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Table of Contents


The airbase of Ramstein, near Kaiserslautern, serves several military functions.


Ramstein serves as headquarters for U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).
US units based in Ramstein are the 86th Airlift Wing and the 435th Air Base Wing.

The 86th Airlift Wing operates airlift assets composed of 17 C-130s, 2 C-20s, C-21s, a C-37 and a C-40 throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The 86th Airlift Wing commander also serves as the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) commander.
The 86th Airlift Wing is composed of four groups, 14 squadrons and one detachment. These are:

86th Operations Group (86 OG):

  • 37th Airlift Squadron (37 AS)(uses C-130E, they will be replaced in 2009 by the C-130J)
  • 76th Airlift Squadron (76 AS)(uses C-20H, C-21A, C-40B)
  • 309th Airlift Squadron (309 AS) (based in Chièvres Air Base, Belgium)
  • 86th Operations Support Squadron (86 OSS)
  • 496th Air Base Squadron (496 ABS) (based in Morón Air Base, Spain)
  • 86th Contingency Response Group (86 CRG)
  • 86 AMS
  • 786th Security Forces Squadron (Airborne) (786 SFS)

86th Maintenance Group (86 MXG):

  • 86 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (86 AMXS)
  • 86 Maintenance Squadron (86 MXS)
  • 86 Maintenance Operations Squadron (86 MOS)

86th Mission Support Group (86 MSG)
86th Medical Group (86 MDG)
1st Combat Communications Squadron
In January 2008 additionally the 779th Expeditionary Airlift Flight was activated for the rotational deployment of two C-17 Globemaster IIIs to Ramstein.

The 435th Air Base Wing fulfils the base support roles. It is divided into 5 groups, 20 squadrons, and 14 geographically separated units (units at other locations) and more than 7,200 personnel.

  • The 435th Civil Engineer Group supports and maintains the base's buildings and infrastructure.
  • The 435th Logistics Readiness Group provides training, planning, supply, and transportation.
  • The 435th Medical Group
  • The 435th Mission Support Group provides security, communications, services, and personnel services.
  • The 431st Air Base Group provides contracting and air postal support inside Europe, force protection and police services in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, and personnel support to Airmen assigned to NATO.

Apart from the airlift capacities of the 86th Airlift wing itself, Ramstein serves as transit point between the US and South Asia. Monthly more than 10000 tons of cargo and about 25000 passengers pass Ramstein. Source


Ramstein houses a part of NATOs military command structure: CC-AIR, the air component headquarter functioning under the JFC HQ in Brunssum (Netherlands). CC-Air is commanded by a US Air Force General, and has over 800 military and civilian personnel from 13 different countries.