On Dec. 1, 2023, the 726th Air Mobility Squadron broke ground on an $11 million, 2-year Air Mobility Command passenger terminal expansion and renovation project.
This development will improve the ability of the 726 AMS to provide strategic air mobility missions in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia, while supporting the 52d Fighter Wing performing USAFE and NATO taskings. The plan also expands the 726 AMS’s capacity to service mobility aircraft that otherwise would transit through Ramstein Air Base, Germany, located approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Spangdahlem Air Base.
“Ultimately, what we are building here is a premier combat power projection platform…a ‘Gateway to Freedom’ running multiple, concurrent missions with more passengers,” said Col Charles Cooley, 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing Commander.
The expansion will add 3,900 square feet to the existing terminal, accommodating travelers with a new outbound space with multiple new features. Additions will include more check-in counters, a United Services Organization (USO) counter, a larger baggage handling area, and an expanded Transportation Security Administration inspection and customs area.
The renovation will give 726 AMS Airmen the ability to process more customers, significantly reduce wait times, and enable the squadron to support aircraft flying into and departing Spangdahlem AB simultaneously. “Over the last two months, the 726 AMS proved that their Airmen can handle the surge. Now, the AMOW owes them a bigger, better facility to operate the mission,” said Col Cooley.
Due to the increased operations tempo, a premier combat power projection platform is necessary to run multiple concurrent missions with an increasing number of required passengers passing through a gateway to Europe. Col Cooley explained, “There is nobody in the AMOW more ready to expand mission capabilities and take on more responsibility than the 726 AMS. They are the maneuver for the joint force!”
Planning for the project has lasted eight years. “The most challenging part was in phase one, getting things approved and routing things through different channels,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin Carlton, 726th AMS unit deployment manager. “Now that we’re in phase two, we’re starting to see everything come together and that’s exciting!”
The 726 AMS is a tenant unit of Spangdahlem AB and is assigned to the 521 AMOW, which is made up of two groups and nine squadrons across 19 locations that provide command and control, en route aircraft maintenance, and air transportation services for theater and strategic air mobility missions in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
|RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, DE
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