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Ramstein resumes outbound flights to US after three-week pause

Airman performs security check.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dontae Moore, 721st Ariel Port Squadron ramp service specialist, checks evacuees with a metal detector wand as they prepare to board outbound flights to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Evacuees were processed through a Transportation Security Administration compliant purpose-built passenger terminal before boarding flights to the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Evacuees wait to be processed in passenger terminal.

Evacuees are processed through a Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal in preparation to board outbound flights to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Approximately 8,800 evacuees received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the majority of eligible evacuees received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airman checks luggage.

U.S. Air Force Airman Andrew Markos, 721st Ariel Port Squadron passenger service specialist checks an evacuee’s luggage as they prepare to board an outbound flight to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Outbound flights were temporarily paused at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of an abundance of caution due to the discovery of a small number of measles cases in the United States among recently arrived evacuees from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,800 evacuees received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the majority of eligible evacuees received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airman plays cards with evacuees.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Manuel Villarreal, 691st Cyber Operations Squadron virtual operations supervisor, plays cards with evacuees as they wait to board an outbound flight to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein is the largest reception port for Afghan evacuees within U.S. European Command since Aug. 20, and has received approximately 35,000 evacuees to date. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Evacuees helps TSA agent take photos at checkpoint.

Dale Wursten, Transportation Security Administration inspector, has an evacuee help take pictures of their family members before boarding flights to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Outbound flights were temporarily paused at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of an abundance of caution due to the discovery of a small number of measles cases in the United States among recently arrived evacuees from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,800 evacuees received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the majority of eligible evacuees received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airman hands evacuee his uniform patch.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Manuel Villarreal, 691st Cyber Operations Squadron virtual operations supervisor, offers his patch to an evacuee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Outbound flights were temporarily paused at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of an abundance of caution due to the discovery of a small number of measles cases in the United States among recently arrived evacuees from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,800 evacuees received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the majority of eligible evacuees received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Evacuee helps takes photo of family at check point.

Dale Wursten, Transportation Security Administration inspector, is assisted by an evacuee who takes his family’s photo at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Evacuees are being processed through a Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal in preparation to board out-bound flights destined for the United States from Ramstein. Ramstein has been serving as U.S. European Command’s primary hub for evacuation operations out of Afghanistan since Aug. 20 providing evacuees with temporary lodging, food, medical services and support while they awaited travel to the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Airmen collect evacuee luggage.

U.S. Air Force Airman Nalen Dubose, left, 52nd Maintenance Squadron stockpile crew member, and Senior Airman Codey Jacobs, right, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron firetruck and refueling mechanic, assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, transport evacuees’ luggage at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Evacuees are being processed through a Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal in preparation to board out-bound flights destined for the United States from Ramstein. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Airmen weighs evacuee luggage.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Bookman, 721st Aerial Port Squadron passenger service specialist, weighs an evacuee’s luggage at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein is working with various agencies to process evacuees through security check-points to ensure the safety of passengers, personnel and departing flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Airman checks evacuee luggage.
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U.S. Air Force Airman Andrew Markos, 721st Aerial Port Squadron passenger service specialist, inspects an evacuee's luggage at the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal in preparation for an outbound flight to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein has been serving as U.S. European Command’s primary hub for evacuation operations from Afghanistan since Aug. 20, providing travelers with temporary lodging, food, medical services and support while they await onward travel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Evacuees move towards passenger terminal.
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Evacuees travel to the last waiting area at the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as they prepare to travel to the United States, Oct. 9, 2021. Evacuees are shuttled to the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal to prepare to board outbound flights to the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Evacuee gives peace sign while walking through passenger terminal.
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Evacuee makes a peace sign as they travel to the last waiting area at the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as they prepare to travel to the United States, Oct. 9, 2021. Approximately 1,000 Afghans are expected to depart daily over the next several days. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Transportation Security Administration employee helps process evacuees through passenger terminal.
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Ms. Becky Blair, Transportation Security Administration inspector, processes evacuees at the temporary passenger terminal at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as they prepare to travel to the United States, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein is working with various entities to process evacuees through security check-points to ensure the safety of passengers, personnel and flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Evacuees and Airmen load luggage onto carts.
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Operation Allies Welcome personnel help evacuees process through the temporary passenger terminal as they prepare to travel to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. The passenger terminal was constructed as part of outbound flight operations resuming from Ramstein. Ramstein has been serving as U.S. European Command’s primary hub for evacuation operations out of Afghanistan since Aug. 20, providing evacuees with temporary lodging, food, medical services and support while they awaited travel to the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Evacuees look at photos of themselves.
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Evacuees look at photos of themselves while processing through the temporary passenger terminal for their departure to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 9, 2021. Outbound flights were temporarily paused at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of an abundance of caution due to the discovery of a small number of measles cases in the United States among recently arrived evacuees from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,800 evacuees received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the majority of eligible evacuees received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Evacuees wait in passenger terminal.
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Evacuees wait to be processed at the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as they prepare to travel to the United States, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein is working with various entities to process evacuees through security check-points to ensure the safety of passengers, personnel and flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

Airman checks luggage.
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Shuncheng Li, 726th Air Mobility Squadron passenger service agent assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, inspects evacuee luggage at the Transportation Security Administration compliant, purpose-built passenger terminal at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as they prepare to travel to the United States, Oct. 9, 2021. Ramstein is the U.S. European Command’s primary evacuation hub, supporting the largest, most complex humanitarian airlift operations in history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

Flights transporting Afghan evacuees to the United States from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, resumed Oct. 9, 2021.

The outbound flights began again after a temporary pause at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to the discovery of a small number of measles cases in the United States among recently arrived evacuees from Afghanistan.

“The flights did stop but operations were always continuous. We were always making sure of caring for the travelers, always finding a way to improve their quality of life here” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Harre, Operation Allies Welcome evacuee processing center lead. “Finding ways to prepare them for integration into U.S. life.”

As evacuees waited for just over three weeks, Ramstein, along with various other agencies, worked together to provide for the evacuees during their extended stay.

“Whether it's the Department of Defense, Department of State, or our partners, it was our common humanity which really allowed us to come together” Said Lt. Col. John Frazier 86th Force Support Squadron. “Just seeing the soldiers, Airmen, Guardians, and teachers as well, literally pouring out their hearts taking care of these other human beings has been inspiring and awesome to see.”

With the help of the U.S. Army, Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Department of State, German nationals and military members, Ramstein was able to construct a new, TSA compliant, purpose built passenger terminal to streamline the pre-flight screening process and continue evacuation efforts.

“We have people here from various AFSCs, people from various nations, from various forces and from various agencies helping with multiple vetting processes” Harre said. “It takes a total team mentality.”

Since flights resumed on Oct. 9, approximately 2,500 evacuees have flown out of Ramstein as of Oct. 12, 2021.

Ramstein AB has been serving as the largest reception port for Afghan evacuees within U.S. European Command since Aug. 20, and has received approximately 35,000 evacuees to date during the largest airlift mission in Air Force history.