The threat of rain did not stop the members of the KMC who gathered at the new Army and Air Force Exchange Service KMC Express Store grand opening Aug. 31 on Ramstein.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with Brig. Gen. C.K. Hyde, 86th Airlift Wing commander; Col. Fred Hannah, AAFES Europe-Southwest Asia commander; Chief Master Sgt. James Morris, 86th Airlift Wing command chief; John Sharpe, AAFES Europe-Southwest Asia area manager; Jeffrey Crisp, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern deputy commander; and Airman 1st Class Lesli Jimenez, Airman of the Quarter.
Hyde opened the ceremony with remarks to the AAFES staff and supporters.
“Thank you for representing what you are — a part of this community,” he said. “Community is a team endeavor. Thank you for being our faithful partner.”
The $7 million, 11,000-square-foot express store equipped with 28 gas pumps is the biggest gas station in Europe and took only a year to complete.
“Facilities like this enable combat power and make life more convenient and bring us a taste of home,” Hyde said.
Open 24/7, the facility also offers customers video rentals, simple housewares and a large snack avenue with a wider assortment of items. It also provides the widest selection of beverages from across Europe housed in 24 large coolers.
“We are delighted to be a part of this community,” Hannah said. “We were able to enhance the KMC by combining three facilities into one. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the staff and community.”
The new exchange store is now the only operating gas station on Ramstein.