(Alexander Riedel/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — At least three U.S. Army garrisons and Ramstein Air Base lowered their alert statuses Wednesday, days after American military bases around Europe began taking additional security precautions.

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, headquartered in Kaiserslautern, returned to force protection condition “Bravo-plus,” according to an alert sent to Defense Department personnel, while Ramstein returned its condition to Bravo. The nearby bases form the largest U.S. military community overseas.

The military sets force protection levels at Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta, the highest state of alert. Bravo became the common standard following the 9/11 attacks at many bases worldwide.

Bravo indicates “when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists,” according to the Army. Bravo-plus means that additional security precautions may be taken as needed.

Charlie, which is what several bases in Europe went to on Sunday, “applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely,” according to the Army.

The Rheinland-Pfalz order applies to the garrison’s installations in the Kaiserslautern area, Baumholder and outlying installations, which include those in Romania and Bulgaria.

The Air Force’s 86th Airlift Wing, which operates the base at Ramstein, said in a statement Wednesday that the military in Europe “encourages increased vigilance to ensure the safety of our service members and their families.” 

The Army’s garrison in Stuttgart, home to U.S. European and Africa commands, also notified troops that it had lowered its force protection condition to Bravo at about 4:30 p.m. The garrison in Wiesbaden, which is headquarters for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, followed suit shortly afterward.

“We are constantly assessing a variety of factors that determine what measures we institute or modify to protect our installations, our people and their families,” EUCOM said in a statement.

Several other bases in Europe, including Aviano Air Base and the Navy’s installation in Naples, both in Italy, remained at condition Charlie as of Wednesday afternoon.

The elevated alert status has caused traffic delays, reduced services and required some employees to work from home this week.

The return to Bravo at several installations comes as service members and their families at bases throughout the world prepare to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Thursday.

Stars and Stripes reporters Phillip W. Wellman and John Vandiver contributed to this report.

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