Ramstein Airmen deploy with AEFs

Erin Zagursky
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***As one AEF cycle ends and another begins, more than 1,400 Ramstein Airmen are either coming or going in deployments all over the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

The Airmen come from every group and organization on the base and can deploy in groups of hundreds of people or alone. And they serve not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Europe, Africa, South America and even stateside bases, said Master Sgt. Danny Hayes, superintendent of Ramstein’s Personnel Readiness unit.

“Ramstein people are some of the best I’ve ever known in my Air Force career,” said Brig. Gen. Rosanne Bailey, 435th Air Base Wing and KMC commander. “They do a great job here, and I know they bring those same skills to the fight when they are deployed.”

The base deployed about 1,000 people for AEF cycle 1 and 2, which is one of the largest deployment cycles for the base.

Almost all of those people have now redeployed, with only about 230 remaining. Of those, 100 will return this month. The remaining Airmen are comprised mostly of security forces members who, instead of deploying for the normal four-month period, deploy for six months.

The largest numbers of deployers for this cycle came from the 435th Security Forces Group, 435th Civil Engineer Group, 435th Logistics Readiness Group, 86th Operations Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the 86th Maintenance Squadron, said Sergeant Hayes.

Airmen returning from cycle 1 and 2 were treated to a new program that was designed to make the redeployment process easier.

The “Welcome Home” program offers returnees briefings from life skills, the chapel, family support, finance and a line of various agencies so that people may have all of their redeployment requirements checked off at one location.

“Instead of running around everywhere, they can go to one place and get it all done,” said 2nd Lt. Amber Sanchez, Deployments OIC at the Deployment Control Center.

The line was held two times a week for about five weeks, depending on the demand from unit deployment managers, said Lieutenant Sanchez.

For AEF cycle 3 and 4, Ramstein is in the process of deploying about 300 people.

The largest groups of people leaving for this deployment come from the 86th MXS, 37th Airlift Squadron, 1st Combat Communications Squadron and Headquarters USAFE.

Nearly everyone who was slotted for cycle 3 and 4 has already deployed, and preparations are underway to prepare people for AEF cycle 5 and 6, which will begin in May.

“I’m proud of what Ramstein people have done supporting this war, and I know they will continue that legacy of excellence in the deployments ahead,” said General Bailey.