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COMMENTARY

Stuck in a goal: Starting & continuing ambitions, Page 2

FEATURE

435 CRS Port Dawgs: Key to global air mobility support, Page 8

NEWS

EMEDS maintains readiness posture, Page 10

April 24, 2020 | Volume 44, Number 16

FEATURE

LIFESTYLE

86 AW adapts, continues honoring Airmen, Pages 12-13

Air out your house, Page 21

Read the KA online at KaiserslauternAmerican.com U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Austin Tweedle, 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron collateral systems administrator, conducts virtual training during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic at Ramstein Air Base, April 16. The virtual training keeps Airmen sharp and equipped with the knowledge to push out new software when needed in support of various units across three combatant commands.

COVID-19 ops: 1 ACOS employs virtual training for mission success Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Communication is key to mission success. In the midst of a global pandemic where resources and manpower are limited, the 1st

Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron utilizes virtual training to ensure their mission continues.

Commanders rely heavily on the ability to quickly and efficiently communicate up and down the chain, especially when

it comes to moving important assets all over the globe. The 1st See ACOS, Page 6

COVID-19 ops: Phased approach to normal, questions answered by Tech. Sgt. Jocelyn A. Ford 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs As restrictions are projected to lift or be further redefined, the German community is employing a phased approach to reopening commerce, schools and other functions previously considered a daily norm. One step in this phased

approach includes opening stores with less than 800 square meters, while enforcing a restricted number of customers in the establishment at any given time. Additionally, local schools will begin convening as early as May 4. However this will be done slowly starting with the children requiring exams for progression.

Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, Jr., 86th AW command chief, were joined by Carl Carpenter, Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, to answer questions from the Kaiserslautern Military Community regarding expected changes affecting the base and base facilities.

Below are summarized answers to some of the questions fielded during the session. Can U.S. members use German establishments such as barber shops once they open? Yes, please support the local community and small businesses feeling the impact. It’s also impor-

tant to comply with local guidance and restrictions. Are there any changes to the status on gyms? We are deliberately going through the phased approach to relaxing the limitations that have See QUESTIONS, Page 3


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April 24, 2020

COMMENTARY

Stuck in a goal: Starting & continuing ambitions Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs As I tediously sit in my home after having second breakfast, watching three back-to-back movie marathons and admiring my stubbly telework beard, I realize these are things I used to get excited about before the coronavirus disease 2019 restrictions were implemented. Yes, I was able to finally watch those shows everyone has been talking about for months. I finally found time to unpack those boxes from when I PCS’d here last year. Then, I found myself wondering about those goals I constantly say I’m too busy to start. You know those goals, the ones you never start because “work’s been crazy lately,” or “I need to find someone to do it with me,” and my personal favorite, “I’ll get on it next month.” With many of us having already exhausted ourselves at home, maybe we should stop abusing our time and finally work on ourselves? We live in a time where the world’s largest library of knowledge can be found in our homes and our pockets. There are collections of starter videos for people wanting to learn a new language, art style, how to travel or for me, an instrument. If you can’t start that goal because of restrictions, then planning could be your next step. A goal should make you feel like a more complete person or the person you want others to see you as. I’ve wanted to learn an instrument for years and after several friends and I decided we wanted

to stop talking about different music and create our own, I decided I’d be the bass player for our dream band. Once you’ve made a goal it helps to write it down and tell others about it. If you keep your goal to yourself, you can easily back out of it and you only have yourself to sponsor it. Once I told several friends of my plan to learn the bass, they were able to tell me where I

goal can help you gain motivation and resources that’ll project you further. Once you’ve started, it’s important to remember a few things: you’re probably not a hidden prodigy and there will probably be embarrassing moments. But if you do mess up, people usually don’t notice or remember. I’ve personally become discouraged when I’m not perfect right away or get embarrassed that others are progressing quicker than me. Every time I’ve gone out and tried to learn a new skill I get upset with myself for not being a hidden savant. I see people much younger than myself, much farther along and don’t realize they’ve had months, if not years, of experience on me. Goals vanish when we lose motivation because of failures. Using failures as learning experiences allow us to sharpen our skills and build confidence. Maintaining your drive is essential in achieving goals. At the end of the day, it's important you feel good about yourself, so celebrate your accomplishments and milestones. Have pride in the hard work you’ve put in and map out your next step! Having constant goals helps build motivation within our lives, something to be excited about and look forward to. It provides a structure and a break from the mundane. Maybe you’re like me, and today you’re going to pick up that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn. Or maybe you’ll research a class or course you’ve always been curious about. Now is not the time to act like the world is ending. Rather start creating the next chapter of our lives.

“A goal should make you feel like a more complete person or the person you want others to see you as.”

A bass guitar sits in Kaiserslautern, April 8. For many, tackling a goal is easier said than done and may require more motivation and resources.

could find a local teacher. Also, others who already knew how to play told me about equipment I may need and places online I can take beginner classes. Having my friends know about my goal gave me a positive peer pressure in my life. Yet a goal is nothing without a plan. Break the goal apart and find milestones and mini-goals to give yourself more vision. For now, I’m taking lessons online and designating a set amount of time to work on it uninterrupted. But I’ve looked up music teachers to work with later. One of the first challenges is starting. This is where I’ve been stuck with my goal. I’ve had a bass sitting in my living room for months now but I have yet to call a music instructor. Taking that jump toward your

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April 24, 2020 QUESTIONS from Page 1 been imposed on all of us as since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 posture change. We are going to be in lockstep with the local government. At this time, there has been no change to the status on gyms. That’s not something we are looking to do immediately, but it’s a part of our phased return to normal here at Ramstein. Where do we stand in our guidelines specific to travel? There is no change to the policy memo currently in place for active-duty service members or Department of Defense civilians. The memo will remain in place until we see what the Germans are going to do. Is there a plan to reopen any of the smaller shops in the KMCC, similar to off base? Yes, some stores have begun re-opening. There is a limit of three people at a time in the shops. With the restrictions on large gatherings, what does that mean for the Freedom Fest? Have we canceled the Fourth of July? The Fourth of July would never be canceled: that is our Independence Day. However, how we will celebrate it as Americans may be different. Our Force Support Squadron is working hard to continue the planning process, and we may see it push to the right and become a fall fest. August 30 is what we’re operating on as of right now, so that would make it unlikely that we’ll have a Freedom Fest like we’ve experienced in the past. We want to hold off that decision as long as possible. Is there a way to limit the amount of people in the store to help with physical distancing? Our main exchange is 160,000 square feet. If we use the German standard of one person per 10 square meters, we would allow 1,500 people in the store at a time. The standard many U.S. retailers use allows five customers per 1,000 square feet, which would allow 825 customers at any one time. Our sales records and review of customer traffic tells us we do not have that many people in our store at any one time. Please continue to maintain your physical distancing, and if you see others congregating please ask them to separate. Do we expect our schools to reopen on May 4? Our Mission Support Group is working closely with Department of Defense Education Agency to figure out the way forward. We will get the information out as soon as it is available. Is it possible to reopen the golf course? Our Operational Planning Team is diligently working with Public Health to prioritize the list of facilities as we continue to work towards normal. As facilities re-open we will make sure that information is available on the official Ramstein website at www. ramstein.af.mil. Will the Shoppette begin expanding hours again after May 4? Where do we find out

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what stores are opened and their hours of operation? We will continue to assess the Shoppette hours. At this time it will not be open 24 hours. Current hours of operation for AAFES facilities are posted on the official Ramstein website, as well as the Exchange (Ramstein/ KMCC) Facebook page. Instead of covering our faces at the gate, can we just leave the window up and scan through the glass? Our Defenders tested this and found that the scanners are not as effective through the glass. As a result, we ask you to continue to comply with the face coverings. Are we still restricted to 30-kilometers distance from home? That is a squadron-level restriction. Please talk to your supervision and squadron leadership to determine what policy has been put in place. How will it work for high school students going off to college? Will they get waivers to fly stateside? If your student is not flying on specific orders, the stop movement does not apply. If you are paying for your own ticket, you have some discretion in making those things work. Please reach out to your schools, pay attention to what’s going on in the U.S.: are they even going to hold in-person classes? Many schools have already canceled student orientations.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kirsten Brandes, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Social Media noncommissioned officer in charge, explains the usage of streaming equipment to a guest before the virtual town hall at Ramstein Air Base, April 20. Town halls have been held weekly by the base as a tool to distribute mass information to the Kaiserslautern Military Community.  Photos by Airman 1st Class Andrew Alvarado

The 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs team partners with Armed Forces Network Kaiserslautern to broadcast the virtual town hall over multiple platforms simultaneously from Ramstein Air Base, April 20. The town hall was recorded via Facebook live, as well as broadcast over AFN Kaiserslautern to the 66,000-member community.

Will teleworking be emphasized as places reopen? Teleworking was initially driven by the Health Protection Condition level and physical distancing protocols. We are still in HPCON Charlie. It has always been up to squadron leadership teams to identify and determine who is required to come to work and who can telework. We will continue to work hard and get you the latest and best information. Will non-essential goods be roped off to discourage mingling within the Exchange? There is no plan to rope off any portion of the store. Please continue to adhere to physical distancing protocols and if you see people congregating, step in and ask them to please separate.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kirsten Brandes, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs social media noncommissioned officerin-charge, provides a queue of questions for the virtual town hall at Ramstein Air Base,, April 20. The pool of inquiries consisted of previously compiled social media questions and live audience participation.

Is it possible to get Value Added Tax forms? The VAT office is still open by appointment only. You can call 06371-47-5309 to set up an appointment or to get any VATrelated questions answered. Can people still donate blood? Yes, you can! The only thing different in the COVID-19 world is you need to make an appointment. The donor center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center can be reached at 06371-5464-5762. The full virtual town hall video can be viewed on the Ramstein Facebook page. Visit the official Ramstein website at www. ramstein.af.mil and go to the COVID-19 tab located in the top-right side of the page for the most up-to-date information.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Jason Perry, Armed Forces Network Kaiserslautern broadcast engineer, adjusts the settings on his remote equipment during the town hall event at Ramstein Air Base, April 20. The audio is captured and streamed back to the station where it was broadcast over radio.


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April 24, 2020

THE HOUSING HYPE

TAKE NOTE Photo by Golubovy / Shutterstock.com

COVID-19 updates for KMC Personnel looking for updated information regarding coronavirus and changes to base facilities can visit www.ramstein.af.mil/COVID-19/ Attention all retirees and surviving spouses The 86 AW Retiree Activities Office (RAO) is closed until further notice. For urgent situations (until we re-open our doors) that would normal-

ly be addressed to the RAO, you can email jim. barrante@fcgh.net. Community Strengths and Needs Assessment If you want to see changes in your military community take a few minutes to complete the Community Strengths and Needs Assessment. It is an easy online survey open to Soldiers, civilians, and family members. The survey is designed to capture the qualitative “pulse” of community members’ feelings on quality of life, health, safety, and satisfaction within the environment of an Army installation. Let your voice be heard by going to: https://usaphcapps.amedd.army.mil/Survey/ se.ashx?s=25113745218B31B9. RAO Director needed The Retiree Activities Office, a volunteerbased organization that supports retirees, active-duty members, and spouses throughout the KMC, has an immediate opening for a new director. The RAO functions as a liaison between the retiree population and the 86th AW commander. For more information about this position or how to volunteer, please contact the Acting Director at Jim.Barrante@gmail.com or Mobile 0160 454 0062. Construction on A6 Due to construction, motorists traveling on A6 should anticipate delays between May 2025. A6 toward Saarbrucken will be closed to traffic from May 20 at 10 p.m. - May 22 at 10 p.m. A6 direction Mannheim will closed to traffic from May 22 at 10 p.m. until May 25 at 5 a.m. Detour signs will be posted.

Military Family Housing (MFH) Self-Help Stores remain open SELF-HELP STORE Routine home maintenance continues to be a resident responsibility. Please do your part to maintain your home, while maintaining physical distancing. Below is a small selection of the 100 + items that can be found in the MFH Self-Help Stores at Ramstein and Vogelweh to help you maintain your home. OUTDOORS: • Grass seed • Lawn fertilizer • Mousetraps • Ant bait stations INDOORS: • 110V child safety outlet protectors • Stove top protection (child safety) • Humidifiers device for radiators • Baking trays • Oven racks

COMPILED BY THE 569TH USFPS AND 86TH SFS

MARCH 30 7:19 a.m.: Major traffic collision in Landstuhl MARCH 31 3:50 p.m.: Damage to personal property in Vogelweh Housing Area APRIL 3 3:22 p.m.: Major traffic collision in Landstuhl 5:01 p.m.: Major traffic collision in Landstuhl APRIL 4 4:01 p.m.: Theft of a motor vehicle in Kaiserslautern 9:12 p.m.: Reckless driving in Kapaun Air Station

Photo by Schmidt_Alex / Shutterstock.com

10:24 p.m.: COVID-19 restrictions violation/Illegal gathering in Weilerbach APRIL 5 1:50 a.m.: COVID-19 restrictions violation/Illegal gathering in Vogelweh Housing Area 10:34 a.m.: Major traffic collision in Walhalben APRIL 6 1:01 p.m.: Larceny of private property in Kindsbach APRIL 7 3:08 p.m.: Larceny of government and private property in Vogelweh Housing Area 3: 20 p.m.: Animal bite in Vogelweh Housing Area

Editor’s note: The purpose of the weekly blotter is to deliver a chronological listing of criminal activity in the KMC. The information contained in the blotter is not indicative of crime trends or the targeting of service members or their dependents. The location and nature of the entries is dependent upon where the crime was reported and not necessarily where the crime took place.

Q: How do I show my proof of my on-base address? A: Your DOD ID Card will be your proof…our maintenance contractor, the Vectrus SelfHelp Store technician, will validate your address with the in-store address listing. Q: Will I have to pay for the materials that I receive from the Self-Help Store? A: No. There are no charges to you or your family for self-help items. Follow us on our Facebook page https:// www.facebook.com/KMCHousingOffice/

COMMUNITY EVENTS Photo by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

»» Spring into reading challenge: Until May 16,

KMC BLOTTER

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: Who is authorized to use the Self-Help Store? A: Any military family housing resident (DOD ID card holder) living in Ramstein, Landstuhl or Vogelweh housing areas.

read, or be read to, at least an hour a week to be entered into gift card drawings with the Spring into Reading Challenge. Readers who earn all Challenge Badges will also be entered into a final gift card drawing.The Challenge is open to all Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, and DOD MWR customers of any age because you’re never too old to read! Get started by registering at https:// dodvirtualsrp.beanstack.org. »» Military Saves month: Military Saves encourages the entire military community to take the Military Saves pledge and for organizations to promote savings year-round, and especially during Military Saves Month in April. Military Saves also works with government agencies, defense credit unions, military banks, and other non-profit organizations to promote savings and debt reduction. Each week in April Military Saves features highlighted programs. (Apr. 20-25 is Save with a Plan and the final week, Apr. 27-30 is Save by Paying Down Debt.) Head over to militarysaves.org for more information. »» Family and MWR virtual events: Stay connected, inspired and engaged with us even during this time of isolation. Every morning at 7 a.m. check in with our Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/RheinlandPfalzFMWR/ or https://www.facebook.com/

BaumholderFMWR/) to see the schedule for the day. Expect workouts, recipes for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinner, as well as child activities, fun polls, hobby ideas, ACS Community Support, and any updates to the current situation. Our Instagram page, rheinlandpfalzmwr, is also mirroring our Facebook so if Instagram is more your thing, you won’t miss out over there! Don’t see something you want to see? Submit your ideas and requests for anything you want us to highlight in future programing. We are here for you! For more information, go to kaiserslautern.armymwr.com or baumholder.armymwr.com. »» SHAWINGZ open for takeout and delivery:

Getting tired of cooking ten times a day and always cleaning the kitchen? Take a break and get takeout or delivery with Shawingz! Baumholder location is open daily, seven days a week from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Shawingz, located in the Kazabra Club in Kaiserslautern is open Mon-Thu from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., Sat from noon until 9 p.m. and Sun from noon until 8 p.m. Please remember that when coming in for takeout that a face cover is mandatory. For more information or to call in orders, Shawingz Baumholder, Smith Bks., Bldg. 8105, 531-2833, 0611-143-5312833. Shawingz Vogelweh, Vogelweh, Bldg. 2057, 489-7261, 06315-36-7261.

Photo courtesy of the Housing Office

Blood donors needed to maintain military’s blood supply By appointment ONLY to maintain physical distancing measures. »» Daily at Landstuhl Blood Donor Center »» April 27-28 Ramstein Southside Fitness Center, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Blood donation is a Mission Essential activity and donors are needed more than ever, now by APPOINTMENT ONLY to maintain social distancing measures. All the blood donated to the Armed Services Blood Program stays within the Dept. of Defense, for forward-deployed military as well as patients at military hospitals throughout Europe. The ASBP - Europe accepts blood donations from military, civilians, retirees and family members at the Blood Donor center on Landstuhl and during community blood drives scheduled at U.S. bases within Germany. Be the life line for the frontlines: find all Dept. of Defense blood drives in Europe and make an appointment TODAY at www.militarydonor.com, Sponsor Code: Europe ASBP Europe is also looking for units to sponsor blood drives. To get started, contact Blood Donor Recruiter Stacy Sanning at DSN 590-4149 or usarmy.donateblood-europe@mail.mil.


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Every individual effort counts, conserve water Story and graphic by Tech. Sgt. J. Smith 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Service members stationed in the Kaiserslautern Military Community are required to follow local environmental laws, just as they do in the United States. The Federal Water Act, Wasserhaushaltsgesetz, states citizens and authorities are obliged to use water responsibly. By following these laws, three things are achieved: restoration, supply is upheld and water sources are secured. “We maintain or restore good ecological and chemical quality of water,” explained Luis Saldivar, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager. “We ensure an adequate supply of drinking water. Lastly, we secure, for the long term, all other water uses that serve public interest, such as leisure, recreation, shipping and energy production.” Ramstein Air Base has implemented restrictions, which have a base-wide impact. “We limit landscaping water use to only summer months. In addition, the golf course has a designated water well which allows for the watering of the course, without direct use of potable water,” Saldivar added. “A year and a half ago, Ramstein implemented the installation of flow restrictors in lodging facilities as well as in dormitories.” Saving water also lowers utility bills. “By saving water, we have a lower demand, which reduces the amount of water that needs to

Tall.

be treated,” Saldivar explained. “Conserving water not only cuts down on water costs, but also sewage and electrical costs as well.” According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, only three percent of Earth’s water is available for consumption, making it necessary to conserve.

Ways to conserve water: • Take shorter showers — five to 10 gallons of water per minute are used • Shut off water while brushing teeth — wet brush, fill a glass for rinsing • Turn off water while shaving — fill bottom of sink with a few inches, in order to rinse the razor • Check toilets for leaks — add food coloring to tank, if the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak • Check faucets for leaks — one drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is the amount needed for approximately 180 showers • Wash full loads — washing incomplete loads of laundry requires more, unnecessary cycles, and increases water usage quickly “With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on Earth fit for drinking consumption, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource,” Saldivar said.

Environmental Exclusive is a series designed to educate members in the Kaiserslautern Military Community on how individual choices impact the Earth. Graphic designed to promote the first edition of Ramstein Air Base's Environmental Exclusive.

Grande.

Cars for everyone... even Court-knee

:)

Venti.


Page 6 ACOS from Page 1 ACOS is responsible for managing those systems ensuring commanders have that capability. The 1st ACOS mission is vast as their systems provide a wide array of functions and serve many purposes. They are a relatively small unit with a large scope that directly impacts and enables U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, Global Strike and U.S. Air Forces Central Command theater of operations. “There’s one that deals with mission planning and logistics, which is our GCCS-AF, or Global Command and Control System-Air Force, and then GCCSJoint handles more of the theater ballistic missile warning systems,” said 1st Lt. Jennings Fairchild, 1st ACOS theater network operations center officer in charge. “Another one probably takes up a majority of both our funds and manpower, which is our AF JWICS, or Air Force Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.” The AF JWICS allows for efficient multi-media communications between authorized individuals by secure means. Whether the 1st ACOS is working with

Kaiserslautern American JWICS or GCCS, the Airmen will remotely troubleshoot issues on these systems from their squadron, as well as provide onsite maintenance when necessary. Because of coronavirus disease 2019, Airmen had to adapt to a new work environment. The 1st ACOS came up with a solution to ensure Airmen — both new and seasoned — received formal training. “We’re still enabling training creatively to continue operations,” said Master Sgt. Shimir Bishop, 1st ACOS GCCS section chief. “Right now, we have 24 active slots for Airmen to receive virtual training to follow the physical distancing guidance during COVID-19.” The training is a vital component to mission success as it gives the Airmen the knowledge on managing the systems in place. “The training is extremely vital because of the programs we provide,” Bishop said. “Critical programs such as Agile Client, which allows the USAFEAFAFRICA Nuclear Operations Center (U-A NOC) and all Command Post in USAFE to have situational awareness in the European theater. This program is a key part of the Common Operational

Picture (COP) within all of our sites to track all movement: personnel, air, sea, and land assets. If they don’t have access to this client, they can’t support the mission.” By having virtual training, Airmen can stay sharp and equipped with the knowledge to maintain and release new software when needed. They can even take the training in the comfort of their own homes, maintaining physical distancing during the COVID-19 crisis. “We’re ensuring they have the skillset to operate and maintain the programs to keep operations in European Command, Africa Command and Central Command moving forward,” Bishop said. Deployments are another aspect of the Air Force mission the 1st ACOS impacts daily. The Individual Deployment Readiness Center (IDRC) uses two different systems which rely on GCCS to move assets downrange effectively. “There’s no efficient personnel movement without GCCS,” Bishop said. “The Joint Operation Planning and Execution Systems, or JOPES, and the Deliberate Crisis Action Planning and Execution Segments, DCAPES, are provided by the GCCS systems we consistently monitor.

April 24, 2020 We push out critical updates through our servers to ensure these systems are always updated and that allows them to manage personnel and cargo movements.” Without 1st ACOS Airmen trained and ready to provide their services, many units around the three combatant commands’ area of responsibility would have to rely on inefficient ways to do their jobs. Without JOPES and DCAPES access, the IDRC would have to process all deployers by paper, which could tremendously slow down the process. Despite the physical distancing efforts, 1st ACOS Airmen have kept a positive attitude and are eager to get at the mission. “Since I’ve been in the 1st ACOS, it’s been nothing but an incredible amount of hard work and dedication displayed to support a lot of different customers,” Fairchild said. “Especially during the COVID-19 crisis, there’s been an unwavering dedication to make sure our systems are up and running, and if there is a problem for whatever reason, whether during the duty day or after hours, Airmen are immediately ready to jump on that problem and make sure it gets taken care of.”

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aaron Hill, 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron global command and control systems administrator, poses for a photo in front of a mural in his squadron at Ramstein Air Base, April 16. Hill hails from Arkansas and joined the Air Force for the broad experiences it offers. During his free time, Hill is a competitive Madden video game player and experiments in financial programming.


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435 CRS Port Dawgs: key to global air mobility support U.S. Army Sgt. Christian Villegas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Battalion crew chief, assembles the tail rotor blades of a UH-60L Blackhawk at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, Kenya on March 1. The 82nd CAB’S mission is to support ongoing U.S. operations at the Kenyan Defense Force installation Camp Simba, Kenya. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Ruano

by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs MOMBASA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Kenya — Aerial porters from the 435th Contingency Response Squadron moved cargo and personnel during a deployment of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in early March. In an overall effort to support global air mobility, the 435th CRS “Port Dawgs” played an integral role in countering violent extremist organizations by ensuring the 82nd CAB arrived at the Kenyan Defense Force Installation, Camp Simba, with strategic airlift assets and personnel. “The 82nd CAB rapidly deploys in support of the Global Response Force to conduct decisive aviation operations worldwide to enable assault, air movement, attack, reconnaissance and medical evacuation capabilities,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Brad Seehawer, 435th CRS operations officer. The U.S. Transportation Command directed the movement of the 82nd CAB’s UH-60 Black Hawks aboard C-17 Globemaster III aircraft into Mombasa International Airport, Kenya. With the help of the Port Dawgs, the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft were then delivered to their final destination. “The aerial porters were an essential part of the 82nd CAB’s support of the east Africa area of operation because the deployment was all about the speed of response,” Seehawer said. The 435th CRS Port Dawgs offloaded, prepared and loaded more than 100 tons of cargo and approximately 80 passengers from four C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to

10 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. “The physical process of downloading cargo from the C-17 and uploading to the C-130J is accomplished in a matter of hours,” Seehawer said. “The difficult part is staging each individual C-130J’s cargo and passenger loads to ensure full aircraft utilization, while maintaining safety of flight for the passengers and crew.” It took approximately two weeks for the 435th CRS aerial porters to finalize this strategic move of airlift assets. “The time-consuming part of the mission was waiting for the C-130J Super Hercules to travel to its destination, download the cargo, then fly back to Mombasa to pick up more, repeating this over several days per C-17 Globemaster III load,” Seehawer said. For short notice support operations throughout Europe and Africa, the Port Dawgs have to be ready. “Africa is unique in its sheer size, which adds to the complexity of large logistics movements like this,” Seehawer said. “The 435th CRS is unique as we have the largest number of Port Dawgs of any unit in U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, which allows us to support a wide variety of mobility taskings across the area of responsibility.” Being able to operate out of the Mombasa International Airport aided in mission success due to an established infrastructure which is required in order to accommodate large cargo operations. “The 435th CRS is trained and ready to operate in a variety of austere environments if called upon,” Seehawer said. “If the host nation is willing to provide us with an airfield to operate from, it increases the agility

with which we can respond, something that’s desired for a movement like this.” The 435th CRS aerial porters are among the best trained, equipped and most experienced porters in the region. When the Port Dawgs weren’t loading planes, they were setting up sleeping quarters for the aircrew and passengers. They also restocked the water and meal supply. “It was busy and hot, but everyone was in good spirits and having a good time,” said Master Sgt. Michael Bailey, 435th CRS mobile aerial port flight chief and team lead. “This is the kind of stuff we love to

do. Our porters don’t just sit around while they’re waiting for the next aircraft to load; they’re fully participating members of the team.” The movement of the 82nd CAB personnel and equipment wouldn’t have been as quick or efficient without the 435th CRS aerial porters facilitating ground operations. “Missions like these build leadership experience and needed proficiency which allows the squadron to open an airbase anywhere in Europe or Africa,” Seehawer said.

U.S. Army Spc. Devante Turner, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), 3rd Battalion crew chief, assists in unloading a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from a U.S. Air Force 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, Kenya, Feb. 29, 2020. The 82nd CAB’S mission is to support ongoing U.S. operations in East Africa.  Photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Ruano


April 24, 2020

Kaiserslautern American

Page 9

Keeping traditions alive during the ‘new normal’ Photos by Tech. Sgt. Jocelyn A. Ford 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Maj. Sarah Schechter, 86th Airlift Wing staff chaplain, and her family lead a virtual Passover Seder from their home in Kaiserslautern, April 8. Schechter used technology to maintain physical distancing protocols while performing the 3,000 year-old ritual ceremony with members of the Jewish community. More than 25 individuals from Europe, Asia and the United States signed in to join the family for Passover while at home due to coronavirus disease 2019.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Sarah Schechter, 86th Airlift Wing staff chaplain, and her family greet virtual guests in a video group chat from their home in Kaiserslautern, April 8. Schechter and her family hosted a virtual Passover Seder to maintain physical distancing protocols.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Sarah Schechter, 86th Airlift Wing staff chaplain, breaks a piece of matzah during a virtual Passover Seder from their home in Kaiserslautern, April 8. Matzah is an unleavened bread made of only flour and water, and a significant piece to the Passover rituals. More than 25 individuals from Europe, Asia and the United States, signed in to join the family for Passover while at home due to coronavirus disease 2019.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Sarah Schechter, 86th Airlift Wing staff chaplain, her husband, Rabbi Joe Charnes, and their daughter Yael, lightly strike one another with scallions during a virtual Passover Seder from their home in Kaiserslautern, April 8. The ritual of striking one another while singing the Passover song “Dayenu,” a song of gratitude, is a Jewish tradition originating with Jews in the Middle East. This lighthearted ritual symbolizes “chiding” each other, with chives, for their lack of gratitude over their redemption. Physical distancing, implemented due to coronavirus disease 2019, encouraged many to look towards technology as a way to share in traditional communal rituals.

Rabbi Joe Charnes lights a candle as the Passover Seder begins at his home in Kaiserslautern, April 8. Lighting candles is a ritual performed for Jewish holidays to represent the energy of the season. Passover represents the season of redemption and renewal: the candles represent the light and energy behind that redemption.

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Rabbi Joe Charnes prepares the Seder plate for his family in Kaiserslautern, April 8. The Seder plate is a traditional observance in the Jewish religion. Each food item on the plate is symbolic of an aspect of the Passover story.


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Kaiserslautern American

April 24, 2020

Host nation distinguished visitors watch a simulated ambulance loading and unloading during the 86th Medical Group's exercise Maroon Surge Community Outreach Day on Ramstein Air Base, June 7, 2018. The visitors also received a tour of an Expeditionary Medical System, from the diagnosis room to the surgery room. The 86th MDG designed Community Outreach Day to educate the public on their life-saving capabilities and also invite them to participate in saving lifes by donating blood and bone marrow.  Photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker

EMEDS maintains readiness posture by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS), an 86th Medical Group asset, remains postured and ready at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, should the capability be needed to help save lives during the current pandemic. Since COVID-19 developed into a global issue, the 86th MDG has balanced readiness to support contingency operations with providing rapid humanitarian assistance using EMEDS. “The 86th Medical Group stands ready to support our allies and joint partners across the European and African theater in the fight to stop further spread of COVID-19,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cody J. Hess, 86th Medical Support Squadron commander. EMEDS is a combatant commander capability, supported by personnel from five medical squadrons that fall under the 86th MDG: 86th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, 86th Dental Squadron, 86th Medical Squadron, 86th Medical Operation Squadron and 86th Medical Support Squadron. The modular and scalable capability is tent-based, providing versatility and agile combat support that can also be used for humanitarian assistance. “The advantage of EMEDS is the ability to deploy medical capabilities ranging from small teams that provide highly skilled medical care for a limited number of casualties, to a large medical system that can provide more specialized care to a population at risk of up to 6,500 with resupply,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Amy Riley, 86th MDG superintendent. The 86th MDG medical readiness flight ensures that all active-duty Air Force medics across the 86th MDG and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center are trained and ready, including those assigned to EMEDS. “To ensure our teams are ready now, a collaborative effort is required between the individual member and our office to ensure all requirements are met before we send our medics out the door to support any contingency operation,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Andres Martinez Morillo, 86th MDG medical readiness flight chief.

Additionally, the 86th MDSS medical logistics team is well versed in mobilizing the EMEDS capability as seen in exercises Immediate Response (Slovenia) 2016, Maroon Surge (Ramstein) 2018, and Vigorous Warrior (Romania) 2019. These training operations allowed the EMEDS team to exercise the capability and strengthen their interoperability with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and joint partners across various training scenarios, Hess said. Recently, 86th MDSS medical logistics rapidly assembled and shipped three aircraft pallets of medical supplies as part of a COVID-19 humanitarian relief package to Italy. “This package provided the Italian Ministry of Defense the ability to temporarily stage patients as they flow through the health system via aeromedical evacuation,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Drew Robinson, 86th MDSS medical logistics superintendent. “This allows us to provide short-term, complex medicalsurgical nursing care and limited, emergent interventions.” The 86th MDG remains ready to provide EMEDS when called on and continues to ensure the safety of both patients and their own personnel. In order to protect others during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 86th MDG has implemented several layers of safety by following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, Hess said. The implemented guidance ensures that proper screening and use of personal protective equipment is in place to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure to healthcare teams and patients. Furthermore, staff schedules were implemented to preserve both medical services here at Ramstein and medical combat support capability across three combatant commands, Hess said. “The fight against COVID-19 is a team effort, and it takes all of us to prevent the spread of this aggressive virus,” Hess said. “Physical distancing, practicing good hand washing and teaming up with your medics will help us achieve the goal of protecting the force and preserving combat power.”

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ricardo Aldahondo, middle, 86th Medical Support Squadron Resource Management Flight commander, gives a tour of an Air Force Expeditionary Medical System (EMEDS) to host nation distinguished visitors during the 86th Medical Group’s exercise Maroon Surge Community Outreach Day on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 7, 2018. An EMEDS is a deployable medical unit, like a tent-hospital, that is fully equipped and has rooms that can be added and removed. Ramstein welcomed visitors to tour the facilities to educate the public about Air Force capabilities, promote openness and strengthen relations.  Photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, prepare Role 2 (field hospital) expeditionary medical support facilities at Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 4, 2019, during exercise Vigorous Warrior 19. Vigorous Warrior 19 was NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment.  Photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Sarchioto, 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base Germany, prepares an expeditionary medical support system (EMEDS) at Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 4, 2019, during exercise Vigorous Warrior 19. EMEDS are modular field hospitals designed to be deployed and fully operational within six hours of arrival in an area of responsibility.  U.S. Air Force photo


April 24, 2020

Kaiserslautern American

Page 11


Kaiserslautern American

Page 12

April 24, 2020

86 AW adapts, continues honoring Airmen by 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Leadership and units worked together to continue to honor these outstanding Airmen while maintaining necessary precautions to protect Team Ramstein’s health and safety at Ramstein Air Base, April 9.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Williams, left, 86th Munitions Squadron precision guided munitions crew chief, is recognized by wing and squadron leadership via teleconferencing at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. Leadership honored Williams with Airlifter of the Week while maintaining coronavirus disease 2019 physical distancing. The award was an example of how Team Ramstein innovates to continue the mission.  Photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker

For his dedication and skills, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Williams, 86th Munitions Squadron precision guided munitions crew chief, was named Airlifter of the Week at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. In light of coronavirus disease 2019, the 86th Airlift Wing leadership used online communications instead of physical visits to continue honoring outstanding Airmen.  Photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August (upper left), 86th Airlift Wing commander, Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon (bottom left), 86th AW command chief, and Maj. Tyler Duncan (bottom right), 86th Munitions Squadron commander, teleconference with Airlifter of the Week, Senior Airman Christopher Williams (upper right), 86th MUNS precision guided munitions crew chief, at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. Airlifter of the Week is a program that recognizes Airmen who go above and beyond in making the 86th AW the World’s Best Wing.  Photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak


April 24, 2020

Kaiserslautern American

Page 13

Left to right: U.S. Air Force Capt. Chris Robosky, 86th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics flight commander, Senior Master Sgt. Drew Robinson, 86th MDSS medical logistics superintendent, Capt. Jordan Pickell, 86th MDSS medical logistics flight contingency operations officer in charge, and Master Sgt. Matt McDonald, 86th MDSS medical logistics flight clinical engineering superintendent, pose for a photo after Robinson was awarded Airlifter of the Week at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. One of Robinson’s recognized accomplishments was the identification and resolution of an Air Force-wide Food and Drug Administration/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issue with expiration dates on N95 masks. The resolution is estimated to ensure $2.4 million worth of masks are in service for rapid coronavirus disease 2019 response instead of being erroneously destroyed.  Photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Drew Robinson, 86th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics superintendent, left, poses for a photo with Capt. Chris Robosky, 86th MDSS medical logistics flight commander, after being coined as Airlifter of the Week at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, 86th AW command chief, recognized Robinson via teleconference call, as everyone involved in the ceremony practiced appropriate Health Protection Condition Charlie measures. Robinson was recognized for organizing and equipping 49 medical logistics flight Airmen to palletize and deploy three unit type codes of medical supplies to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in response to coronavirus disease 2019.  Photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Drew Robinson, 86th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics superintendent, speaks to Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, 86th AW command chief, on a teleconference call recognizing him as Airlifter of the Week at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. The call was held to congratulate Robinson on his medical logistics accomplishments while still practicing safe physical distancing measures during coronavirus disease 2019.  Photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Williams, second from left, 86th Munitions Squadron precision guided munitions crew chief, is named Airlifter of the Week via online communications with wing and squadron leadership at Ramstein Air Base, April 9. By utilizing online video communications, leadership honored an outstanding Airman while complying with coronavirus disease 2019 physical distancing measures. Units and leadership worked together to continue to honor Airmen while maintaining necessary precautions to protect Team Ramstein’s health and safety.  Photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker


Kaiserslautern American

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April 24, 2020

Ramstein fire chief inducted into Military Firefighter Hall of Fame

John Thompson, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief, has his photo taken at his desk, Ramstein Air Base, April 13. This year, Thompson will be inducted into the Military Firefighter Hall of Fame located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.  Photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak

Then U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Thompson has his photo taken with Maj. Brian Pollock at Kadena Air Base, Japan. After retiring in 2003, Thompson continued working as a civilian firefighter for the Air Force.  Courtesy photo

w i t e h t a u r b s e l ! e c e m o by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

For many, their jobs don’t involve battling scorching flames, towering extreme heights or crawling through claustrophobic spaces, all while wearing 75 pounds of gear.

For John Thompson, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief, this description depicts his life for more than 36 years. “Growing up, I had a newspaper route and I delivered to our local fire station. Every morning, I would go into the fire station to drop off

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the paper and I got to meet the firefighters,” Thompson said. Those early years interacting with firefighters was the spark that lit the flame within him. In high school, Thompson was given an opportunity to try his hand fighting fires. “That led me to take firefighting in high school,” he said. “My senior year they had an alumni from our vocational school come to brief us on the Air Force and how great an opportunity it was. So in February of 1983 I signed up.” At 19 years old, Thompson graduated Air Force basic training and proceeded to Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, for technical training as a fire protection specialist. From there Thompson would spend the next 20 years of his enlistment working at Air Force bases around the world including Zweibrucken Air Base, Germany; Chanute AFB; Iraklion Air Station, Greece; Andersen AFB, Guam; Kadena AB, Japan; Clear AF Station, Alaska; Al Udeid AB, Qatar; and then retiring at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Thompson didn’t end his firefighting career there. He continued through the civilian sector as an assistant fire chief at Nellis AFB before becoming a civilian fire chief at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan. His desire to move saw him taking positions at Anderson AFB, Nellis AFB and then in Jan. 2019 he became the fire chief at Ramstein AB, Germany. For Thompson, he loves the job because it’s an experience few others have. “It's just one of those jobs where you're different. And it's kind of cool being different,” he added. “It's one of those jobs

Then U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Thompson has his official photo taken at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, 1994. Now, Fire Chief Thompson has more than 36 years of firefighting experience. Courtesy photo

where you run into people, whether they're a communication troop, a services troop or civil engineer troop, you hear ‘I always wanted to be a firefighter.’” The firefighter schedule and camaraderie often afford those in the unit the same experiences people enjoy while deployed. By working long hours with the same people, the team is closer and can quickly a work out problems, Thompson said. No job comes without its challenges though. For Thompson, his hurdle has been the every-changing career field. “The changes we've gone through throughout time from different types of fire trucks and manning has been a challenge,” Thompson said. “I think that we're a very traditional profession, Fire Department as a whole, whether it's Air Force or civilian. If you can adapt to change, then I think you're going to go far in this profession.” As a firefighter, Thompson has continued to adapt which has allowed him to advance professionally. “Less than a month ago, I was looking through emails and there was an email from a (technical sergeant) at Goodfellow. It said, ‘Congratulations, you've been selected by a board of your peers to the Military Firefighter Heritage Hall of Fame.’” Thompson said. “I called my wife and read her the email. Everybody thinks firefighters are big tough guys and all that stuff, but my voice starts to crack and I started to cry.” Thompson had been one of two Air Force members selected this year to be inducted into the Military Firefighter Heritage Hall of Fame,

which is located at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, home of the Department of Defense fire academy. The Hall of Fame was created in 2013 by the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation - an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of military firefighters. “I've known a few people that have been inducted, great people – those guys had great careers and did wonderful things for 30, 40, 50 years. Only a handful of people have been inducted,” Thompson said. “Even after having a month to think about it, to put it into words what it means or how it feels, I couldn't tell you.” While Thompson’s official induction ceremony is currently being delayed until April 2021 due to the coronavirus disease 2019, he plans on celebrating by video messaging with his good friend and fellow inductee Fire Chief David Donan, 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief. For helping him get to where he is today, Thompson acknowledges the following: Fire Chief James Rackl, Senior Master Sgt. Keith Hale, Fire Chief Bob Borges, Chief Master Sgt. Bill Lonsford, Chief Master Sgt. Tony Rabonza, Fire Chief Mike Boley, Col. Mac Crawford, Fire Chief Dave Donan, Fire Chief Kimo Kuheana and Fire Chief Kevin Smith for their immeasurable advice to him over the years. Through all the professional mentors and teammates who helped him along the way, his wife Amy was his constant support, weathering nine different bases and 13 household moves. “She is my biggest cheerleader and the biggest reason for my success,” Thompson said.


Kaiserslautern American

April 24, 2020

AAFES, DeCA serving service members safely

Page 15 Photos by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An Army and Air Force Exchange Service sign provides customers with information about alternative pick up service options at Ramstein Air Base, April 15. AAFES implemented several preventative measures including the parking lot pickup services to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019.

Nicole Mason, Defense Commissary Agency teller, scans Shondra Seebeck’s groceries at Ramstein Air Base, April 14. Sneeze and cough guards are used as physical barriers between the tellers and customers in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. Patrons are also asked to adhere to physical distancing and wear cloth face coverings.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Israel Garza, 721st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman, washes his hands before entering the commissary at Ramstein Air Base, April 14. Customers must practice physical distancing and wear cloth face coverings when at the commissary or other public places on base.

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Customers adhere to physical distancing while standing in line in the Exchange at Ramstein Air Base, April 14. To help customers maintain the recommended physical distance, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service staff placed “mind the meter” decals on the floors throughout the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center.

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Kaiserslautern American

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April 24, 2020

Chaplains virtually bolster resiliency in the midst of

COVID-19

The graphic depicts a virtual service conducted by Chapel Next at Daenner Kaserne, Kaiserslautern. With places of worship closed as part of the rules requiring physical distancing, reinvigorating resiliency through social media outlets during unprecedented times has become a focus for the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Religious Support Office.  Graphic by Erinn Burgess, photo courtesy of Unsplash

Entering a chapel may remind people of solemn singing, an ambiance of hope, and the desire to unite their spiritual yearnings. For many, the pulse of the ecclesiastical structure in military communities resonates in the worship services provided by chaplains. With parishioners staying at home to stave off COVID-19, the pews and high ceilings of Army chapels have only heard silence. With places of worship closed as part of the rules requiring physical distancing, reinvigorating resiliency through social media

outlets during unprecedented times has become a focus for the garrison's Religious Support Office. The commitment of the five chaplains who make up the U.S. Army Garrison RheinlandPfalz spiritual team in helping parishioners keep their spiritual well-being intact extends to the people at Kaiserslautern, Baumholder and Landstuhl. The pandemic has charged the team to strengthen the bonds of interaction between itself and the community. Maintaining a degree of faith during this time is “an introvert’s daydream and an extrovert’s nightmare, where the extrovert may struggle more to sustain a spiritual impulse,” said

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dren in regards to corresponding motivating scripture, to help them navigate the challenges of isolation by building open lines of communication,” Dawson said, “The online venues appear to be working, having generated more engagement and bolstering the resiliency of the community." “We’ve had 1,000 people tune into our Sunday worship service and at least 350 people stay tuned in for the entire worship service,” according to Lt. Col. Craig Johnson, director of garrison religious services. “Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, an average worship service consisted of approximately 40 parishioners. I think that is very telling.” The religious specialists say the numbers show the receptiveness to the virtual venues.

However, they said it has not been easy. “It is our duty as religious affairs specialists and chaplains to give a message of hope to the community during this time. Together we will continue to overcome these challenges,” Bishop said. “The changes made by the COVID-19 restrictions have coalesced the resiliency of the community,” Dawson said. “My clients have expressed to me that they have more time to build their family bonds and have had more time to focus on the simple stuff, like preparing a wholesome meal together as a family.” The religious services team agrees that answering the call to revamp how services are offered has also strengthened the spiritual core of parishioners within the garrison.

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Maj. Michael Dawson, the garrison family life chaplain, describing the COVID-19 challenge. From idea to implementation, religious affairs specialists have strived to inform the community of the religious services available. “We wanted to reach everyone in the community, so we put signs throughout the garrison as well as on the chapel doors of our featured virtual religious, communion, and counseling services,” said Sgt. 1st Class Latoral Bishop, garrison religious affairs specialist. To try and fulfill the spiritual needs of the KMC, the team turned to social media in hopes of reaching as many parishioners as possible. “The use of technology has allowed us to create activities for parishioners and their chil-

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Kaiserslautern American

April 24, 2020

Page 17

Five simple words for our Coronavirus heroes

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Maxime Copley, 86th Medical Group independent duty medical technician, writes down patient information in the Ramstein Medical Clinic’s coronavirus disease 2019 screening drive-thru at Ramstein Air Base, March 31. The 86th MDG transformed their main parking lot into a drive-thru to expedite testing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater

by Capt. Korey Fratini U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa Public Affairs As service members, we are often approached by strangers who want to reach out and say, “thank you for your service.” This kind gesture is something I’ve always appreciated. Serving my nation is a source of pride and a way to be a part of something that is bigger than myself. But we are truly living in unprecedented times. From social media to the non-stop news coverage, coronavirus has consumed every aspect of our daily lives. I can no longer go a day without seeing and feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Living in Europe and seeing how this virus has spread here has given me an entirely new perspective. Daily images of medical professionals and first responders dominate the news cycle. Dedicated, determined,

yet overworked, they are risking everything to care for those most in need. In the military, we defend our nation, its values and the American way of life. Sometimes that fight takes us to a combat zone in a foreign place. This pandemic is different than deploying to a combat zone; our daily way of life at home is no longer the same. We are all in a fight for our lives across the globe, and this time those on the front lines are our first responders and medical professionals. Communities across the globe are grappling with fighting this pandemic, and those needed most are putting their lives at risk to serve others. Every day they go to war with an invisible enemy that shows no remorse or prejudice to its victims. The men and women on the front lines of this fight are selfless professionals risking their lives to care for others, not knowing what could

happen to them. They wake up, go to work, and know they are putting their lives at risk to battle an enemy we are still trying to understand. They learn, adapt, and stand ready, leading the charge against the newest threat to our way of life. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for these professionals. I have family, friends and loved ones who wake up every day, ready to tackle this challenge. To me, this is personal. I see the grueling hours, exhaustion and mental toll of their new daily reality. Our first responders and medical professionals deserve our unwavering gratitude and appreciation during these extremely difficult times. It is during challenges like this that we must unite and stand together. Those serving in the military are often regarded as heroes by many, but in the fight against coronavirus, the real heroes are

those standing on these new front lines. The medics, nurses, doctors, first responders and other medical professionals – they are the true patriots. Their selflessness and dedication to serve others during one of the most trying times our world and generation has ever known is inspiring. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to explain how much we appreciate the people in our lives for what they do. At this particular moment, I am reminded of five simple words that I often hear. So to all of those on the front lines of this fight, I want to offer these five simple words: Thank you for your service. U.S. & GERMAN ATTORNEYS U.S. & GERMAN DIVORCES • SUPPORT ISSUES • EEO WILLS & PROBATE • EMPLOYMENT • PERSONAL INJURY MSPB • CONTRACTOR ISSUES • TAX ADVISORS

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Eco biking adventure

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Eco-adventures are the combination of adventurous activities while acting in an environmentally responsible manner. Destinations and activities vary widely and can be anything from floating on a raging river in South Africa to soaring through the tree canopy in the Ozarks! One thing all eco-adventures have in common is the goal of appreciating and enjoying natural beauty with minimal physical impact to the area. There are hundreds of packages offered for destinations all over the world that involve a lot of traveling and very steep price tags. However, being an ecoadventurer is very easy to do on your own without wasting the green things in our wallet.

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Spending years as a backpacker taught me a lot about saving money on gas, wear and tear on my car, decreasing pollution and avoiding the stress of chaos on the roads during peak seasons. German public transportation is an amazing way to go hiking, biking, climbing and more. The German rail system Deutsche Bahn has cars that allow bikes, enough room for your equipment, and provides a variety of options for one-day or weekend adventures. There are countless adventures that begin at or near train stops, and also include connecting transportation such as shuttle buses, trollies, etc. to get you back and forth. One of my favorite ecoadventures is taking the train to the Mosel River with my bike

and spending three days riding from Trier to Koblenz. This 126km ride is amazing and can be a bit rough to do in one day if you have spent the winter indoors and are not prepared. The most prominent villages along the route are Bernkastel-Kues, Traben-Trarbach, and Cochem. However, most of my best rest stops were in tiny villages that you can ride through in only a couple of minutes. This ride is full of adventure opportunities. Pitch a small tent at one of the many campgrounds, or opt for a bike-andbed so you can spend a day exploring the villages, the biking and hiking trails through the vineyards overlooking the Mosel River valley. If you fancy water sports many of the villages offer canoe and kayak rental with endpoints


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April 24, 2020

that have return public transportation back to your starting point. There is no need to weigh yourself down with too many supplies as there are ample stores, markets, wineries, restaurants and bistros along the route to get what you need for every stop. Do keep in mind that plastic is not accepted everywhere and you should carry Euro cash, an EC card, or an ATM card which you can use at local banks. From spring to late fall you will come upon banners along the ride promoting village festivals. I highly recommend stopping to check one out. Over the years I’ve ended up staying in a small village way too long because of a local fest that lasted until every beer keg and wine bottle was empty, every wurst

and steak was eaten, and fun was had until the rise of the sun. If you become too tired along the route, you can cheat a bit and give yourself a break by boarding one of the inexpensive cruise ships with your bike and gear. They offer outstanding Riesling wines and local food specialties so you can sit back and enjoy the views of the steep vineyards, half-timbered houses, and castles along the route. Reaching Koblenz at the Deutsches Eck, where the Mosel

Do

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continue the journey via train back to Kaiserslautern which takes approximately 1.2 hours. Connections to local towns like Ramstein, Landstuhl, and Kusel run frequently and can be found on the DB site at https://www. bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml For more information, please visit https://www.mosel.de/

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»» expect that everyone speaks English »» expect that plastic for payment will be accepted everywhere »» disrespect your surroundings by leaving your trash »» disregard quiet hours. The only exception is during festivals that go way beyond the 10 p.m. hour rule Now available:

»» research your route and public transportation options »» plan ahead and make reservations »» pack lightly, only what you need for 1 day at a time »» have a first aid kit, phone and ability to contact EMS »» have all-weather clothing, and euro cash for expenses

joins the Rhein, was an incredible end to this eco-adventure. The water where the rivers intersect changes from green to blue and the city of Koblenz is a must-visit while in Germany. Be sure to cross the river to visit Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. After an overnight stay in Koblenz with an amazing breakfast or a traditional afternoon cake and coffee,

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April 24, 2020

Home alone — rules for dogs by FindItGuide.com We all love our four-legged friends. They show us unconditional love when we get home and they are more than happy to give us a lick on the cheek when we are down. We go through great lengths to take them with us, even when we move halfway around the world. When you land in Germany, there are many privileges that accompany dog ownership. Bringing your dog to a beer garden on a nice sunny day is one of those great privileges (it really helps if “Fido” is trained). With great privilege comes great responsibility. Germany has clear rules within the German Animal Welfare Act regarding your dog with regard to quality of life, leaving them at home alone and many other topics. Here is a quick reference list of some hot topics to refer to: • A dog should not stay alone without being walked for more than five hours (recom-

• • • •

mended dog walking time is at least one hour per day). You are not allowed to chain up the dog within the apartment or keep it locked in a separate room. Owners should not keep their dogs on balconies, in basement rooms and bathrooms when the owner leaves the house. Dog owners must pick up excrement left from their dog during walks. Dog owners must keep their dogs on a leash while walking them on public streets in housing areas. Violators may be punished with fines up to 5,000 euro. Dog owners need to make sure that their pets don’t bark and whine during quiet hours: 1 to 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Outside these hours, dog owners must ensure that dog noises do not last longer than 10 consecutive minutes (or more than 30 minutes cumulatively per day).

There is an easy to understand English version of the German Animal Welfare Act put out by Michigan State University at https://www.animallaw. info/statute/germanycruelty-german-animalwelfare-act

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April 24, 2020

Page 21

Air out your house by FindItGuide.com How many times has someone suggested that you “go out and get some fresh air” when you weren’t feeling great? Well, there definitely is some good health advice behind that suggestion. But did you know it can also keep your house healthy...and it is required by German law? Germany’s geolocation on the European continent provides the country with an ample amount of moist humid air all year round. The climate here is even affected by the Gulf Stream as it separates with one part going to the northeast U.S. and the other half going to Europe. All that extra humidity through the year means it is tougher to get things to dry out. It also means certain types of mold, specifically black mold, tend to grow very easily. It is this type of mold that can be very dangerous to your house and your health. Black mold can cause, chronic coughing and sneezing, headaches, eye irritation, nose and throat rashes and damage your metabolism. If you rent in Germany, you are obligated to air out your house or apartment every day. In some cases, your landlord can take legal action against you if there is permanent

damage to your rental. Regularly opening your windows and airing out your apartment will regulate the humidity inside and should be done two to four times daily, plus after showering, cooking, or mopping the floors. Unfortunately this rule is not just for the summer time. In fact, it is extremely important to air out your abode in the winter even if it is cold outside. You may have noticed households with blankets and pillows hanging out the window as well. That is someone practicing “good house hygiene.” Your sheets can also be a source of mold and mildew if not aired out on a regular basis. Practicing this type of daily routine can save you money on expensive clean-up services later on when your mold concern becomes a mold problem. Another reason mold can build up is forced air systems are not used in Germany like they are in the U.S. Keep an eye out for the beginnings of mold problems in your dwelling. You may spot small occurrences of mold called “schimmel” behind couches resting against the wall. These areas should be dealt with immediately with a store-bought cleaner (easily found in your local grocery or hardware store) made specifically for this issue.

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Because air is such a vital part of keeping your house mold-free, furniture is required to be placed away from the walls to avoid mold from forming. During winter months, rooms that are north facing are usually colder and should be heated. Bathroom doors should be kept closed to the rest of the house while a window is open to allow all the

moisture to escape from the house. It is important to clarify that when you are airing out your house or apartment, you don’t just crack the windows open with the wonderful German window feature that is built in. You need to embrace the outdoors! Open those babies fully and get fresh! You will be doing yourself a favor.

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April 24, 2020

Unplug in Mehlinger Heide

Who isn’t familiar with being exhausted, running on low energy and getting caught up in the rat race? You probably feel like you just need room to exhale and breathe freely again. Could there be a better place to do so than an oasis of pure nature? Nope! And we’ve got the perfect insider tip for you. Head outdoors to Mehlingen Heath (known in German as Mehlinger Heide) to take a break from the daily grind and reconnect by unplugging.

by MilitaryInGermany.com Mehlinger Heide (Mehlingen Heath) is one of the biggest heath areas in the South of Germany and a natural reserve of pure beauty. I often take my dogs here for a long walk. You can easily spend a whole day there alone or with the family or friends. There’s a lot to see and one of the best things about this peaceful and quiet place is that it is not overrun by tourists.

The History

In the past, the heath was used as a training ground for French army tanks with no trespassing allowed. It was not until 2001 that it was turned into a natural reserve. The most attractive time to go there is in late summer when the heath is in full bloom. You will be reminded of how miraculous nature can be. Ironically enough, the heath as it exists today is not a work of nature itself but instead a result of human action. If it weren’t for men clearing the woods, the area would not be distinguishable from the woodlands around it. Another ironic fact is that, against all expectations, it is not humans who take care of the heath, but dutiful animals that have taken over their job. Goats and sheep make sure that the natural area remains the way it is.

What’s there?

Countless animals and plants find their natural habitat in the “Heide”. The natural conditions give way to unique biodiversity as the landscape bears various facets of vegetation including bushes, grass, sands, shrubbery and heather as well as trees and woods. All these different features are spacially united at Mehlingen heath. Endangered plants and animals, such as wild bees or endangered birds, have settled here. Even a plant that had been declared extinct in Palatinate, the so-called WiesenLeinblatt, has been rediscovered at Mehlinger Heide. A special bird that can be found here is called Ziegenmelker, which means ‘goat milker’. If you listen carefully, you can hear his special purring song.

Family area

Mehlinger Heide is situated in the areas of Baalborn, Neunkirchen and Mehlingen. The communities involved have done a lot to turn the heath into a holiday area for the whole family. Information panels have been placed at the side of the paths, in which you can learn interesting things about plants and animals as well as the history of the heath itself. Children can also let off steam in the heart of nature at the heath’s adventure playground.

You can take in breathtaking views of the heath at a location point called Feldherrenhügel.

Hike, relax and learn

Do you want to hike or just go for a long, relaxing walk? Try the 3.5 kilometer circular track; just watch for the owl symbol at the side of the way. It helps you find your way and not miss anything interesting! Along the path, there’s much to discover and learn. One highlight for me is the ‘Green Classroom’, an open-air classroom with benches of trunks and tables of stone. Wouldn’t this just be a wonderful way of learning, surrounded by nature and with the sound of birds all around you? See you there!

How to get there

By car, Mehlinger Heide is approximately 20 minutes northeast of Kaiserslautern, 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Wiesbaden and 2 hours northwest of Stuttgart. Author’s Profile: Theresa used to be an intern at AdvantiPro. She lives in Höringen, near Kaiserslautern, and studies German and English at the University of Mainz. In her leisure time, she enjoys writing, playing music and singing in a choir.


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April 24, 2020

Page 23

HOME CINEMA HIGHLIGHTS

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classics! These are just a few — Now’s the time to stream or rent some of the all-timfore availabil ity.

Part 5

Check your streaming service

ANIMATION, ADVENTURE, COMEDY

Poster by Buena Vista Pictures

ANIMATION, ADVENTURE, DRAMA

ADVENTURE, COMEDY, FAMILY

Poster by TWC-Dimension

Poster by Universal Pictures

ADVENTURE, DRAMA

Poster by Columbia Pictures

COMEDY

Poster by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

Toy Story (1995)

Song of the Sea (2014)

Paddington (2014)

Stand by Me (1986)

Death at a Funeral (2007)

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy’s room. Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles Director: John Lasseter

Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world. Stars: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan Director: Tomm Moore

A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters Director: Paul King

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a boyhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy. Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman Director: Rob Reiner

Chaos ensues when a man tries to expose a dark secret regarding a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family. Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Dinklage, Ewen Bremner Director: Frank Oz

BIOGRAPHY, CRIME, DRAMA

BIOGRAPHY, DRAMA, SPORT

MYSTERY, ROMANCE, THRILLER

COMEDY, DRAMA, ROMANCE

COMEDY, MYSTERY, ROMANCE

Poster by Paramount Pictures

To Catch a Thief (1955) A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation. Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Poster by Sony Pictures

Poster by Paramount Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way. Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal Director: Blake Edwards

Poster by Universal Pictures

Charade (1963) Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust? Stars: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau Director: Stanley Donen

Poster by Columbia Pictures

Donnie Brasco (1997)

Ali (2001)

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one. Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen Director: Mike Newell

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974. Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight Director: Michael Mann

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