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86th AW/IG Complaints & Resolution Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Ramstein?

Updated July 12, 2022

Ramstein Air Base is located in the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz in the southwest corner of Germany, near the city of Kaiserslautern. The base is a little more than 80 miles southwest of Frankfurt, Germany, and 295 miles northeast of Paris, France. 

The area is the main wine-growing region of Germany and also known for the largest connected forest, the Palatinate Forest. The Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) is known for being the largest American community outside of the United States. More than 50,000 Americans share this community with inhabitants from more than 70 nations. The city's historical past has been preserved even though it has grown to become one of the largest industrial and marketing cities in Germany.


Ramstein is one of more than a dozen military installations in the area, making up the KMC. The base serves as headquarters for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and is also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation.

The host unit at Ramstein is the 86th Airlift Wing, whose mission is to Build Airmen, Project Power, and Support Partners. The 86AW conducts USAFE's only airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation operations flying the C-21, C-37, and C-130J aircraft, as well as provide combat airlift and operate the Air Force's premier installation to enable and assure strategic capabilities.

In addition to USAFE and the NATO Allied Air Component Command Headquarters, the following units reside on Ramstein:

  1. 3rd Air Force
  2. 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (USAFE's first wing solely dedicated to supporting battlefield Airmen)
  3. 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing (providing Air Mobility Command's command and control, en-route maintenance support, and air transportation services for theater and strategic air mobility missions in Europe and Southwest Asia)
  4. A variety of tenant organizations

As a NATO installation, Ramstein is home to 21 other NATO countries as well, with German, Canadian, British, French, Belgian, and Dutch forces making up the bulk of them.