We are glad to have you as part of Saber Nation!
Spangdahlem Air Base is located near the small town of Spangdahlem. Larger cities nearby include Bitburg and Wittlich. Spangdahlem AB currently includes about 1,282 acres of land (two square miles) and is home to approximately 5,000 US active-duty military members and 7,000 dependents.
If you plan to join Saber Nation or have moved to Spangdahlem AB recently, check out the information below to help with your transition:
If dependent spouses/children plan to move to Germany prior to the Active Duty member, certain benefits may be limited, including access to on-base medical care and on-base housing. If this is something you are considering, please contact your gaining squadron’s First Sergeant.
DO NOT INCLUDE
CONSIDER CARRYING OR MAILING
MAIL FORWARDING & ON BASE POSTAL SERVICE
The Spangdahlem AB Post Office operates as an extension of the United States Postal Service in order to provide effective and responsive postal services to authorized personnel. Mail services can be established at Spangdahlem AB up to 90 days prior to your arrival. Your sponsor can help set up your PSC Box, with a copy of your PCS orders.
The Military Postal System provides many of the same services as the United States Postal System. Keep in mind delivery may take a bit longer due to the extra distance mail must travel. Priority packages and letter-class mail take approximately 8 days. Magazines and surface mail may take 30-35 days. Express mail service may be purchased for delivery to CONUS in 3 days.
Ensure all shipments are packaged in sturdy boxes and secured with packing tape. Customs forms must list everything contained in the package and cannot include generic terms like "gift" or "snacks."
52D FSS POST OFFICE TIPS
DoD Personnel with an APO address in Germany are subject to International Customs regulations and are prohibited from mailing or receiving the following items:
Customs frequently conducts inspections of the postal system; unauthorized items will be confiscated and further actions will be taken if deemed necessary (i.e. investigation, loss of MPO privileges, etc.) Find out what you can and cannot send by checking the guidance posted at the Post Office before shipping.
For more information visit www.52fss.com/post-office or DSN 314-452-7195/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-7195.
Moving to Europe can be significantly more expensive than you may think. Arriving with a substantial amount of money saved away to defray these initial costs can ease the stress of your PCS.
Some expenses you will need to prepare for include:
In order to pay your bills on the economy, you will need to open an account at one of the banks on base or at an off base German bank. While you can certainly keep your stateside bank account, it is highly unlikely that your bank will provide the required IBAN (wire transfer number) to support a Euro payment service.
On base banks are incorporated into both the US and German banking systems. The two banks available on base are: Service Credit Union and Community Bank. The rates and services offered change from time to time, so it is best to research them when you arrive on station.
German Taxation of US Military Paychecks -- No longer in effect as of July 2023
In July 2023, the German government issued a directive that bans all German tax offices from seizing the military pay of U.S. personnel stationed in the country. The ruling states that U.S military and civilian personnel who live in Germany under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) cannot have their pay taxed by Germany, regardless of their "will to return" to the U.S. Previously, German tax offices argued that U.S. personnel must prove they intend to return to the U.S. to avoid paying German taxes on military salaries.
For more information, see this document regarding taxation in Germany.
Any non-active duty member should have a no-fee government passport with a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Stamp. A SOFA Stamp exempts dependents from being required to obtain a visa and allows unrestricted access to and from Germany. Active Duty members will not receive a SOFA stamp. Active Duty members must present their military ID and a copy of PCS orders upon arrival. If you wish to speak directly with the Spangdahlem AB Passport Office call DSN 314-452-4448/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-4448.
If you plan to engage in leisure travel while assigned in Europe, you and your family will need to acquire tourist passports at your expense. A tourist passport will ensure you can travel freely to ALL European countries. A no-fee passport or
military ID will not allow entry into some European countries. Check the following link for additional information pertaining to country-specific passport requirements: www.fcg.pentagon.mil. For information on tourist passports visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.
Transportation from the airport to base should be arranged a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival. Money spent for the shuttle, taxi, or by your sponsor to purchase gas, can be claimed on your travel voucher. The 52nd Force Support Squadron Saber Shuttle provides daytime shuttle transportation to and from Spangdahlem AB, Ramstein Passenger Terminal, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, and Frankfurt International Airport.
NOTE: Personnel travelling with children requiring booster or car safety seats must provide their own booster/car seats. All pets (including service animals) must be transported in airline approved kennels IAW German traffic laws.
For reservations or more information visit www.52fss.com/airport-shuttle for the latest up-to-date information, reservation request form or contact the Saber Shuttle Office: DSN 314-452-7684/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-7684.
In case of an emergency, contact the Spangdahlem Command Post: DSN 314-452-6100/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6100.
Reserve a room at Eifel Arms Inn as soon as possible once confirmed travel dates are received. Reservations can be made by visiting www.52fss.com/lodging or by calling the Eifel Arms Inn at DSN 314-452-0500/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-0500. Provide the following information to reserve lodging/TLF: full name, rank, organization, and date of arrival. Reservations can be made by your sponsor.
Pet-friendly TLF facilities are available on a limited basis. If you are planning on bringing a pet(s), please let your sponsor/Eifel Arms Inn know as soon as possible in order to reserve a pet friendly room.
Additional kenneling arrangements can be made at the 52 FSS Saber Pet Lodge. The 52 FSS Saber Pet Lodge provides transportation services to and from Ramstein AB and Frankfurt International Airport.
Visit www.52fss.com/saber-pet-lodge to ensure your pet has the required vaccinations for lodging and boarding or contact them at DSN 314-452-5004/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-5004.
Upon arrival in country, contact your sponsor as soon as possible.
Within the first 30 days on station, you must register your Common Access Card (CAC) and Dependent ID Card(s) with the Installation Access Control System located at the Visitor's Control Center (Bldg 505), outside of the main gate. Upon registration of your CAC, you will be authorized access to one or more local military installations and establish escort privileges.
Call DSN 314-452-7414/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-7414 for more information.
The 52nd FW Base Newcomer Orientation is an introduction to base resources and agencies. Call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at DSN 314-452-6422/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6422 for more information or to reserve your seat. Spouses are encouraged to attend.
Newcomer Orientation briefers include:
A ration card is required to purchase coffee, hard alcohol, and tobacco at the Commissary, Exchange and AAFES Express. Take a copy of your orders to your squadron’s orderly room to be issued a ration card.
Please visit the Air Force Housing site for specific information pertaining to Spangdahlem housing here: Spangdahlem (af.mil)
FIRST STOP: HOUSING OFFICE
All accompanied personnel must report to the 52d Housing Management Office within two days of arrival. Failure to report may affect Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) payment.
FINDING AN OFF-BASE HOUSE
FURNISHING MANAGEMENT OFFICE
Once you move to your house, on- or off-base, the Furnishing Management Office (FMO) will provide you with temporary furniture (beds, couch, lamps, table/chairs) while you await your Household Goods. If you have a house off-base, FMO will provide you with appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, transformers, fire extinguisher, and standing wardrobes (2 per adult, 1 per child) that you can keep for the duration of your tour. For more information contact FMO (Bldg 454) at DSN 314-452-6802/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6802.
VAT and UTAP office (Bldg 126, 1st floor), DSN 314-452-7801/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-7801. Visit www.52fss.com/vat-utap-office for additional information.
Germany has a 19% sales tax. Military members and their dependents can purchase items on the economy up to €2,500 , without paying sales tax, by using a VAT form. VAT forms are available for purchase at the VAT office for $5.00 a form and you may purchase up to ten forms at a time. First time buyers can do a one-time purchase of 10 for $40.00. The VAT Office has an application for an additional VAT form for purchases over €2,500. Bring a copy of your orders, military ID, and a Form 5 (located on the 52 FSS link above or available at the VAT office) to set up your VAT account.
If you live off-base, avoid paying 19% tax on electric and gas bills by signing up for the UTAP program. You cannot enroll in UTAP until you receive your first month's bill. It costs $99 to enroll in UTAP and the following must be presented at the UTAP office:
For cell phone, landline phones, cable, and internet services, there are service providers both on- and off-base. There are two cell phone service providers located on-base at the Base Exchange: TKS and Telekom. Prices and services differ, especially from the States. Stop by to learn of their ongoing promotions and plans.
Setting up your home internet can take a few months but is generally faster if initiated at an off-base service provider located in Bitburg or Wittlich. Service providers can check the internet speeds for the area in which your home is located. If internet speed is important to you, this is something to consider while house hunting.
Armed Forces Network (AFN) is available. A decoder can be purchased from the BX. Additional resources include streaming devices. A VPN may be necessary to utilize services. German/American cable television plans are available through a local internet provider.
Transformers & Converters
Germany uses a higher voltage current than the United States – the US uses 110v, while Germany (and the rest of Europe) uses 220v. German outlets use the 2-prong, round plugs, however be aware that other European countries may use varying plug designs.
Transformers use a considerable amount of energy (even when nothing is plugged into them) and may reduce the life expectancy of your items. It might be more cost-effective to purchase 220v versions of frequently used items such as irons, vacuums, coffee pots, etc.
FMO will provide two transformers for the entirety of your tour.
110v lamps can be used with a plug converter. Simply swap out the 110v bulb for a European-spec 220v bulb.
Spangdahlem Community Schools
The three on-base schools are part of the Department of Defense (DoDEA) Europe West District. For more information visit www.dodea.edu/Europe/west/index.cfm.
The Spangdahlem Elementary Main Office is located in Bldg 439. The Spangdahlem Middle School and High School are co-located in Bldg 590. Visit the links below for more information on each school or contact the Spangdahlem School Liaison Officer at email@example.com.
For enrollment information contact each school directly or visit the links provided.
Germany has a public school system. You have the option of enrolling your child in the German school system, if space is available, at no cost. This is a great opportunity for children to learn the language and culture. Every child is different, but in general, a child with no knowledge of German upon entering school will understand it in 4-6 months and be fluent at their age level in 6-8 months.
The school day is shorter (half-day for elementary), but students can be enrolled for the whole day for a small fee.
Note: Not all US holidays will coincide with German holidays.
German Kindergartens are local off-base daycares for children 3 to 5 years of age. Most villages have a Kindergarten and the opportunity to enroll will be based on space available, as Germans have priority.
Contact the local Kindergarten you are interested in for more information.
If your child will be attending one of the Department of Defense Schools on-base, transportation will be provided to and from your village at one designated bus stop.
Contact the Student Transportation Office (Bldg 433) at firstname.lastname@example.org for the most current list of villages with a DoDEA bus stop.
There is no bus transportation for students living on-base.
For more information contact the School Transportation Office at DSN 314-452-5340/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-5340 or visit www.dodea.edu/SpangdahlemES/transportation.cfm.
Child Development Center (CDC)
The Child Development Center (Bldg 443), offers on-base daycare services for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old. The CDC is closed on Family Days and Federal Holidays. Visit www.militarychildcare.com to get information on enrollment or call the CDC at DSN 314-452-6697/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6697.
School Age Program (SAP)
The School Age Program (Bldg 457), provides on-base child care for children 6-12 years old and offers before and after school care. During summer months, SAP offers full-day enrichment programs. Visit www.militarychildcare.com to get information on enrollment or call SAP at DSN 314-452-7545/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-7545.
Family Child Care (FCC)
Family Child Care Providers are individuals certified to provide childcare in their home. An FCC Provider undergoes a background check, training, inspections and is monitored by the Community Child Care Coordinator.
Contact the Family Child Care Office for a list of current providers or more information at DSN 314-452-9022/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-9022. Types of care offered by FCC providers include: Full time, Part-time, Drop-in, PCS Care, Deployment Care, Extended Duty Care, and Military Spouse Appointment Care.
There are several on-base employment opportunities at Spangdahlem AB. Spouses and dependents seeking employment while stationed at Spangdahlem AB are strongly encouraged to contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC, Bldg 307) for more information.
The A&FRC can provide resume assistance, mock interviews and help with understanding the spouse employment process. Contact the A&FRC at DSN 314-452-6422/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6422 for more information. For current federal employment opportunities visit www.usajobs.gov.
Volunteers are a vital part of the Spangdahlem Community. Many opportunities are available with the following organizations: USO, A&FRC, Outdoor Recreation, Youth Sports Program, and the American Red Cross. Contact each agency for more information.
There is no emergency medical service on Spangdahlem AB. The 52nd Medical Group has a clinic located in Bldg 550 for basic and routine medical needs. While the clinic can accommodate most medical needs, you may be referred off base or to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for specialized care.
It is recommended to maintain your dental insurance until you arrive at Spangdahlem AB and can assess the availability of dental services for dependents. The additional insurance would also provide coverage for special procedures that may have to be performed through an off-base provider.
To schedule an appointment or for more information contact the Medical Appointment Line at DSN 314-452-8333/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-8333.
Emergency care is provided off-base at local German hospitals. For non-emergencies, a referral will be required to see an off-base provider. Without a proper referral, an off-base medical provider can be costly.
For more information, visit the TRICARE Office located inside the clinic (Bldg 550) or call DSN 314-452-3524/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-3524.
If you require assistance with translation, help is available through a Patient Liaison Officer (PLO). A PLO is available Mon-Fri 0800-1700 and Sat & Sun 0900-1500. The PLO is not available on German and American Holidays.
Local Hospitals include:
The Spangdahlem Veterinary Treatment Facility (VTF) is located on-base (Bldg 559). They offer routine care, health certificates for international travel, and perform minor surgeries. All pets must be registered with the VTF upon arrival. The VTF is not equipped to handle medical emergencies but can provide a list of off-base veterinarians and emergency clinics. For more information contact the VTF at DSN 314-452-9388/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-9388.
If you wish to travel throughout Europe with your pet, you will need an EU Pet Passport from a German veterinarian. Even with a pet passport, some countries restrict travel, so you will want to confirm entry requirements prior to traveling with your pet.
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52d Force Support Squadron
Plan My Move
Military Installations website
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Military Kids Connect
On-base child care
It's recommended that members download foreign language learning tools and applications to learn foundations of the German language. Several free and paid versions are accessible for most common smart phones.
Additionally, the Spangdahlem AB library has audio CDs and books available. Contact the library (Bldg 148) to set up your free Mango Language program account at DSN 314-452-6208/Comm +49 (0)6565-61-6203.
Get a head start on your housing in-processing: Click the image above to view the Housing Office informational video!
This briefing video is for informational use only; it does not replace your first visit to the Spangdahlem Housing Management Office. Please report to the HMO within two days of arriving to Spangdahlem Air Base. For the most current and up-to-date information regarding your overseas housing, please visit the Spangdahlem HMO (Bldg. 454) or call DSN: 314-452-7133 (COMM: +49 6565 61 7133). If you would like to submit an early application to help expedite your in-processing at Housing, click here.