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Southwest German I&i


BansheeOne
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**SNIP**

 

I looked at the map of our district and surrounding area today and found some possible targets in place of or addition to Ramstein. There is a former Bundeswehr maintenance depot at St. Wendel which is now run under an oh-so-economic private-public partnership scheme, overhauling AFVs, wheeled vehicles, weapons of up to 20 mm caliber and NBC equipment, and visits seem generally possible. I'm less optimistic about Artillery School at Idar-Oberstein; we tried to include Armor School into our Munster trip during the 2011 I&I, but encountered a bureaucratic nightmare. I'll likely tour military installations in the area with my boss in late April though, and will see what could be arranged.

 

And of course we have to go to the "Shoe Village" at Hauenstein!

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I can't see how this would be any different from civilians taking the same tour, but will inquire at the next contact.

 

As for dates, I'm still partial to the third week of July, say the 15th to 20th. If there are no objections at this point, we might as well lock that in to get a solid base for planning.

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(Can we have one itty bitty wine garden visit included, please please?)

 

What do you mean, a winery? My boss' colleague from the next district to the east has one, about 40 kilometers from Kaiserslautern; I find they have their Hoffest on the weekend of 4-6 July this year, a little early for us, though they generally offer wine tastings for groups at a rate of 15 Euros per person. I could walk over to inquire.

 

If it's just about sitting down for a wine though, I suspect there is no shortage of opportunities in that area.

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Yep, that sounds about right - guided tour around the vineyard, stamp all over a trough full of grapes, into the winery to see what happens next and rounded off with a massive wine-tasting session. That's one "I" in I&I dealt with!

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I can't see how this would be any different from civilians taking the same tour, but will inquire at the next contact.

I just happen to know that there is these stupid rules about foreign solders in other counties military bases - been there done that...it would be easy if we would have alliance deal but we don't...being EU citizen doesn't count in my experience...

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  • 3 weeks later...

In this lone parliamentary non-session week out of five, I have managed to get some information on the possible Ramstein Airbase and winery visits. We need to come to a decision on the first in particular, as I would need to register next Tuesday if we wanted to do that.

 

I talked to a local company from the list provided by the airbase liaison office which is renting out minibuses with drivers, and they quoted me a price of € 220; from their experience, this is typically a lengthy tour that takes from morning to after lunch, which can apparently be had on base. However, out of our time window, they only had an appropriately-sized vehicle available for the 16th (15th being transfer day). I suppose there are other companies though they were the only ones listed with a website and expressively offering minibuses; but then the day is as good as any other.

 

The price is certainly not unaffordable, but frankly I'm not enthusiast about the economics which amount to spending a rather hefty "admittance" of ca. € 20 per head on what would otherwise be a free tour a mere couple kilometers from the hotel, particularly as we will already be renting a van for the entire program. We also need to meet the ten person threshold, so I would ask everybody who will participate in the I&I beyond a reasonable doubt to confirm until this Sunday, 30 March, and opine on this particular activity.

 

The winery is fortunately much less complicated. I just talked to the wife-in-charge, and she said there would be absolutely no problem hosting our group for a 2.5-3 hour visit including winetasting and some dinner any evening of that week. Food could be selected up until a few days in advance depending upon weather etc. (cold or warm local cuisine involving much bread, cheese, sausages and potatos), and wines (six to eight from the house sortiment) even on the spot for a total of not more than € 25 per head. I envision this taking place on the way back from the Speyer and Sinsheim museums since it's all conveniently in a straight line for a day trip which might also include lunch in downtown Speyer with a visit to the cathedral.

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Well, judging from the length of the tour, you get to see a lot of airfield installations, and I was told it could include a briefing on Allied Air Command Ramstein, access to an aircraft (they mostly have Hercules and Galaxies there) and a visit to the base fire station. I would find it interesting, but in addition to the extra cost I'm also not sure if it's worth spending most of a day on it.

 

As another strike, I just got an e-mail by the rental company saying they now have no vehicle available for the 16th either. It shouldn't be too hard finding another, but I have to say the troubles are adding up. At this point I'd rather try to get us into the St. Wendel maintenance depot or similar.

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I guess I'm pretty ambivalent about Ramstein.

 

On another note, what days should I make my flight reservations for? I assume we want to arrive and leave Frankfurt the same days to minimize transport requirements?

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I am completely free as to dates and itinerary. Frankly, a miss on Ramstein would be just fine with me.

... (cold or warm local cuisine involving much bread, cheese, sausages and potatos), and wines (six to eight from the house sortiment) even on the spot for a total of not more than € 25 per head.

Yes, yes, yes. :)

 

Leo

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