Day of departure

by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Being prepared for the day of departure is very important and often overlooked. Ensure that luggage adheres to airport and airline policies before getting to the airport. It is also important to have your transportation to the airport prepared a few days in advance to alleviate any stress. Lastly, listen to all instructions and procedural guidance of airport staff and security to get to your destination. Courtesy photo

Outprocessing from an overseas assignment is known for being a complicated process, but service members can finally take a breather once they wake up on that final day-of-departure morning.

Though the day of departure may be a day to relax, for some, the day can quickly turn into one of the busiest.

“Patriot Express travelers should check-in baggage 24 hours to prior to departure,” said Senior Airman Shranil Kumar, 721st Aerial Port Squadron passenger service specialist. “For temporary duty, deployments, and those making a permanent change of duty station need their orders with them, especially for Space-A travel.”

Travelers should always carry items such as leave authorization forms, unaccompanied letters, non-command or command-sponsored forms, and other forms of identification, such as passports, Kumar said.

“Retired military personnel need their retired ID, and dependents or children 10 years or older need an ID,” Kumar said.

Senior Airman Peter Zuniga, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial delivery specialist; Airman 1st Class Nicholas Billock, 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron vehicle equipment maintainer; Senior Airman Calvin Lourens, 721st Aerial Port Squadron passenger service specialist; and Airman 1st Class Nikko Madarang, 721st APS passenger service specialist pose for a photo at the Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminal Feb. 14 on Ramstein Air Base. Lourens returned from a deployment last month on the same day that his friend, Zuniga, was making a permanent change of station from Ramstein to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Courtesy photo

More information can be found at the Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminal website, or their Facebook page.

If not flying from Ramstein, many service members leave from Frankfurt International Airport, which is approximately 120 kilometers away.

Members should arrange transportation before the day of departure, and always have a back-up plan, Kumar said.

Service members leaving Germany shouldn’t rent vehicles from the airport if their U.S. Army Europe driver’s license isn’t valid on the day of departure. There are several shuttle services that will take members to the airport from base.

To get around the local area, buses, trains, and taxis are also available. Several military shuttle bus routes serve Ramstein and the Kaiserslautern Military Community, as well as German bus services. Up-to-date shuttle-bus schedules can be found at base billeting offices and the AMC Passenger Terminal on Ramstein.

Shuttle buses pick up service members and Department of Defense civilian employees. Shuttle bus transportation is also offered to off-duty service members, DoD civilian employees, family members and retirees on a space-available basis only.

However you choose to travel on your day of departure, make plans well in advance and travel safely. Tschüss!