Story and photos by
Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A tour of Kaiserslautern, Germany, open to all Department of Defense service members and their families, is scheduled nearly every Thursday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m starting at the Passenger Terminal on Ramstein Air Base.
The Ramstein Air Base Newcomers Tour, hosted by the United Service Organization and the 86th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center, features a walking tour of Kaiserslautern and lunch at a local German restaurant. Tour participants also learn about the history of Americans in Rhineland-Palatinate during a walk-through of the Documentation and Exhibition Center.
Anne Warnock, USO Kaiserslautern area volunteer coordinator, said the tour unites American and German communities.
“One way to feel at home in a new community is to get to know your community,” said Warnock. “This Kaiserslautern orientation is a way for the military community to experience this new culture.”
During the tour, attendees are treated to a verbal history of Kaiserslautern from one of the tour guides. Mary Laureana Aguirre-Garza, a USO tour guide, has been hosting tours for two years.
“I love sharing the history, the culture, the living,” said Aguirre-Garza. “Opening the participants’ eyes to the treasures that we have in Kaiserslautern that are part of all of Europe.”
Attendees also visit the Kaiserslautern train station where they learn about using public transit. At the German-American Community Office Americans learn about German customs and laws.
Edgar Lopez, an attendee, said he enjoyed his time on the tour June 27 and learned a lot of things about Germany that he didn’t know before.
“It’s a good way to get your feet wet when you first get to Germany,” Lopez said.
The Ramstein Air Base Newcomers Tour is scheduled for every Thursday barring federal and German holidays. Registration is required for the tour. Participants can sign up by calling the Airman and Family Readiness Center at DSN 480-5100 or visiting them at Building 2120 on Ramstein. All service members, civilians and children are welcome to attend.
All-day parking is available at the grey parking garage near the Passenger Terminal. Visitors are requested to bring a safety restraint if traveling with children.