More than 25,500 days of German-American partnership

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Derek France, Third Air Force commander, meets with attendees of the assumption of command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 22, 2022. With this assumption of command, France became the 56th commander of 3 AF. He is now charged with leading all the wings in USAFE-AFAFRICA, and the command’s 32,000 Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Edgar Grimaldo)

For the last 70 years, Americans and Germans in Rheinland-Pfalz have forged an unbreakable bond formed through seven decades of personal and professional interactions. There have been many moments of goodness since 1952, and it is important to recognize our accomplishments as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Ramstein Air Base.

The most significant accomplishment might just be the deep, rich German-American partnership in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. This partnership is not just historic; it also represent our collective future.

As the KMC commander, I regularly meet with local and regional civic leaders to discuss how our communities can continue to support each other. Our German hosts and neighbors have amazed me with how much they truly care about our service members and their families. Their involvement and persistent support moves the needle on real issues. This is evident in our close cooperation during the pandemic and, more recently, Operation Allies Refuge.

As I reflect on the legacy left by previous generations that have called the KMC home, I beam with pride knowing we are now part of that legacy. At the same time, we must continue to build and strengthen the German-American partnership here.

We have the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in German culture. I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity. Living in the KMC can be truly transformative to our worldview, and strengthens our military’s diversity and cooperative relationships with countries abroad.

So, “prost” to 70 years of partnership and the many more years to come.

Derek France

Major General, U.S. Air Force

Third Air Force and KMC Commander