Why is the US Rammstein military base in Germany so important?

There are more than 20 US military bases in Germany – they have existed in the Federal Republic since the end of World War II. Rammstein is the largest and most important headquarters of the US Air Force.

During World War II, the German Air Force used part of the highway between Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern for emergency landings. Towards the end of the war, American troops captured the airport near the French border and in 1951 built their military base there. Since 1954, the presence of foreign troops in Germany has been regulated by a treaty.

Little America

Today, Rammstein is used as a logistics center by the US military. During the evacuation from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, about 7,000 people passed through. Along with the airport, Rammstein’s base is the headquarters of the US Air Force for Europe and Africa, as well as other coordination units.

The area of ​​the base is 14 square kilometers, it serves more than 9,000 American soldiers. Along with barracks, ammunition depots, and medical facilities, there is the largest infirmary of the US military outside the United States. According to the United States, the total number of Americans living in the area is about 53,000. They have their shopping malls, high schools, and bowling alleys – they live in a small America. The community also plays an important economic role – as the largest employer in the region, it contributes significantly to local economic growth.

German law is officially in force, but with restrictions

In previous years, there has been a debate in Germany about Rammstein’s legal position. Foreign military property in Germany is not considered an extraterritorial area, respectively German law applies there.

But the US military enjoys some immunity and special rights: German authorities can enter Rammstein only with special permission, and the Americans themselves apply their criminal law for crimes committed on the base. In recent years, German authorities have repeatedly tried to find out exactly what is happening in Rammstein. Official reports for years said there was a lack of information.

Since 2013, the German media has repeatedly written about the role of the Rammstein base in the US drone war. Between 2002 and 2004, more than 14,000 US drone strikes killed between 910 and 2,200 civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London. The US military has targeted targets in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.

In 2016, the US government acknowledged that Rammstein was used not only to transmit data: military and secret service personnel at the base were also involved in planning, monitoring, and analyzing attacks.

US convenes meeting at Rammstein base

The United States is convening a meeting on the course of the war in Ukraine at its Rammstein base in Germany. This was announced by the Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin. NATO ministers have been invited but did not specify which countries.

The meeting at the American Rammstein base in Germany will take place on Tuesday, with the participation of representatives of countries outside the Alliance.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the lasting security and sovereignty of Ukraine after the war.

Another topic will be Ukraine’s defense needs not only now, but also in the years after the end of the war:

“We think it’s time to discuss that, too,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

Another topic will be armaments and the necessary funds at the moment.

The United States has already announced another $ 800 million arms package for Kyiv.

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