A time to reflect, Page 2
Airlifter of the Week, Page 5
May 22, 2020 | Volume 44, Number 20 Story and photos by Senior Airman Kristof Rixmann 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs In response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules out of Ramstein Air Base, assisted the Italian government in transporting medical and other relief supplies between supply hubs in Milan and Rome, Italy, May 13. The mission is the first in a planned series of U.S. Air Forces in Europe mobility support operations to Italy and helped redistribute more than 15,000 pounds of coronavirus disease 2019 relief supplies, including KN-95 masks, surgical gowns and COVID-19 test kits between Italian distribution hubs. “One of the things this coronavirus pandemic has revealed is the importance of our European partnerships as we fight this invisible enemy together with our NATO allies and partners,” See C-130J SUPPORT, Page 6
Mobility Airmen continue mission, Page 8
Forging future, virtual Air Force Women’s Fly-In, Page 14
Beautiful treetop walks, Page 20
Read the KA online at KaiserslauternAmerican.com
USAFE’s C-130J support to Italy
An Italian air force member stands by as a pallet of medical supplies from Milan, Italy is offloaded in Rome, May 13. In response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules assisted the Italian government in transporting medical supplies between hubs in Milan and Rome, Italy.
Coronavirus response: NATO continues close consultation with Allies, EU Story and photo by NATO As part of the coordinated Allied response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana has participated in weekly coordination calls since mid-March.
NATO has been consulting closely with Allies and partners from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of these efforts, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana has participated in weekly coordination calls since mid-March, led by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. The calls include participation at the level of deputy minister by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The Deputy Secretary General
said: “I welcome the leadership of the United States in convening these coordination meetings. NATO Allies stand in solidarity in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our nations are cooperating to airlift critical supplies across the globe, share medical expertise, and develop innovative responses.” He added: “Regular consultations allow us to exchange information and best practice, identify needs and make offers of assistance. They also provide a forum for coordinating responses to state and See COVID RESPONSE, Page 3
May 22, 2020
A time to reflect: EOD technicians speak after memorial weekend
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Long, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of explosive ordnance disposal operations, wears a Med-Eng EOD 9 Bomb Suit while holding a simulated unexploded ordnance at Ramstein Air Base, May 6. EOD service members operate in austere and hazardous environments to neutralize explosive threats and protect others.
Story and photos by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Every year, on the first Saturday in May, U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal service members around the world honor the fallen. A memorial ceremony is held to commemorate EOD technicians lost in the line of duty. Participants recognize and preserve the legacy, service and sacrifices of warriors and their families. At the 51st annual EOD Memorial Ceremony, distinguished speakers and honor guard members gathered at the EOD Memorial Wall at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and solemnly honored the fallen before an online audience. This year’s ceremony was held virtually due to coronavirus disease 2019 precautions. Ramstein’s 786th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD members took part in remembering and toasting the fallen on the memorial weekend.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Justin P. Beasley, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader, stands for a photo at Ramstein Air Base, May 6. EOD service members rely on each other for survival and teamwork as they neutralize explosive threats.
“It is important to remember the men and women who served before me,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Emilio Solis, 786th CES Explosive Ordnance Disposal Craftsman. “That’s why I watch or attend the memorial each year.” Solis joined EOD to help save lives, he said. Being able to respond to and neutralize dangerous items that may harm service members or the public keeps him motivated. Working in a high-stakes career field tends to encourage fraternity between service members. When one member is lost, others around the world feel it. “We make it a huge event each year where EOD techs from each service come together to toast our fallen and see old friends,” Solis said. “It strengthens our bond as a community.” Staff Sgt. Michael Long, 786th CES EOD team leader and noncommissioned officer in charge of EOD operations, agrees. “This (memorial) weekend
is about the collective sacrifice made by every tech from every branch of service,” Long said. “This weekend allows the entire EOD community to come together and reflect on the courage and dedication to each other and to honor the techs who didn’t make it home.” The joint EOD motto is “We Remember,” drawing on the dedication of service members across every branch. Personnel remember more than those lost in the line of duty, though, as suicide also affects the community. “This year I specifically celebrated the life of Cadet Joseph Thornton, along with the EOD warriors from all branches that made the ultimate sacrifice,” Long said. “Joe and I went through basic training and EOD school together. He tragically took his own life just a month before graduating from the Air Force Academy as an Officer.” When Long joined EOD he didn’t realize how difficult train-
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Emilio Solis, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal craftsman, holds a simulated unexploded ordinance at Ramstein Air Base, May 6. Every year, on the first Saturday in May, Solis and EOD technicians from every branch of service come together to toast the fallen and strengthen their bond as a community.
ing would be or that operational requirements were even more demanding. Yet, from the moment he graduated, he knew he’d joined the right family — one dedicated to excellence and protecting others. “That’s what keeps me motivated,” Long said, “always knowing that I have someone to depend on when someone else is depending on me.” Long encourages service members to reach out to anyone who needs help. “If you’re feeling alone there is always someone to talk to and someone who cares about you. I think the EOD memorial weekend is a shining example of how people can always come together and rely on each other to overcome even the toughest times,” Long said. According to Tech. Sgt. Justin P. Beasley, 786th CES EOD team leader, commemoration is critical. “It’s important to observe the weekend every year so that we
don’t forget what has happened to those before us,” Beasley said. “It is also a time for our community to get together and bond over past experiences.” Like Long, Beasley joined EOD without fully understanding what it would mean and found a second family through it. “The bonds we have with each other are extremely important,” Beasley said. “You look at that person beside you and rely on them to protect your life. This job allows me to provide a certain peace of mind for everyone in the world. As EOD, we risk our lives to protect others from the destructive power of explosives.” Beasley stays motivated knowing that he is training and preparing the best EOD technicians in the Department of Defense. As they remember the past, EOD service members rely on the trust and bond they have with each other while they risk their lives to protect each other and those in the present.
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May 22, 2020
Housing resident’s garden vision blossoms into reality
Baumholder Military Community housing residents Harold Schlund and Army Capt. Estela Schlund, 254th Medical Detachment, smile for a picture with the garden they started in the family housing area on Smith Barracks. The community garden is the first of its kind in Baumholder. Photos by Bernd Mai
by Erinn Burgess U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? In this case, it’s a quality of life improvement to an area of Army Family Housing here. Upon arriving at the Baumholder Military Community in September 2019, Harold Schlund and his wife, Army Capt. Estela Schlund of the 254th Medical Detachment at Baumholder Army Health Clinic, moved into a stairwell apartment on Smith Barracks. “Can you imagine a gardener living in a fourth floor apartment with no balcony?” lifelong gardener Harold Schlund joked. He began searching for an area to garden and came up with the idea of creating one for the community. Schlund’s request for a community garden reached Baumholder Deputy Garrison Manager Jim Bradford, who enlisted the Housing Team to explore the possibility. Housing Deputy Chief Jim Gillis quickly responded to the call. COVID RESPONSE from Page 1 non-state actors attempting to exploit the crisis, including with disinformation and propaganda. As Allies respond, we are stronger together. NATO will continue supporting the joint response to this crisis for as long as required.”
“We had a meeting with Harold, and in that meeting we could see that his vision was definitely doable,” Gillis said. “I had a good feeling when we got done with the meeting.” Gillis said standing up the garden was a team effort. He surveyed possible sites and worked with the Environmental, Real Property and Master Planning divisions of the garrison’s Directorate of Public Works to get the garden site approved and ready for use. “Harold’s vision really opened up a lot of possibilities,” Gillis said. “I think with what’s going on right now, people are looking forward to just getting out into nature and this garden could be a big part of that.”
Due to COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions that prohibit the gathering of people, the garden can’t be open to multiple gardeners from different households at the same time yet. However,
“My idea is to organize community gardening – every time you PCS, you just take over [in the garden] from somebody who moved.” Now that the garden has been established, this will be a possibility for future Baumholder housing residents. “I’m so in love with this project,” added Estela Schlund. “This garden is an initiative that came from the heart of people who live on post – family members who, like us, live in apartments and don’t have a piece of green of their own.” “[The garden] engages the family members, the spouses and the kids; it creates a sense of community,” she continued. “I think a lot of people will love to garden and have this opportunity in the Baumholder community.”
Schlund and Gillis plan to make it a community garden once restrictions are loosened. In the meantime, Schlund and his family, along with one other family housing resident, are getting
the garden started with flowers, herbs and vegetables. “We garden as a family — it’s a family project. With the current restrictions on traveling and everything else, it’s a great way to use our time,” he said. “We get physical activity, fresh air — I think it’s a really positive activity.” S c h l u n d ’s 16 years as a military spouse have allowed him to live in several locations around the world — and tend to several gardens while doing it. He said one day he would love to see the military organize spaces for gardening at every installation. “As a military spouse, every time you PCS you have to start over with your garden,” he explained.
The coordination calls have also addressed issues including repatriation of citizens abroad, mitigating the effects of border closures on global supply chains, efforts to develop vaccines and therapeutics, support for at-risk countries, and work to reenergize global growth and economic prosperity.
NATO Foreign and Defense Ministers addressed the COVID19 pandemic at online meetings in April. Ministers tasked NATO’s top operational commander, General Tod Wolters, to coordinate military support to Allies and partners. They also agreed a set of recommendations to strengthen Allies’ resilience,
by updating baseline requirements for civil preparedness, and working even more closely with international partners. The consequences of the pandemic will be addressed again by NATO Defense Ministers in June. Since the beginning of the crisis, military forces from across the Alliance have stepped up to
support a shared response. Allied forces have flown more than one hundred missions to transport medical personnel and supplies, facilitated the construction of field hospitals, and added tens of thousands of treatment beds. Thousands of Allied military medical personnel have been deployed in support of civilian efforts.
Baumholder housing residents who are interested in getting involved with the community garden can reach out to Gillis in the Housing Office at 0611-143531-3008.
May 22, 2020
THE HOUSING HYPE
TAKE NOTE Photo by Golubovy / Shutterstock.com
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 normally be addressed to the RAO, you can email jim. firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 call 0160 454 0062. Construction on A6 Due to construction, motorists traveling on A6 should anticipate delays between today and May 25. A6 direction Mannheim will closed to traffic from tonight at 10 p.m. until May 25 at 5 a.m. Detour signs will be posted.
COMMUNITY EVENTS Photo by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com
»» The Ramstein Chapel is accepting bids for a Ramstein Traditional Protestant Service Coordinator until May 27: The contractor shall
provide all personnel, labor, materials, and transportation to provide non-personal service in support of the Ramstein Protestant Faith Community located in the KMC. The contractor shall serve the administrative needs of the Ramstein Protestant Faith Community as related to by the Statement of Work. Documented evidence of the following is preferred but not required: a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of two years’experience as a program coordinator, or five years administrative experience. In addition, contractor should be fluent in reading, writing and speaking English and possess all required computer and Microsoft Office proficiencies in order to perform all responsibilities within the statement of work. Bidder is subject to criminal history background checks and must complete a Child Care National Agency Check and Inquiries and Installation Records Check. The Request for Proposal and bid package can be picked up from the North Chapel on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Packages must be returned no later than noon on Wed May 27. Interviews will take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thu May 28, at the North Chapel. The contract will be awarded based on best value to the Government. For more information please contact the Contracting Officer at 480-5753 or 06371-47-5753. »» Arts & Crafts Centers now open: The Arts & Crafts Centers (Smith Bks., Bldgs 8104, 8661) are open: Main store, Tue-Fri, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sat 12-5 p.m. Arts & Crafts Too, Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Currently classes are suspended but services such as custom framing, engraving, balloon orders, limited ceramics and bisque painting as well as the photo kiosk are still available. Stop by to take advantage of the current special offers: 50% off 4th of July items (main store only), 20% off select
foil balloons, 10% off all gift baskets, and 10% off all blank ceramics. For more information, contact Arts & Crafts Center, Smith Bks., Bldg. 8104, 5312895, 0611-143-531-2895 or Arts & Crafts Too, Smith Bks., Bldg. 8661, 531-2849, 0611-143531-2849. »» Libraries in Kaiserslautern and Baumholder Reopen: The USAG RP Libraries (Landstuhl, Kleber
Kaserne, and Baumholder) are now open for callin/email book orders and pickup service. Library materials can be picked up the next work day following the request with a ten-item limit per request. Returned items are promptly checked in after a quarantine period. To place a book order by email for Kleber Library, email usarmy. rheinland-pfalz.id-europe.list.kleber-library@ mail.mil. Landstuhl email orders can be sent to usarmy.rheinland-pfalz.id-europe.list.library@ mail.mil and Baumholder orders can be sent to usarmy.baumholder.id-europe.list.library@ mail.mil. Hours of operation for each facility are as follows: Kleber Branch, Kleber Kaserne, Bldg. 3205, 483-1740, 06314-11-174, Mon-Fri from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Landstuhl Library, Landstuhl, Bldg. 3810, 486-7322, 06371-86-7322, Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Fri 1-4 p.m.; Baumholder, Smith Bks., Bldg. 8332, 531-2841, 0611-143-531-2841, Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-3p.m. All facilities are closed on all holidays. »» More than you would expect from a golf course:
Rolling Hills Golf Course is more than just a beautiful nine-hole course! Did you know that Foot Golf and Disc Golf are also available on site? Both offer a fun way to switch up your PT routine, and also are great for a family day outside! The Disc Golf course is one of the most sought courses in Europe, all in your own backyard! Rental for everything you need is available if you don’t have your own equipment. For more information, contact Rolling Hills Golf Course, Wetzel Kaserne, Bldg. 8888, 485-7299, 0678-36-7299.
Newly assigned to the Kaiserslaturn Military Community or getting ready to PCS? You’re not alone! The Furnishings Management Section is dedicated to making your PCS transition comfortable until your furniture arrives or as you are getting ready to depart for your next PCS move. Remember, you be able to keep loaner furniture up to 90 days! If you have any questions or concerns about your situation, please contact our office at DSN 489-6001 or Commercial 0631-536-6001. We can also be reached at 86CES.FMS@us.af.mil. Clearing off-base housing quarters Off-base tenants must clear their living quarters with the KMC Housing Referral Office, regardless of your housing status (moving into government quarters, changing homes, PCSing, etc.) For your convenience, the HRO will provide you with a clearance package, containing all the necessary documents that will be needed to vacate your home. All walk-in services are on a temporary hold Due to COVID-19, our office is currently offering all Housing Referral Services by “Virtual Contact.” If you have an upcoming move and need off-base housing assistance, here are the necessary steps to follow when clearing your home with your landlord: 1. First, provide your landlord with a 30-day written termination notice of your upcoming move. 2. Secondly, our office recommends that you schedule a pre-inspection, which allows your landlord to provide you with all of the requirements to clear your home 3. Next, you will need to schedule your final inspection with your landlord, to sign off on the USAFE Form 333A. 4. Lastly, if you have an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) that is paying your rent, you’ll have to contact your financial institution to stop the monthly payment and prorate the last month’s rent to your termination date. Schedule appointments or call the HRO to: 1. Certify off-base contracts. We ask that you please e-mail your contract prior to your appointment with HRO. 2. Discuss any off-base issues that you may encounter. 3. Provide a copy of the completed clearance paperwork to the Housing Office before you depart. Office hours: Open (Virtual): Mon – Thu 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fri 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CLOSED on German & American Holidays Contact HRO: DSN: 489-6643/6659 Commercial: 0631-536-6643/6659 Email: KMCHousing@us.af.mil We hope that your transition will be a smooth one! Follow us on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KMCHousingOffice/
COMPILED BY THE 569TH USFPS AND 86TH SFS
MAY 11 Nothing significant to report MAY 12 8:52 a.m.: Larceny of private property in Bruchmühlbach-Miesau 9:40 a.m.: Major traffic collision in Waldfischbach-Burgalben MAY 13 Nothing significant to report MAY 14: 8:30 a.m.: Unlawful entry and damage to government property in Vogelweh housing area
Photo by Schmidt_Alex / Shutterstock.com
MAY 15 7:53 p.m.: Assault in Kaiserslautern 8:14 p.m.: Major traffic collision on B48 adjacent to Hofstätten 8:53 p.m.: Assault on ROB 10:43 p.m.: Drunken operation of motor vehicle in Kaiserslautern 11:07 p.m.: Vandalism in Vogelweh housing area MAY 16 2:44 a.m.: Drunken operation of motor vehicle in Landstuhl 10:23 p.m.: Major traffic collision in Mittelbrunn MAY 17 Nothing significant to report
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.
Photo courtesy of the Housing Office
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/
May 22, 2020
Airlifter of the Week: Reconstructing groundwork
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Arnold Wickham IV, 86th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection craftsman, poses for a photo in the NDI laboratory at Ramstein Air Base, May 11. Wickham has been recognized by 86th Airlift Wing leadership as Airlifter of the Week for his excellence in accomplishing a time-critical inspection and improving NDI processes for Airmen’s occupational health and wellness.
Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Nesha Humes Stanton 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Staff Sgt. Arnold Wickham IV, was determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to design, construct and maintain aircraft as an aerospace engineer. Yet, costly tuition rates forced Wickham to recalculate his studies. That is when Wickham looked to the U.S. Air Force for a career in maintenance and worked his goals from the ground up. Five years later, Wickham is excelling as a non-destructive inspection craftsman with the 86th Maintenance Squadron, and improving his unit with his technical expertise. On May 7, 86th Airlift Wing leadership recognized Wickham as the Airlifter of the Week. Wickham was lauded for exemplifying excellence, a trait his supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Jamie Kopp, 86th MXS NDI craftsman, sees daily. “Staff Sgt. Wickham is extremely intelligent and an exceptional NDI craftsman,” Kopp said. “He
never complains, always goes above and beyond, and maintains a positive attitude.” With the stop movement orders due to coronavirus disease 2019, the NDI office has had to manage a large workload with fewer technicians, yet Wickham still makes time to teach other Airmen. “(His) work ethic is unmatched,” Kopp continued. “Our section is extremely lucky to have him.” NDIs are accountable for identifying an aircraft’s discrepancies prior to any fatigue developing into a more dangerous problem. “Our job is pretty feast or famine,” Wickham said. “It comes either all at once or none at all. It keeps me busy.” Wickham, a Howell, Michigan native, was largely responsible for the NDI laboratory being recognized as having the 86 MXS’ “best practices” during a recent U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa inspection. He identified multiple safety and occupational health discrepan-
cies in his section, resulting in the implementation of mandatory patient health screenings, improving the long-term health and care of future NDIs. Upon learning about his Airlifter of the Week achievement, Wickham was surprised. “I did not know what to say,” Wickham said. “It was a little bit surreal. It was cool. I did not expect to have a phone conversation with General August or Chief Rendon.” Wickham enjoys being an NDI craftsman and feels he really “lucked out” with landing his job after enlisting open to any mechanical career. Additionally, the Staff Sergeant utilized his expertise to flawlessly accomplish a time-critical inspection project in half the estimated time by identifying fatigued aircraft parts and promptly coordinating repairs. Furthermore, on his off-time, Wickham led a Kaiserslautern Military Community noncommissioned officer in charge organization in fundraising $11,000 for four events.
As Wickham continues his thorough craftsmanship to propel his working knowledge towards his goal in aerospace engineering, it will generate a more-prepared force, from the ground and up.
The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen who, through hard work and dedication, make the 86th Airlift Wing the World’s Best Wing.
Page 6 C-130J SUPPORT from Page 1
May 22, 2020 (Left) An Italian cargo loader aligns itself with an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules before loading more than 15,000 pounds of medical supplies, destined for Rome, in Milan, Italy, May 13. The 86th AW C-130J helped redistribute a variety of Italian coronavirus disease 2019 relief supplies, including KN-95 masks, surgical gowns and COVID19 test kits.
said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander. “It has also reinforced what we have known for a long time — airlift is always in high demand in any crisis or contingency, and professional airlift is our specialty.” This delivery, along with a variety of other DOD support efforts, demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the global pandemic response and highlights the close partnership between the two NATO allies. The mission also marked another successful use of NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative, activated in March to help NATO military aircraft quickly transit through member nations during contingency response operations.
(Below) More than 15,000 pounds of medical supplies were loaded into an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules during a support mission to Milan, Italy, May 13. The medical supplies shown flew to Rome, a major distribution hub, where they were needed to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 in Italy.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Tan, 86th Operations Support Squadron aircraft loadmaster, guides an Italian cargo loader into the back of an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules during a support mission in Milan, Italy, May 13. This support mission, which successfully delivered more than 15,000 pounds of medical supplies to major distribution hubs in Italy, is part of the Rapid Air Mobility Program; a NATO initiative developed to decrease military aircraft clearance approvals to under 72 hours for all NATO nations.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Tan (right), 86th Operations Support Squadron aircraft loadmaster, reviews manifest details with an Italian Air Force 1st Warrant Officer during a support mission to help the Italian government transport medical supplies to Milan, Italy, May 13. The mission is the first in a planned series of U.S. Air Forces in Europe mobility support operations to Italy.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Morgan, 37th Airlift Squadron pilot, speaks with two Italian Air Force personnel after more than 15,000 pounds of medical supplies were delivered to a distribution hub during a support mission to Rome, Italy, May 13. This mission was part of the Rapid Air Mobility Program, which provides military aircraft clearance approvals in under 72 hours for all NATO nations. This program demonstrates the commitment between NATO allies as the world moves through this crisis together.
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May 22, 2020
May 22, 2020
Mobility Airmen continue aeromedical evacuation mission Photos by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing decontaminate a Transport Isolation System on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, after the transport of a potentially infectious patient to Ramstein Air Base, May 8. The mission marked the fourth mission and the 14th patient moved using the TIS since its first operational use on April 10. The TIS is an infectious disease containment unit designed to minimize contamination risk to aircrew and medical attendants, while allowing in-flight medical care for patients afflicted by a disease like coronavirus disease 2019. Presently, Air Mobility Command has multiple TIS Force Packages on alert at Ramstein, Travis AFB, and Joint Base Charleston, to support global requirements that may arise.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jason McGhee, 313th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, sanitizes a purified air respirator during the decontamination of a Transport Isolation System on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, after the transport of a potentially infectious patient to Ramstein Air Base, May 8.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing sanitize their hands after decontaminating a Transport Isolation System on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, after the transport of a potentially infectious patient to Ramstein Air Base, May 8.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jason McGhee, 313th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, left, and Senior Airman Antonio Candler, 313th EOSS medical logistics, decontaminate a Transport Isolation System on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, after the transport of a potentially infectious patient to Ramstein Air Base, May 8.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Enock Koech, 313th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, watches the decontamination of a Transport Isolation System on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, after the transport of a potentially infectious patient to Ramstein Air Base, May 8.
May 22, 2020
Cars for everyone... even Court-knee
May 22, 2020
435 CTS strengthen contingency readiness Photos by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
An Airman assigned to the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron stands at a welding work station during a 435th Contingency and Training Squadron welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. Welding curtains are used at the stations to ensure safety from welding fumes and chemicals.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Israel Gutierrez, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron lock shop noncommissioned officer in charge, fuses metal during a welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. The 435th Construction and Training Squadron conducted the welding course to give Airmen hands-on training to increase capabilities for their home units and deployed locations.
A U.S. Airman assigned to the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron cools off a piece of metal during a welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. The students sanitized the equipment during the course to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. In addition, they refrained from sharing the equipment.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Stephen Thomas, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron structures, fuses metal during a welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. The four-day training taught Airmen various welding principles to increase their proficiency.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Evans, 435th Construction and Training Squadron contingency instructor, poses for a photo during a welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019, all instructors and students wore cloth face coverings and maintained physical distancing.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Stephen Thomas, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron structures, left, fuses metal while receiving instructions from Staff Sgt. Jared Swan, 435th Construction and Training Squadron contingency instructor, during a welding course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28.
May 22, 2020
May 22, 2020
86 LRG Airmen maintain proficiency Photos by Ismael Ortega Training Support Activity Europe
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Ramstein Air Base drops heavy cargo on Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8. Airmen with the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron prepared and recovered the cargo as part of their local proficiency training.
Cargo delivered by a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft descends at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
May 22, 2020
Airmen with the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron pack a parachute at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
Airmen with the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron recover cargo at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
Airmen with the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron pack a parachute at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
(Right) Senior Airmen Gabriel Cox, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial delivery specialist, operates a forklift at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
MSgt. Michael Middleton, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial delivery and cargo deployment superintendent, folds a parachute at Landing Zone Kristen at Baumholder, May 8.
May 22, 2020
Forging future, first-ever virtual Air Force Women’s Fly-In boldly leads the way by 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Columbus Air Force Base hosted the first-ever Air Force Virtual Women’s Fly-In during a Facebook Live event, May 11. With a nod to female aviation pioneers as the backdrop, the event was open to all Airmen regardless of gender or career field, and helped Airmen create networks to learn more about experiences, leadership and life. “The vision of the original event was to connect aviatrices and build a supportive network to grow our diverse and inclusive force, as well as connect our operators with their long blue line and origin in the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II,” said Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander and lead organizer of the event. “Today, with the realities of coronavirus, a physical fly-in isn’t possible, but a virtual venue to connect provides an even greater opportunity and outreach across the Air Force.” The event featured 10 guest and keynote speakers who discussed a variety of topics ranging from senior leadership perspective, rated diversity initiatives, unconscious bias, and leading with an infinite mindset. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett talked about the advances in the Air and Space Forces while also highlighting some historic milestones of American women in aviation history. “Women have been leading and continue to lead the Department of the United States Air Force,” Barrett said. “There is no better time to be part of the air and space forces,” she said. “We’re thrilled that you are a part of it.”
Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, speaks with retired Gen. Lori Robinson, former commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, May 11, during the Air Force Women’s Virtual Fly-In hosted on the Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Facebook page. The Facebook Live event was an opportunity to unite aviatrices to enable learning, coaching, mentorship and connectedness. Courtesy screenshot
Harriett Quimby was one of those women in aviation history who made a big impact. In 1911, she was awarded a U.S. pilot's certificate by the Aero Club of America, becoming the first woman to gain a pilot's license in the United States. Born May 11, 1875, Quimby lived only to the age of 37, but she influenced the role of women in aviation. She died in a plane crash, July 1, 1912, at the third annual Boston Aviation Meet. Among the keynote speakers was retired Gen. Lori Robinson, former commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. Robinson used a majority of her time to address questions from the audience, which included topics such as her biggest leadership challenge, choosing mentors, conscious and unconscious bias challenges, combating perceptions while staying true to oneself, and how the Air Force can move forward with protecting people. Providing an answer to a viewer’s question, Robinson said when people
start incorporating gender into how issues or topics are brought forward and dealt with, it can essentially be detrimental to moving forward. “When we start worrying about that, then we worry about things that add to our problem and not add to a solution,” Robinson said. Robinson said that during her time in service, as she became an air battle manager in the 1990s, there were no other female mentors in the Combat Air Forces to look toward. However, she said she was fortunate that her male mentors were very supportive in propelling her forward. “What they cared about, wasn’t that I was a woman, what they cared about was that I cared about doing my job, and being the best at all of that,” she said. She said she feels that Airmen today should be taking that same approach, and when they’re seeking a mentor, they should really be looking at someone they want to resemble. “It’s not are you a man or are you
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a woman, in my opinion,” she said. “Who has the traits that you relish and who has the traits that you want to be like; so that as you grow older you can share those traits to make those who work for and with you better than you.” Conversely, Simon Sinek, Britishborn American author and motivational speaker who has done work with the RAND Corporation said, “there is tremendous value in serving.” He went on to discuss the meaning behind having “an infinite mindset.” “It’s all about constant improvement, that’s what it is,” Sinek said. “The infinite mindset is about the journey.” Part of this journey is learning how to constantly improve not only as an individual but as a team too; and one of the most foundational aspects of a team is trust. “You can’t build trust quickly,” Sinek said. “But what you can do is be open and honest and a part of honesty is providing regular and constructive feedback.
“Everybody wants feedback. We want to know how we’re doing,” he said. “But we don’t always receive it the same way.” Sinek said he has known some leaders with hard personalities but their people adore them because they put the interest of their people first. He also shared that, “Toxic leadership isn’t always about screaming and yelling; that’s not what toxicity necessarily means. Toxicity is someone who puts themselves before their team to make decisions to advance themselves. They would rather sacrifice their people before themselves, and they don’t take the time and attention to learn how the team needs to be spoken to, or how they function best.” Sinek ended by saying, “make your “yeses” have an impact and take care of each other.” With rated diversity being a top priority for Air Force senior leaders, the fly-in was a way for creating a place to discuss, connect and cultivate relationships, as well as to share struggles, successes, and resources critical to building the force. The event also honored the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, who as federal civil service employees played a pivotal role during World War II. Despite various members of the armed forces being involved in the creation of the program, the WASP and its members had no military standing. The WASP arrangement with the U.S. Army Air Forces ended on December 20, 1944. “The WASP was a civilian women pilots' organization who became trained pilots who tested aircraft, ferried aircraft, and trained other pilots,” Weeks said. “These women flew over 60 million miles, transported every airframe in the military arsenal, towed targets for training, and transported essential cargo. In 1977, the WASP were granted veteran status and in 2009, with the lead of Air Force aviatrices like Col. Nicole Malachowski, they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. These women, now in their 90's, continue to serve as an inspiration to all of us and we’re proud to honor their legacy.” Anyody who missed the live Facebook broadcast can watch it on the Columbus AFB Facebook page at https://www.facebook. com/ColumbusAFB/.
May 22, 2020
Housing feedback spurs change to residents’ quality of life: air conditioners approved Story and photo by Keith Pannell U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz
Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) is gearing up for a hot summer in Germany by having numerous portable air conditioners on sale at their main store at Ramstein Air Base and the store in the Baumholder Military Community. As of May those living in Baumholder Military Housing are allowed one air conditioner per housing unit.
conditioner. And these barracks just can’t safely take that kind of electrical load right now. It would fry the system.” Barracks residents aren’t the only ones not allowed air con-
ditioning. Army families who live in Air Force-run housing in Kaiserslautern are not allowed to purchase air conditioners for their military homes at this time, per separate policy.
Baumholder residents who want to add a portable air conditioner
Garrison Policy No. 33 can be found at: https://home.army.mil/ rheinland-pfalz/index.php/about/ policy
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The possibility of the sweet respite of cold air on a hot summer night will be available Friday to residents in Baumholder’s Army Family Housing for the first time ever. Col. Jason Edwards, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz commander, signed Garrison Policy No. 33 last week, allowing housing residents to purchase portable air conditioners for use in family housing, effective Friday. “This was one of the easiest decisions and policy letters to approve, once we got the technical specs back that our electrical grid could handle the added throughput,” said Edwards. “When we talked to our residents last year, both digitally and in person, this was without a doubt one of the biggest concerns our families voiced over and over. As we emphasized then, housing survey feedback is important to make changes and this allowed us to push that issue up the chain for higher headquarters approval and then find a way to implement it to address a major need for our housing residents.” “Last year was the hottest summer on record in Germany,” said George Brown, Directorate of Public Works Administrative and Operations Branch chief. “We have things, like adding rolladens, being added in the next few years, but we need a ‘right now’ action to help abate the heat. So, we spent all winter coming up with something.” Brown said allowing tenants in family housing to have air conditioners seems like an easy decision. But, the buildings in Smith and Wetzel Housing were built in the 1950s and DPW had to make sure the electrical systems in the buildings could handle the extra load of the air conditioners. “We ran a lot of numbers that would bore people,” laughed Brown. “But, we had to think about the differences between 1950s families and today’s families with TVs in every room, computers, microwaves and all those things that weren’t around back then that are modern conveniences today. We had to make sure the electrical system could take the load and not start fires.” The policy allows only one air conditioner per apartment. Brown said that’s so the building doesn’t get overloaded. He said that’s also why the policy does not allow air conditioners in barracks. “I know it doesn’t seem fair,” he explained. “But, in a barracks, you could be looking at 100 or so individual rooms with an air
should read the policy first, advised Brown. There are some restrictions on the size of unit allowed and requirements that need to be met. Then, they must fill out a request for and take/send it to the housing office. The fillable form is “extremely easy” according to housing officials. “I am expecting at least two thirds, or approximately 500, of our on-post residents to utilize the new air conditioning policy,” said Charm Sutton, Baumholder Housing Services chief. “If last summer’s heat was any indication, the authorization to use portable air conditioning units is a welcomed change. A lot of our families are used to being able to control the climate in their homes and these warmer European summers have shown us why this policy is necessary.”
DEEP INTERIOR DISINFECTION
May 22, 2020
Public Health Command Europe offers guidance for PCSing with pets by Michelle Thum SPANGDAHLEM, Germany — A permanent change of station move is stressful as it is, but moving with your pet can add an extra layer of stress unless you are well prepared. Public Health Command Europe Veterinarians have some tips to help make moving your furry companion as easy as possible. “As soon as you know your travel details, contact your local veterinary treatment facility to assist with your upcoming pet travel process,” said Maj. Monika Jones, a veterinarian and officer in charge of the Spangdahlem Veterinary Treatment Facility. “Some countries, such as Japan, Guam or the United Kingdom, have specific requirements for importing a pet and can take over six months to prepare. Therefore it’s important to prepare for your move ahead of time.” Your Veterinary Treatment Facility can help prepare you for a smooth move. For any PCS, the following documentation is required: 1. Proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine is required (i.e. rabies certificate issued by an on-base vet clinic or an official European Union Pet Passport issued by a licensed off-base vet.) Note: Pets must be at least 12 weeks old to receive the rabies vaccine. If this is your pet’s first rabies vaccine, your pet must
U.S. Army Sgt. Dennis Aguilar, animal care specialist at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Veterinary Treatment Facility, prepares a pet for its PCS move. Photo by Ashley L. Keasler
be vaccinated at least 28 days prior to travel to allow the vaccine to take effect.
2. Your pet must be microchipped. Any brand/type of microchip works. (Preferably with a 15 digit ISO Microchip.) 3. Health certificates are required for all pets and are only valid for 10 days after being issued.
Health certificates can be issued from an on-post or offpost veterinarian as long as they are in English. Health certificates must be legible, accurate and complete. 4. An Acclimation letter (This must be obtained from your veterinarian if your pet will be traveling in cabin or cargo)
“It is important to remember summer is peak PCS season so the on-post veterinary clinic appointments fill up quickly,” Jones said. “I recommend making your appointment well in advance to ensure your pet can be seen at the appropriate time.” Public Health Command Europe veterinarians recom-
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mend the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website for any country requirements and additional resources. Your method of travel may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline or shipping carrier to determine what requirements they may have, if any. Jones added it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their pet has met the requirements of the destination country. A failure in meeting the requirements can cause difficulties upon arrival in the destination country. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinary treatment facility for help.
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May 22, 2020
Teaching in a new way: KMC teacher adapts to digital learning
Shannon Blakely, third grade teacher, grades student assignments at her home in Landstuhl, May 12. The Department of Defense Education Activity closed schools March 16 for the remainder of the year, moving teaching in the classroom to virtual learning.
Story and photos by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs At 8:20 a.m., the ringing bell signals the beginning of class at Kaiserslautern Elementary School. However, instead of shuffling to their desks to sit with friends, students are now at home seeing their teacher through a computer screen. On March 13, the Department of Defense Education Activity announced schools would be closing indefinitely March 16 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019, and would be switching to digital learning. Teachers were given time to prepare for a new format of learning. It was unfamiliar and unusual but also exciting. For Shannon Blakely, third grade teacher, this was the beginning of a new adventure at her home. “It’s a first for everyone,” Blakely said. “It was challenging, but we overcame it. We supported each other.”
Blakely starts virtual teaching in a way similar to how she would do so in person. At 8 a.m., she greets her students online and assigns work. Blakely assigns days of the week to meet students and has open office hours for students to ask questions if needed. Students are also able to view educational videos and read electronic versions of their textbooks for assignments. As a result of the shift in learning, Blakely and other third grade school teachers collaborated and divided classwork among subjects to alleviate the workload. Blakely grades math assignments, and provides additional conference sessions as needed. “One of the biggest things we wanted is to make sure we didn’t overwhelm each other,” Blakely said. “My team is amazing.” Initially, virtual schooling involved a lot of learning for teachers and students, but Blakely said flexibility has been the key to success. “Young minds are molded very
easily,” Blakely said. “They’re like sponges and they can learn new things with time and assistance. I feel like not just third grade, but all of DODEA has really adapted to using online resources in a positive way.” Blakely hopes to take some of her digital lessons into the classroom when school resumes now that DODEA students are better trained on technology. One of the struggles Blakely came across as virtual schooling progressed was students adjusting to their new lives. “Kids want to talk,” Blakely said. “They miss the social atmosphere. And when you’re deep in your routines that’s hard.” Together with other teachers they came up with ways to safely continue social activities. Blakely’s co-teacher, Joanne Lee, meets with students every morning to play games and warm up for the school day, while Blakely devised “Fun Joke Friday” encouraging students to come up with their best joke to impress the class.
A dry erase board noting important tasks for Shannon Blakely, third grade teacher, sits at her home in Landstuhl, May 12. Blakely reviews math assignments for her third grade students at Kaiserslautern Elementary School.
To help further remedy social concerns, Blakely created a mobile library. Blakely took physical books she had in her home and delivered them to homes of her students around the area. “I feel like I needed to provide that opportunity for my kids to not just read on the computer continuously,” Blakely said. “I wanted to make sure they didn’t lose the love of reading while we were doing digital learning.” Blakely hopes to eventually deliver books to all of her students, and she has already received requests from students asking when she’s going to arrive again. “Two of them were like, ‘I really want to give you a hug but I can’t,’” Blakely said. “It’s really hard. Just showing affection and love towards those kids means a lot. Those are just a few things they need on a daily basis.” Tech Sgt. Joe Perkins, 86th Security Forces Squadron installation patrolman, praised Blakely for her digital teaching during COVIDU.S. & GERMAN ATTORNEYS U.S. & GERMAN DIVORCES • SUPPORT ISSUES • EEO WILLS & PROBATE • EMPLOYMENT • PERSONAL INJURY MSPB • CONTRACTOR ISSUES • TAX ADVISORS
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Shannon Blakely, third grade teacher, poses for a photo at her home in Landstuhl, May 12. The motto in the picture frame, “Mistakes are proof that you are trying,” is a saying Blakely often uses to encourage her students
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19. In April, his son received books from her mobile library as well as a potted plant when she visited them. “She has really gone above and beyond to help us parents,” Perkins said. In the future, Blakely aims to be a teacher that students will contact for conversation or advice years down the road. “Teachers aren’t in it for them, they’re in it for the kids, the families and the community,” Blakely said. “We want to make society a better place.” Blakely sees COVID-19 not as a obstacle, but as a new challenge that will make society stronger than it was before. “We’re all going to be better humans for having to take a step back and (physical) distance,” Blakely said. “I think each of us have had time to really think about our lives, our wants and our dreams.” Car InsuranCe & WorldWIde shIppIng agenCy Part-time oPening available
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Helping families embrace new normal Mariah Boykin and Jeffrey Bright, 86th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy Program intervention specialists, are facilitators for online classes that help families adapt to the coronavirus disease 2019 environment at Ramstein Air Base, May 13. Family Advocacy now uses telephones and video chat to offer services such as individual and couples counseling, the new parent support program and the domestic abuse victim advocate hotline.
Story and photos by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Family Advocacy now uses telephones and video chat to offer services such as individu-
al and couples counseling, new parent support program and a domestic abuse victim advocate hotline. They also offer online classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m., mostly centered on parents and families.
Kaiserslautern Military CoMMunity Chapel sChedule ARMY POC for Miesau, Landstuhl, and Deanner is the USAG R-P Chaplain’s Office in Bldg 3213 on Kleber Kaserne, DSN 541-2105, CIV 0611143-541-2105.
AIR FORCE POC for Ramstein North, Ramstein South, Vogelweh, and Kapaun is the USAF Chaplain Corps, Bldg 1201 on Ramstein, DSN 480-6148, CIV 06371-47-6148.
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Kapaun Chapel (Bldg 2781) Divine Liturgy: 9:00 a.m. Sundays Confessions by appointment
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orthodox Christian services
Ramstein North Chapel Conference Room (Bldg 1201) protestant services Service: 10:30 a.m., 4th Saturday Service: 12:00 p.m., 3rd Thursday at LRMC Chapel Landstuhl Community Chapel (Bldg 3773) For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org Worship: 11:00 a.m. Sundays Children’s Youth Church: 11:00 a.m. Sundays Catholic services Daenner Community Chapel (Bldg 3150) Daenner Community Chapel (Bldg 3150) Chapel Next Sunday Mass: 12:30 p.m. (all year round) Worship: Sunday 10:00 a.m. Confession: 11:45 p.m. Children’s Church: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Landstuhl Community Chapel Seventh-Day Adventist Worship Sabbath School: 9:30 a.m. Saturdays (Bldg 3773) Worship: 11:00 a.m. Saturdays Tue, Wed, Fri: 12 p.m. Small Group: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday Sunday: 9 a.m. Ramstein North Chapel (Bldg 1201) Confession: 8 a.m. Contemporary Service: 11:00 a.m. Sundays Ramstein North Chapel (Bldg 1201) Ramstein South Chapel (Bldg 2403) Daily Mass: 11:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday Traditional with Communion: 9:30 a.m. Sundays Sunday Masses: 9 a.m., 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Vogelweh Chapel (Bldg 2063) Confession: RNC or by appt. 4 p.m.- 4:45 p.m. Gospel Service: 11:00 a.m. Sundays. Sundays For more info: facebook.com\vogelwehgospelservice or email episcopal (anglican) email@example.com (st. albans) Kapaun Chapel (Bldg 2781) Wiccan Service: 10:30 a.m. Sundays Kapaun Annex (Bldg 2782)
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The most recent Wednesday class was titled Preparing Your Family for Change.The class came about when parents began asking coronavirus disease 2019-specific questions in other classes. People are now living in a world different from the norm, said Jeffrey Bright, 86th MDOS Family Advocacy Program intervention specialist. Many have been thinking things will go back to normal, but wing leadership is shifting the conversation toward creating a new normal. Ramstein is not going back to the normal it used to know. The question for many is: “How do we make change a positive thing?” Bright and Mariah Boykin, 86th
May 22, 2020
Jeffrey Bright and Mariah Boykin, 86th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy Program intervention specialists, teach the online class Preparing Your Family for Change (COVID-19) at Ramstein Air Base, May 13. Family Advocacy offers online classes every Wednesday to support families in dealing with the unique challenges of the coronavirus disease 2019 environment.
MDOS Family Advocacy Program intervention specialist, designed and facilitated the COVID-19 parenting class. “The goal of the class is to let people know change is not to be feared,” Bright said. “Change can produce a good thing within our individual progress and within families. If we have the skills to be adaptable, change is something that can be exciting and push us beyond what we thought.” All 30 spots in the class filled. Parents gathered online for approximately one hour to learn about embracing change and helping children through that process. They covered techniques such as establishing routines, allowing children to be upset when appropriate and communicating with children effectively
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about this new and unfamiliar environment. “I think the class was very informative,” said Angela Hall, a parent and class participant. “Especially with having four children at home and my husband being deployed.” Each facilitator spoke through video chat as their slides showed onscreen. Participants had the option to communicate through text or voice chat and were encouraged to ask questions and interact. “The biggest thing I learned was that talking to our kids about how they feel, instead of assuming, makes all the difference in the world,” Hall said. “As parents, we think everything comes second nature but in actuality it doesn't.” Due to the response to the class, Family Advocacy is likely to offer it again within the next two months. They are also designing other family-focused classes for the coming weeks. One of the benefits that has resulted from adapting to the COVID-19 environment is is that classes are able to reach a broader audience. They have reached as far as Morón Air Base, Spain, and Family Advocacy is learning from that experience. To find out more about what Family Advocacy offers and to see the latest about upcoming classes, visit the Ramstein Family Advocacy Program on Facebook. KAISERSLAUTERN
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May 22, 2020
Geierlay, Germany’s longest suspension bridge
by MilitaryInGermany.com Opened in October 2015, Geierlay is Germany’s longest suspension bridge, and it makes for a wonderful day out in the stunning German countryside! The suspension bridge is 360m long and 100m high. Do you dare to cross it? My Arriving When I entered the town of Mörsdorf into my GPS, I felt like I was about to journey through Middle Earth to destroy Frodo’s ring. But this gorgeous terrain was as far from Mordor as one can get. After a beautiful drive through Rheinland-Pfalz, we arrived at the Geierlay Visitor Center. The visitor center is in a modern wood building which offers a café and restrooms. There are no bathrooms by the bridge, so use the bathroom before you depart! The center also has a designated parking area. There is no cost to go on the bridge, but the only fee is 2 Euros per day for parking. A request from the visitor center is that you do not try to drive to the bridge, but to reach it only on the paths by walking or biking. Also you are required to respect the beautiful landscape and pack out any trash you might have. Head to the Bridge Time to head to the bridge! When walking to the road, look for the sign post that points to where you start the walk to the bridge. You turn right on the main road, then turn on a side road on the left which brings you out to the field. The paved walkway is 1,7 km to the bridge. The way to the bridge is actually a really beautiful walk! If you have a little one, I suggest bringing a stroller or wagon. If not, you may end up like me and have a child on your shoulders on the journey back! Strollers might not fit on the actual bridge, but there is an area where you can leave them. When you turn the final corner of the bridge’s path, there is an area where you can sit and take in the amazing view. After we admired the scenery
for a little bit, we were ready to walk across. Being there on a weekday, we pretty much had the bridge to ourselves! The only thing surrounding the bridge is untouched, breathtaking forest. It is chicken soup for the soul! Walking on the bridge was very thrilling and I felt safe on it. Since we were not in a rush, we had time to take in the spectacular surroundings. It is said that it takes six minutes to briskly walk across to the other side; however, it took us much longer because how many photos we took. For anyone looking to expand the walk back, you also have the possibility to take a hike in the woods. There is a trail map with all of the routes.
One hiking route will take you across the bridge, down under the bridge and then up the other side. How to Get There Address: Geierlay Visitor Center Kastellaun Straße 23 56290 Mörsdorf The drive to Geierlay is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes west of Wiesbaden, 1 hour and 30 minutes northwest of Kaiserslautern and just under three hours northwest of Stuttgart. Author’s Profile: Gemma is a mom, a veteran and an Army civilian living in Wiesbaden, Germany. With New Jersey roots, she is enjoying her extended European vacation.
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May 22, 2020
Beautiful treetop walks
by MilitaryInGermany.com Many people from other countries, particularly the United States, see Germany as a place that truly ‘gets it’ with regard to wellness, concern for environment and plugging-in with nature. Since 2009, a series of extended, elevated walking routes has put Deutschland and surrounding countries in the spotlight of low-stress, interactive wellness. Designed by national park engineers or corporations such as Erlebnis Akademie AG (eak), treetop walks have become a fascination not only with visitors to Germany, but also permanent residents. The eak group has now constructed two paths in the Czech
Republic and another one in neighboring Slovakia. These upward tiered walk paths built among tall trees provide relaxation and exercise for millions of people every year. They are accessible at various sites for wheelchairs, bicycles, pets, and always for small or large groups. The first one was constructed in the Bavarian Forest at a cost of €3.5 million and there are now about a dozen of these venues scattered throughout Europe. The most expensive walkway constructed by eak is on the northern tip of Germany, inland from the Baltic Sea, called Naturerbe Zentrum Rue-gen. It cost upwards of €12 million to build in 2013 and includes a massive visitor information center.
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Family ticket packages or individual passes can be purchased at all the tree top walks, with restaurants and other refreshment opportunities connected with each venue. On the walks themselves, there are chances to take bicycles on the paths and lots of interactive aspects as you traverse the thoroughfare. Long-range viewing scopes, information kiosks, and child-friendly stop points highlight these amazing structures. The prospective heights of these unique structures might seem scary to people planning trips but, the paths are usually not more than 20-30 feet above the ground. Higher spots along these routes are optional as each location features a signature complex that takes users to the ultimate viewpoints of the surrounding area. Interesting plant growth and wood scenery are there to wow guests while various animals indigenous to the areas can be spotted on any given day. It is recommended that visitors wear proper clothing, based on when you plan to visit, since the higher elevations can get windy and cool. In Saarland, the Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife gives walkers an amazing view of the Mosel River at one of its loop points, as well as the landscape surrounding it. The state of Saarland is loaded with other opportunities to see and explore so this can be a chance to do a lot on a trip that’s pretty close to home.
Less than an hour west of Frankfurt is Baumkronenpfad Hoherodskopf, which stretches 650 meters and features an expanded, not-so-faraway view of the city of Frankfurt. This facility is made almost entirely of wood and has multiple attractions to go with the treetop path. www.baumkronenpfad.de
Skywalk Allgaeu is located 50 kilometers from Lake Constance to the east of Munich. It is easily accessible by U.S. visitors to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A largely cement and steel construction, it has an elevator to take guests to the top, so they can walk back down with ease. www.skywalk-allgaeu.de
Alongside the Baumkronenpfad path is the new Elebnisberg area, which has zip lines, miniature golf, tree climbing and several other family oriented activities. www.erlebnisberghoherodskopf.de
Baumwipfeld Schwarzwald is situated in the Black Forest, about 130 kilometers south of Frankfurt. Like most treetop walks, it puts the user some 25 meters above the ground surface and is not too imposing for people who aren’t good with heights. An extra challenge here is the circular lookout tower path that takes people another 40 meters into the sky. www.baumwipfelpfadschwarzwald.de/schwarzwald
Bavaria has several of these pathways in place and while the drive might seem daunting, it is possible to use the time spent in the area to visit more than one tree park. The Baumwipfelpfad Bayerischer Wald made a claim to be the longest treetop park in the world when it first opened about a decade ago. Baumwipfelpfad Bayerischer Wald is over 1,300 meters long and is visited by half a million people each year. The route is raised 25 meters from the forest floor but people can choose to head up to the Baumturm, a tower that takes approximately 500 meters to climb and offers a remarkable view of the Bohemian Forest upon arrival.
These parks are just a sample of what exists. It will be beneficial to conduct your own research to find which treetop walk best fits your schedule. Lots of good information is available and you might find friends who have been on some of these paths who can give you a first-hand account of what to expect. Drive times from the KMC vary depending on location. Pricing varies but is affordable at most parks.
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May 22, 2020
Off the beaten path
Day trips to some of Germany’s hidden gems
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by Thomas Warner You’ve likely been to the Champs-Élysées in Paris or seen the cathedrals at Strasbourg and Cologne. You’ve surely been able to stand up close beside Big Ben in London and all those were indeed fabulous trips for you and your family. But have you ever seen the world’s tallest cathedral spire or looked through world’s oldest piece of stained glass? Have you sought out some less well-known destinations during your stay here in Germany? Germany has so much to offer and many exciting things close to us get overshadowed by all the must-do touristy trips we end up taking during our time here. Why not check out the following spots? All are easily accessible by autobahn, offer many lodging opportunities, and are fairly inexpensive. Have you ever been to Bamberg? It’s a small town close to Nuremberg where the long-preserved St. Michel’s (Michelsberg) Monastery is currently undergoing improvements. Parts or all of the church are visible from the outside but entrance might not be available depending on work schedules. Tap into a smoked beer or other refreshment at one of the old town pubs and decide what else suits your fancy. Bamberg, with its beer pubs, is also home
to the often-overlooked Altenburg castle, several other free or inexpensive cultural buildings, and lots of baroque architecture that gives an old-world feel to the city. Bamberg is less than 60 kilometers from Nuremberg, the site of the post-World War II criminal trials and makes for another destination while you are in the area. Closer to home here in the KMC, the Voelklinger Iron Works tour near Saarbruecken is time well spent. The compound gives a glimpse to what life was like as this region evolved away from an agrarian dependence and toward the Industrial Revolution. While there are older sites of this kind, the Voelklinger Works is surely the most well maintained because it was in operation until the 1980s. The world’s oldest examples of stained glass date back to the 11th century and can be found inside the Augsburg Cathedral in southern Germany, just above Munich. These “Prophet Windows” are extraordinary to glimpse and give the visitor a sense of time and place, considering all the people who have come and gone through those halls since medieval times. Augsburg also offers the Fuggerei, a housing estate created by fabled Jakob the Rich and a community unto itself. Tour the maze of apartments and other dwellings that became a centerpiece for an affordable living while
all properties around it routinely escalated in price. Afterwards, visit the Riegele craft beer brewery. Family-owned for almost 200 years and with history stretching back even further, Riegele is a place to relax and take inventory of locally created as well as select imported beers that are popular in the region. The Gothic-themed town of Regensburg is also an hour from Nuremberg and rests peacefully on two sides of the Danube River. Many buildings and monuments in and around the city date back hundreds of years and the area has been given UNESCO Heritage status. The town resembles Kaiserslautern in that it has a university and population of over 150,000 but there is much more of a homey, laid-back feel to this city and the ones adjacent to it. While in Regensburg, a memorable stopping point is the Historische Wurstkuchl. This is a sausage-themed restaurant that has been serving the regional delicacies for nearly 900 years. Ask the counter person for a suggestion of a well-known meaty menu item and several senf (mustard) offerings are sure to pique your tastebuds. Also, check out Neupfarrplatz — an underground discovery point boasting exhibits from Roman artifacts to war bunker hideaways. DELIVER
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May 22, 2020
Protecting your home from mosquitoes
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by FindItGuide.com Recent extreme temperatures around the globe have required everyone to seek respite from the uncomfortable heat and humidity when at home. That often requires sleeping with the windows open so you can cool the house at night. While that might be more comfortable, it also may come at a price. The cost is annoying mosquito bites! Cooking at the barbeque later in the evening and eating outside allows you to take advantage of any breeze that
might be blowing but it also means you are a target for mosquitoes. There are ways you can protect yourself from getting bitten and even reduce the population around your home. Here are some helpful tips you may want to consider. Limit breeding • Remove anything where water can collect in your yard (such as buckets, empty pots…). • Cover outdoor tools like wheelbarrows and storage bins. • Clean your gutters and drains often.
• Make sure your taps are not leaking. • Change pet drinking water often. • Change bird baths at least once per week and more often during warm weather cycles. • Put sand around the base of your pots. • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed (this is where mosquitoes like to rest). Limit access to your house • Get fly screens for your windows at a local German hard-
ware store (it is a myth that Germans don’t use screens). • Get a magnetic closing screen for your patio doorway (there are clever screens that open in the middle and come together automatically with magnets). • Make sure the gaps at the bottom of your doors are sealed. Try a safe repellent alternative • Use citronella candles when sitting around the table outside. • Instead of chemical repellents, try “oil of lemon eucalyptus.” This is a natural oil which comes from the Lemon Eucalyptus tree and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control as an alternative to DEET. • Ultrasonic bug repellers have been around for some time. These will emit a radio frequency that bugs and mice do not like. It is also not picked
up by humans and most animals. • Camphor oil is supposed to be the longest lasting repellent. If you light camphor for 15-20 minutes in a closed room (and you should leave the room), it is said the room will be mosquito free. • Use garlic. Crush a few garlic cloves and boil them in water. Once cooled, put the water in a spray bottle and spray around the room. • Use coffee grounds to kill mosquito eggs. Wherever you have stagnant water around your house, sprinkle coffee grounds in it. The grounds will force the eggs to float and they will be deprived of oxygen. This will kill them before they have a chance to hatch. As always, you should seek professional advice for any method you are not already familiar or comfortable with.
May 22, 2020
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.
Check your streaming service
CRIME, DRAMA, THRILLER
Poster by Miramax Films
Poster by Columbia Pictures
Poster by Columbia Pictures
DRAMA, FANTASY, ROMANCE
Poster by 20th Century Fox
Poster by Gramercy Pictures
Jackie Brown (1997)
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Before Sunrise (1995)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
When We Were Kings (1996)
When Jackie Brown is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, agent Nicolette and detective Dargus want her help to bring him down. Facing jail time for her silence or death for her cooperation, Brown decides instead to double-cross both parties and make off with the smuggled money. Star: Pam Grier, Director: Quentin Tarantino
Newland Archer is a lawyer who is happily engaged to May. His life however turns upside down when he meets and falls in love with May’s scandalous cousin, Ellen. Stars: Daniel Day‑Lewis, Winona Ryder, Michelle Pfeiffer Director: Martin Scorsese
While travelling on a train in Europe, Jesse, an American man, meets Celine, a French woman. On his last day in Europe before returning to the U.S., he decides to spend his remaining hours with her. Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy Director: Richard Linklater
Edward, a synthetic man with scissor hands, is taken in by Peg, a kindly Avon lady, after the passing of his inventor. Things take a turn for the worse when he is blamed for a crime he did not commit. Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder Director: Tim Burton
On October 30, 1974, perhaps the most famous heavyweight championship boxing match of all time took place in Kinshasa, Zaire: the “Rumble in the Jungle” between champion George Foreman and challenger Muhammad Ali. Stars: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman Director: Leon Gast
ADVENTURE, COMEDY, FAMILY
COMEDY, DRAMA, FAMILY
COMEDY, DRAMA, FAMILY
COMEDY, FAMILY, FANTASY
Poster by United Artists
Poster by 20th Century Fox
Poster by 20th Century Fox
Poster by Buena Vista Pictures
Poster by Warner Bros.
Little Monsters (1989)
The Sandlot (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
War of the Buttons (1994)
Brian isn’t scared of the monster living under the bed. On the contrary, when he gets to know the wild-eyed boogeyman, Maurice, the pair become fast friends. During the night, Maurice takes his young charge into the netherworld of monsters. Stars: Fred Savage, Howie Mandel Director: Richard Alan Greenberg
Scotty, a young boy, moves into a new neighborhood, where he decides to join the local baseball team. However, with his new friends, he experiences a series of adventures that he never imagined. Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Marty York Director: David Mickey Evans
Daniel, a divorced actor, disguises himself as Mrs Doubtfire, an ageing female Scottish housekeeper, in order to work in his ex-wife’s house and spend more time with his children. Stars: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan Director: Chris Columbus
After moving to Salem, Max explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani and their new friend Allison. After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches who used to live in the house. Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker Director: Kenny Ortega
Rival gangs of Irish kids engage in battles where they cut off the buttons of their captured opponents. While this causes obvious troubles, the two leaders of the groups develop respect for each other. Stars: Gregg Fitzgerald, John Coffey, Eveanna Ryan Director: John Roberts
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