noticed the name change.


Air Force’s 'Fired Up Chief' survives a serious bout with coronavirus

Retired Air Force command chief master sergeant Juan Lewis — who’s widely known as the “Fired Up Chief” for the uplifting talks he gave to airmen — was the one in need of support and motivation as he fought for his life over the past few weeks.


Army parachute riggers and civilians in Kaiserslautern make masks to protect the force

Sewing machines continue to hum inside the workshop at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, where U.S. Army parachute riggers who normally mend torn canopies have taken up a new project: face masks. The 5th Quartermaster-Theater Aerial Delivery Company soldiers have produced about 150 a day since Monday.


In the woods near Ramstein, you can feed the deer and grab a pizza

With movie theaters, outdoor cafes, parks, shops and swimming pools closed in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic, the great outdoors beckons.


Military clinics in Europe now have rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus

At least seven U.S. military medical clinics in Europe now have an in-house diagnostic tool that processes coronavirus tests in as little as 45 minutes, officials said this week.


DODEA schools juggle schedules as parents, kids adjust to digital learning during coronavirus pandemic

Some military schools in Europe will adjust their digital learning schedules this month, consolidating and staggering the times students spend online for group instruction, a top school official said.


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.