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Ramstein wraps up Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

Members of the 86th Security Forces Squadron respond to a simulated active shooter during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 26, 2019. Shortly after the members apprehended the suspect, more security forces members arrived to sweep the entire building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

U.S. Air Force first responders assess the scene of a simulated aircraft crash during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. 86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters responded immediately to the scene to exercise their response capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danny David, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team lead (center), returns from the site of a simulated car bomb during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Feb. 25, 2019. The exercise tested EOD’s capability to respond to a vehicle-borne threat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Makayla Kaeppel, 86th Security Forces Squadron member, detains a simulated active shooter suspect during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 26, 2019. 86th SF members secured the scene before handing over the location to members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

An 86th Security Forces Squadron K-9 searches for simulated bombs during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 26, 2019. The K-9 swept the area for simulated bombs during a simulated active shooter scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

Mock victims of a simulated aircraft crash lay on the flightline during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 26, 2019. Ramstein first responders were tested in response to a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danny David, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team lead, watches as an EOD robot downloads from a truck during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Feb. 25, 2019. The robot was used to scout the area around a simulated car bomb. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danny David, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team lead, searches for simulated explosives during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Feb. 25, 2019. David searched the scene of a simulated car bomb after an EOD robot scouted the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein wrapped up Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.

Members of the 86th Airlift Wing listen to a brief before acting as simulated aircraft crash victims during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. The event tested the response capability of multiple base agencies including the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron, 86th Security Forces Squadron, and 86th Medical Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein wrapped up Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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Members of the 786th Force Support Squadron mortuary affairs team conduct a sweep of a simulated aircraft crash during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. Members combed through the site of any human remains before the crash site was cleaned up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein wrapped up Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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U.S. Air Force members of the 86th Maintenance Squadron shelter-in-place during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 28, 2019. Members donned full protective gear during a simulated air attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein wrapped up Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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Kaiserslautern Military Community first-responders plan as the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team prepares to approach the simulated bomb site during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Feb. 25, 2019. The EOD team used a robot to scout the area around the simulated car bomb. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Pravel, 86th Maintenance Squadron C-130J Super Hercules crew chief, wears mission-oriented protective posture gear during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 28, 2019. During the exercise, participants stayed in a protective shelter until given the all clear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters carry a simulated aircraft crash victim to an ambulance during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. 86th CES firefighters also provided support to medical personnel during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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Members of the 786th Force Support Squadron mortuary affairs team conduct a sweep of a simulated aircraft crash during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. Members continued to sweep the area before releasing authority of the scene to the Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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An 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief launches a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 28, 2019. 86th MXS crew chiefs continued to launch real-world aircraft during the week-long exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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An 86th Maintenance Squadron C-130J Super Hercules crew chief cleans an aircraft component during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 28, 2019. Members continued real-world maintenance operations during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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An 86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter directs personnel toward a safe location following a simulated aircraft crash during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. The event tested members across multiple base agencies including the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron, 86th Security Forces Squadron, and 86th Medical Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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An 86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter helps a simulated aircraft crash victim during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. Ramstein first-responders were tested on their ability to respond to a large-scale disaster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Ramstein hosted Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01, a week-long exercise testing the response capability of multiple base agencies.
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86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters carry simulated aircraft crash victims to a safe location during Exercise Operation Varsity 19-01 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 27, 2019. 86th CES firefighters provided assistance to the simulated victims until medical services arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

The giant voice system echoes throughout the installation. The children running around the house hear only one phrase, “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE.” As the kids echo the bits and pieces of what they understood to each other, they begin to mimic exercises, by running up and down the stairs in their house. While it might be all fun and games for the kids, their parents are out and about, hard at work.

The first iteration of Exercise Operation Varsity wrapped up March 1, 2019, after a jam-packed week of training.

“It has been an amazing opportunity to see the entire wing, across all seven groups, and four different countries, come together to participate in the largest readiness exercise ever,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark A. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander.

“We got to do an entire year’s worth of inspections required by Air Force Instruction in a five-day period. It doesn’t get any better than that for the entire team,” said August.

Base agencies on Ramstein and Vogelweh Military Complex, fired on all cylinders to push their Airmen throughout the week.

“We learned a lot in this exercise,” said August. “We have a tremendous group of soloists who are masters at what they do. Whether it’s security forces members with their M4, firefighters with their fire engines, or fuels Airmen with their fuel trucks, you are amazing at what you do. But what we learned though, is that we have a little bit of work to do to come together as an orchestra.”


Team Ramstein responded to simulated events like a mass casualty event, an aircraft mishap, an active shooter, and a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive attack.

“Regardless of the circumstances and what we put our Airmen through, they outperformed what we expected of them. We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of the team,” said U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 86th Airlift command chief.

The first iteration of Exercise Operation Varsity may have come to an end, but the second iteration is well under way to be held in May 2019.

“You get a sense of pride that you put 100% out on the field and delivered results,” said August. “We did some amazing things, but just wait for the next one, we’re just going to bring even more.”