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COLA Survey available until Oct 31

Airman 1st Class Daniela Pastor, 86th Airlift Wing Judge Advocate paralegal, throws money into the air on Ramstein Air Base, April 7, 2017. The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) Living Pattern Survey (LPS) for Germany will be available on-line from 1 October through 31 October 2018.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

Airman 1st Class Daniela Pastor, 86th Airlift Wing Judge Advocate paralegal, throws money into the air on Ramstein Air Base, April 7, 2017. The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) Living Pattern Survey (LPS) for Germany will be available on-line from 1 October through 31 October 2018.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The Cost of Living Allowance Living Pattern Survey for Germany will be available on-line from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, 2018. Below is the link to access the survey:

https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/colaSurvey.cfm?ID=Germany

WHAT IS IT? This is a COLA Survey that asks service members and their families which local economy outlets they use when they shop for food items, clothing and many other goods and services, such as restaurant meals, hair care, and auto repair. It also asks them how much of their shopping is done on the local economy, and how much is done at the Commissary, Exchange or on the internet.

WHY IS THIS SURVEY IMPORTANT? The data reported in this survey will be used to adjust the COLA for Germany and your participation can influence the COLA rate! The Living Pattern Survey is one of the “building blocks” of COLA. It is conducted every 3 years to determine the local economy outlets where Military families shop. Then, during the annual retail price schedule (Market Basket Survey), the prices of 120 goods and services are collected from these outlets. After the Defense Management Travel Office compares the prices in Germany to those in the U.S., a Cost of Living Index is computed to reflect the difference.

WHEN IS IT? The LPS will be conducted between Oct. 1-31, 2018 with the annual follow-on Retail Price Schedule conducted between Nov. 1-30, 2018.

WHO CAN TAKE IT? All Service Members, except for those living in the barracks, assigned to Germany as their permanent duty station for at least three months should take the survey.

HOW TO TAKE THE SURVEY: Just click on the link above and follow the instructions. Service members are encouraged to take the survey at home with their families as this does not require common access card. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.

HOW YOU CAN HELP THE PROCESS: Get the word out to all assigned military personnel to ensure COLA provides the purchasing power equivalent to that of the United States. The key to success is maximum participation and good data.

For additional information or questions please contact: Mrs. Shelley P. Ohlendorf, DSN 537 1072, or e-mail at shelley.p.ohlendorf.civ@mail.mil