Patriot Express flights help commanders and sponsors track newcomers
Dec. 9, 2011
By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Early next year, commanders and sponsors of new U.S. Army in Europe employees will find it easier to track incoming personnel with a duty station in Germany.
Beginning in February, all personnel on permanent change of station orders to Germany will fly overseas using a new phase of the Patriot Express Department of Defense-chartered air travel, which originates at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Maryland and lands at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The twice-weekly flights begin February 6, 2012, and are expected to enhance the international travel experience for Army personnel and their families. U.S. Army in Europe leaders expect the PE flight program to help commanders and sponsors, too.
The PE program was created as part of force protection, anti-terrorism measures for the Army. Reception operations at RAB will increase force protection by providing a secure arrival point and a tighter span of control for arriving personnel. The Reception team at RAB will track flights and possible delays and will be available to receive incoming personnel regardless of the time the flight arrives. They also will help passengers clear customs and get onto pre-arranged military transportation to their new duty station.
Commanders of receiving units or agencies will know in advance when a Soldier or civilian is arriving so as to better coordinate in-processing requirements. Commanders and sponsors are reminded that, just as with incoming personnel arriving at the Frankfurt International Airport, sponsors are not authorized to pick up incoming personnel from RAB. Military transportation will be in place to bring newcomers to their area of assignment so they can spend their first night in their new community. This consolidates transportation needs, keeping Soldiers from traveling when unnecessary and providing cost efficiencies for the command.
Sponsors can visit the USAREUR and Installation Management Command-Europe newcomer’s sites for information in preparation for the PE flight program. Leaders anticipate adding a Patriot Express Frequently Asked Questions page early next year.
To inform patrons of this new service, the Army has updated the assignment and verification processes and coordinated changes to instructions with HRC to the Enlisted Distribution Assignment System. In addition, the Army is also providing instructions through a MILPER message to Soldiers on assignment to Germany.
The Patriot Express microsite, scheduled to launch Dec. 15, will contain more information about the program. The address will be www.eur.army.mil/PatriotExpress.