Ramstein Air Base: an Air Force Top Priority

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
  • 86th Airlift Wing commander
Team Ramstein: you are all incredibly busy executing our forward deployed mission here in Europe. If that weren't enough, we routinely ask more than 800 of our Team Ramstein Airmen to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. Regardless of location you are all doing an absolutely magnificent job.

As you and your families travel around Ramstein and the KMC you see lots of new facilities and construction. Our new KMCC/BX complex, the southside fitness center, the aquatic center, new housing, etc. These new facilities show our Air Force is definitely focusing on one of its top five priorities, "taking care of our Airmen and their families" here at Ramstein.

This week, however, I'd like to focus on another AF priority "modernize our aging air and space inventories". Here at Ramstein our Air Force is making sure it's providing modern tools to succeed in your mission today, tomorrow and far into the future.

Recently Ramstein experienced a milestone when, after more than 30 years of flying for the Air Force, the last C-130E model departed the 86th AW for a new life with our partners the Polish Air Force. This departure plus the arrival of our seventh (of 14) C-130J model brings us to the halfway point modernizing combat airlift fleet. The J model provides approximately 20 percent improvements over previous C-130 models in speed, fuel efficiency, cargo capacity and altitude capabilities.

Modernizing our C-130 fleet doesn't mean just new airplanes. It also includes a new aircraft parts store and a new dual bay hangar both which are fully operational. Additionally, we will add a full motion C-130J simulator to the Ramstein real estate portfolio in a couple more years.

And have you noticed the construction site near the northside fitness center? Work on the 603rd Air Operations Center is well underway transforming the former facility into a 21st century weapon system as well.

Our Air Force is committed to modernizing our aging weapon systems. We are halfway though our delivery of 14 new C-130Js, a new simulator, a new aircraft parts store, a new dual bay hangar, and a new 603rd AOC. These are some prime examples of just how well Team Ramstein is doing.

As always, thank you and your families for serving and belated Happy Veterans Day.