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Panzer Kaserne, Kleber Kaserne, Danner Kaserne, Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Volgeweh Air Base, Ramstien Air Base & last the hospital post Landstuhl (KMC- Kaiserlsautern Military Community)
Kaiserlsautern ( K-Town) Germany
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present)
What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?
On post in stairwell housing. This means apartments, usually up to a fourth floor. It’s pretty crowded, really no room. Wait list for a 2 bedroom is about 2 to 4 months, 3 bedroom 6 to 9 months and the 4 to 5 bedrooms are very few and at the top of t he buildings, with little ventilation because your in the attic. Y kids, a boy and a girl 2 years apart were expected to share a room. There is no separation rules, kids can share rooms, if you want to be particular then you move off post. There are also the duplexes now. There are only so many for certain ranks, this means lower enlisted have almost no chance of getting in. I lived on post for 2 1/2 years. Now I live off post. Rent is in Euro, the exchange rate for your OHA (overseas housing allowance) doesn’t change unless there is a dramatic drop in the normal exchange rate. You might end up paying out of pocket. You only get the amount of you rent. My husband is E4 our allotment could be up to 1165 euro our rent is 945, so wee only get 945, you also get money for bills, ours is 545 euro a month. Electric is expensive, ours is 150 euro a month, water and trash is about 245 euro every 4 months. Then there is oil, I use about 2000 liters every six months, oil is 1300 dollars a 1000 liters. You have to sweep your sidewalk once a week and recycle everything. Animals can not be left outside, no cars running for more then a minute and you have to ventilate your house everyday.
Rate the PX & Commissary.
Just like everywhere they are packed with little to choose from. The only difference is over here this is the only place you have to go. I usually go about 8 am and do self check out at the commissary. The PX…well BX cause I’m on army on an air force base, is terrible, especially during Christmas, shop on line. The children’s clothes area is bare, usually nothing below a size 2 t for boys.
Activities on base?
There is bowling, teen clubs, roller rink, movie theater, small skate park on Vogelweh, Ramstien and Vogelweh have activity teaching centers-ballet, soccer, gymnastics, etc. There is a place called Kids Zone, sort of like Chucky Cheese. They have play groups there and on Landstuhl.
Active Spouses Club?
There is one on Ramstien, RESA- Ramstien Enlisted Spouses Association. I’m army so I’m not active in that, there is also an officer spouses group. RESA does everything, from the thrift shop to craft bazaars.
Things to do in area?
There are a lot of clubs that younger married or single people go to. There are always fairs going on somewhere. A kids fun factory is what it translates to in the downtown area. Garden show during the summer and spring. Dinosaur park, Christmas Markets. Lots of vineyards, with wine tasting. I would say it’s best to venture out on your own and not with MWR or USO. It’s cheaper and so much more fun. Oh yea and Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. It’s up near Munich, and in one weekend of staying there I went to Italy, Austria, and 3 castles. It’s really cheap, goes by your rank and in dollars because it’s a military facility.
This I can’t say. My oldest is only 4. She goes to a preschool at the CDC in Landstuhl, this is the only pace they have it. You have to pay though. They also have Sure Start for kids that are 4 before October.
Any colleges in area?
We have Central Texas, Maryland and Phoenix. Plus any on line you can think of. The problem is you are not able to do clinical over here, so nursing is out of the question. That was what sucked or me, putting my career on hold.
Jobs? (on post and off)
on post is everything like the states, aafes, commissary, mwr, banks. But the issue with this is a lot of local nationals hold those jobs and they will forever. If you can get in you won’t get far because once again the higher positions are held by local nationals or Americans that are staying here forever. Family Child Care is always a great idea. Off post really you won’t be able to get a job. Outside of the BX are always vendors selling this and that, they are sometimes hiring and pay in EURO under the table.
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?
I just love it, but you have to be adventurous and explore. Don’t live in Europe and do nothing except go on post!!
Least favorite aspect?
Working with the local nationals that think just because your a military spouse in their country you should treat them with all mighty respect, and yes they do act like that in a work environment.
Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)
www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com edelweiss reservations and seeing the area
www.ryanair.com cheap cheap plane tickets with in Europe, like 4.99 to get to Ireland
Any other tips?
The biggest thing that I want to say, would be live and love you time in Germany. For the most part this is such a great place to live. It took me 2 years to figure that out. Now I only have 9 months left and I hate the thought of leaving. Don’t waste money going back to the states to visit, go to Italy-9 hours away, spend the day in Paris-4 hours away, go see the crystals in Austria- 5 hours away. It’s all possible cherish Europe. It’s a once in a life time opportunity!!