Retired Military Access to American Bases in Germany

Taking adult daughters to Germany and would like to visit Ramstein Air Force Base where we lived 35 years ago. I have military ID card, but daughters don't. I don't just want to assume that we can get in. Anyone have any experience?

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

You can get them in. Per SOFA, you can't use the PX, etc.

Posted by Jeff
Taunusstein, Germany
303 posts

Ditto the previous post. You will have to stop at either of the main gates with the west one exiting A6 at Landstuhl/Ramstein being the easiest and with a full up visitor control point. You can enter with a current retired ID card and your daughters will have to have their passports available at the Visitor Control Point. You can't make purchases at the BX or Commisary but you can eat in the food court at the large mall they have built in the last few years and use the clubs and the multiplex theater. Ramstein has changed a whole lot in 30+ years and it can be insanely crowded at times.

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
708 posts

Just as an FYI, the SOFA agreement here in Italy is different than Germany; retirees are allowed to shop at the PX, commissary, etc. here so if you happen to be near a base in Italy in your travels, keep that in mind.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2726 posts

But can you purchase gasoline on base in Italy? Off base, it's around $9.50 per U.S. gallon. Ouch!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7866 posts

Keep in mind the APO's on base if you want to send anything home. Unless something's changed, I always got charged parcel post as if I was mailing it within the states - much cheaper than normal shipping options in Europe.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2029 posts

I am pretty sure that no matter where you are in Europe you can't purchase gas on base unless you reiterate IN Europe. Not 100% sure. We have a gas card and registration that we use to purchase gas - without that, you can't. Make sure your daughters are carrying their passports so you can sign them onto base.

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
708 posts

It depends (on buying gas here). We don't have a gas station on base here so it's strictly coupons for us. For people coming from Germany, you go to the fuel point (or MP desk after hours) with you ID card, leave/pass form and registration/rental agreement and you will be authorized to buy a limited amount of coupons. However, people not stationed in Europe would not likely have a leave/pass form. I believe they have an AAFES station on Aviano but I'm not sure. We used to be able to buy German coupons here for when we go on leave or TDY but since Germany switched to the gas card, it's no longer possible. We now have to go to the customs office of the nearest base in Germany with the proper documents to register for a temporary card. It's a big pain in the a$$.