Sembach Air Base
On 08 January 2015, the US Department of Defense announced the consolidation of some U.S. infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations. As a result of this announcement, DoD is to close commissaries at Illesheim and Sembach, as well as the four commissaries in Stuttgart at Kelley Barracks, Patch Barracks, Panzer Barracks and Robinson Barracks, once a new replacement store on Panzer is constructed.
Sembach Air Base (AB) is about 45 minutes east of Ramstein Air Base and serves a population of about 2,000. Effective 1 April, 1995, Sembach Air Base became an annex of Ramstein Air Base and is thus referred to as the Sembach Annex. Sembach Annex is part of what is called the Kaiserslautern Military Community [the "KMC"]. The KMC, 80 miles southwest of Frankfurt, Germany, is located in the German federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz which borders on Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The Kaiserslautern Military Community, a combined branch (Navy-Army-Air Force) community, is the largest overseas US military community, with some 58,800 Military Members, Dependents and DOD Civilians. The KMC [or K-Town] includes facilities at Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl, Miesau, Ramstein, and Vogelweh. Ramstein Air Base personnel provide support for operations at other KMC facilities, including Kapaun Air Station, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, the Vogelweh military complex and the Ramstein annex at Sembach (formerly Sembach Air Base).
In September 1999, Van Operational Detachment (VANOPDET) established Expeditionary Logistics Unit (ELU)-1 in Sembach, Germany. Originally titled EM/MMF-1 in Aviano, Italy, the maintenance facility was moved to a more logistically viable location to increase support capabilities for EA-6B squadrons in the European and Southwest Asian theatre.
Sembach is located in rolling farm country ten miles north of Kaiserslautern, just off the Mannheim/Saarbruecken Autobahn. Also nearby are the vineyards of the Rhine Valley. The State of Rheinland Palatinate stretches from the Rhein River to the north, the Mosel to the northwest, and the Saar to the west. Sembach is centrally located; shopping, entertainment, and recreation are readily available in nearby Kaiserslautern. Frankfurt International Airport is about a 50- minute drive away.
Sembach AB has recreational facilities that include a bowling center, gymnasium, tennis courts, racquetball courts, football, soccer, basketball, theater, and a Combined Club for all ranks. A gas station, auto parts store (limited supplies), and auto hobby shops are available. Gas coupons can be bought at the exchange for off-base purchases. A USAF clinic is available for routine medical needs. Emergency dental cart may be available. Medical facilities are available at the Landstuhl Medical Center. A gas station, auto parts store (limited supplies), and auto hobby shops are available. The U.S. Army maintains an education center in Sembach and others in nearby cities for language courses and advanced studies. Several American universities offer graduate programs in the area.
The weather varies from cold to hot, wet or dry as it is in many countries. It is best to bring clothing for all seasons.
Two of Sembach's four wells are prone to seasonal nitrate contamination from nearby farming. At risk are infants (blue baby syndrome from nitrites). Households with infants are provided bottled water. In addition, Sembach occasionally experiences high levels of trichloroethane, or TCE, an organic liquid used in the making of synthetic fibers and plastic wraps. Excessive exposure can cause liver damage and other health problems. Due to the contamination, short-term fixes to the system were initiated last year and longer-term options are being considered. A study scheduled last year to assess and improve the operations and maintenance of the Sembach system was delayed so system upgrades and modifications could be undertaken and completed.
In another recommendation, DoD would establish a Combat Air Force Logistics Support Center at Langley Air Force Base by realigning Regional Supply Squadrons positions from Hickam Air Force Base and Sembach, Germany (non-BRAC programmatic) as well as base-level Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) positions from Luke Air Force Base. As part of the same recommendation, DoD would establish a Mobility Air Forces Logistics Support Center at Scott Air Force Base by realigning Regional Supply Squadron positions from Hurlburt Field and Sembach (non-BRAC programmatic) and LRS positions from Little Rock Air Force Base and Altus Air Force Base. These recommendations would be a transformational opportunity consistent with eLog21 initiatives that would standardize Air Force materiel management command and control. This recommendation would realign RSS manpower (from three MAJCOM locations) and base-level LRS manpower (from three installations) into two LSCs in support of Combat Air Forces and Mobility Air Forces.
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