How to be a better neighbor in Germany
By Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 10, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Ramstein-Miesenbach mayor, notified the German-American Community Office of
several complaints neighbors made involving U.S.
military members. The U.S. military enjoys good standing in the Rheinland-Pfalz
area, and it’s important for service members to
make sure it continues.
The 86th Airlift
Wing and GACO provided the following information to help families navigate
living in a new community:
hours are determined by law: On week days, quiet hours are
from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Sundays. On German
Holidays, quiet hours are all day. During the night, any behavior which
disturbs sleep is not authorized. Please refrain from making loud noise, such
as mowing lawns and using loud equipment, during that time period. Fines of up
to 5,000 Euros and court cases are possible.
around your residence: During fall and spring, residents are
required to remove leaves and flower blossoms from the ground around their
houses. Grass that causes a safety
hazard when wet needs to be pulled. Tree
branches need to be shortened when reaching into the walking area.
trash: Ask your landlord about trash removal. There are English versions of the “Garbage
Guide” at the Kaiserslautern city/county administration offices, and at the
your name on the mailbox to receive official mail. Never dispose of mail that
is in German and has a date in the middle of the letter. This indicates that it
is most likely an important letter, and not an advertisement.
pool/sauna: Do not enter with street shoes. It is common
to enter the sauna nude with a towel only.
Please use common courtesy.
information/registration: Keep dogs on a leash, limit excessive
barking, and clean up after them.
Several communities require you to register your dog.
Michael Gannon, 86th AW Host
Nation Office advisor, said the most common complaint they receive from Germans
about Americans is American neighbors mowing the lawn on Sundays and during
quiet hours. Other top complaints include barking dogs and idling car engines,
Gannon said. He explained that by law, dog barking has to be kept to a maximum
of two hours per day. Idling car engines for more than a few minutes is
illegal. Gannon said that the Host Nation Office received several complaints of
parents idling their engines while waiting to pick up their children.
“The Americans are guests
here, so observing rules and common courtesies is important for community
relations,” said Roberto Da Costa, 86th AW Host Nation advisor.
Da Costa emphasized that the
military’s presence in Germany comes with some negative impacts, such as aircraft
noise and some pollution. Airmen cannot change these impacts, but they can
change their own public image.
“It’s always good to transmit
a positive image,” Da Costa said. “Try to follow the rules. That’s simple and
Da Costa wants Americans to
continue to integrate into the German community.
“Americans bring a new culture
and new thinking into the economy,” Da Costa said. “The Germans like the
American way of life and they like to interact with Americans, and they are
very receptive and very open.”
Airmen need to try to maintain
the high acceptance that the U.S. military has in the Rheinland-Pfalz area, Da
“In general, the military fits
in and follows the rules very well,” Da Costa said. “They are really doing a
great job of integrating. Support all the efforts to show that Americans like
being in Germany and that they like to follow the rules and be good guests.”