USAF, Rheinland-Pfalz prepare to celebrate 60 years together

by 2nd Lt. Kay M. Nissen
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Preparations are underway to celebrate 60 years of the U.S. Air Force in Rheinland-Pfalz March 2.

Planning and contributions are expected to come from every group in the 86th Airlift Wing, as well as from representatives from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.

The celebration will be a shared occasion for the host nation and U.S. Air Force. Ultimately, both parties place value in commemorating the past 60 years.
“This celebration represents 60 years of German-American friendship and the developing process and interaction between the two countries,” said Claudia Beavers-Rapp, chief of 86th AW host nation.

Maj. Kylene Ruth, the wing project officer for the event, also added, “This celebration is a great opportunity to recognize the very symbiotic relationship we have with our host nation.”

Events scheduled for the celebration include a ceremony where a streamer will be presented to the wing by the minister president of Rheinland-Pfalz.

“We are being honored as a representative of U.S. Air Forces in Europe by the minister president, Kurt Beck,” Beavers-Rapp said.

In Ramstein-Miesenbach, the opening of a historical exhibit “60 Years of Americans in Rheinland-Pfalz” at the Ramstein-Miesenbach Museum is also planned. The exhibit will feature Air Force and Army presence in Rheinland-Pfalz during the past 60 years.

There is also a German-American concert to look forward to at the Haus des Bürgers in Ramstein. The concert will be featuring Direct Hit, a USAFE band formation, and Phoenix Foundation, the state youth jazz orchestra. The bands will play music that highlights the time eras of the past six decades.

With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming occasion, Ruth explains why we choose to celebrate the event.

“We take the time to celebrate because it helps to motivate and encourage a continuing relationship with our friends in Germany and Rheinland-Pfalz,” she said. “It is a unique and close relationship that will extend well beyond 60 years.”