PAX terminal opens new wing

Airman 1st Class Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

A ribbon cutting ceremony to signify the opening of a new wing in the Ramstein Passenger Terminal took place in front of the perfect backdrop Feb. 10 at the terminal. As the ceremony kicked off, a Patriot Express mission plane carrying troops downrange could be seen pulling away from the terminal.

“Perfect timing,” said Col. Jeff Derrick, 723rd Air Mobility Squadron commander, who presided over the ceremony.

The event was attended by a number of distinguished guests including ribbon cutters Brig. Gen. Bobby J. Wilkes, 21st Expeditionary Task Force commander, and Brig. Gen. Danny K. Gardner, director of installation and mission support for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

***image1***The opening marked the end to a long wait as construction broke ground on the project in November 2003. The added wing will more than double the air mission capabilities at Ramstein and will make the Rhein-Main transition much smoother.

The 25-million euro addition has expanded the terminal from 57,000 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet and has upped the number of departure gates from three to five.

The project also aimed to provide more comfort for troops in transit, said Colonel Derrick.

This is evident by the amount of seating at the departure gate being boosted from around 250 seats to more than 700 seats and also by the two new jetways that will shelter troops from the elements when loading planes.

These additions will also allow two Patriot Express missions to run simultaneously, and all the additions will be needed due to the 30,000 passengers Ramstein processes each month, said Colonel Derrick.