Ramstein: Air Base

Landstuhl Air Base, Landstuhl-Ramstein

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
CoordinatesN492608 E0073560 (WGS84) Google Maps
Map with location of Ramstein Air Base
Germany during the Cold War Map
The history of the Cold War airfields: Ramstein


The airfield has been constructed in the early 1950s as Landstuhl Air Base. It was built with the inclusion of a section of the Reichsautobahn, which was used by the German Luftwaffe as a landing site during the Second World War. North of the Air Base a headquarter area was built, which was named Ramstein. In 1957, both parts were merged into the Ramstein Landstuhl Air Base, later referred to as the Ramstein Air Base only.
From the beginning to the early 1990s and with one interruption, the field was home of a combat unit which had different names: 86 Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW), 86 Fighter Interceptor Wing (FIW), 86 Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW). Ramstein was also temporarily base for the 26 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (26 TRW).
In the course of a reorganization in the early 1990s, the 86 TFW has been converted into a transport wing, the 86 Airlift Wing. This wing still stationed in Ramstein today.
Through the years, the air base was in the news several times, for example in 1981 with a bomb attack and in 1988 with the severe disaster during an air show.

During the Cold War

During the 1950s


Landstuhl Air Base on a map from 1953, about one year after it has been opened. - The old course of the autobahn is well recognizable as part of the airfield.
On this US map from 1954, the location of the former autobahn as part of the new air base becomes even clearer. - Also recognizable: taxiways, dispersal areas as well as the Ramstein headquarters in the north. A part of the red marked bypass became also part of the base later (AMS M841 GSGS 4414, Courtesy Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University /BYU/)


In the 1970s


Ramstein Air Base on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1972 - (ONC E-2 (1972), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin /PCL MC/)

During the 1980s


Arrival and departure routes for helicopters in 1984


  • 09/27: 2447 m x 45 m Asphalt

Radio beacons

  • TACAN: CH 81 "RMS", at field


Aerial picture from - (12 August 1988), Source: DoD, Photographer: MSGT Patrick Nugent
Control Tower - (12 August 1988), Source: DoD, Photographer: MSGT Patrick Nugent
F-16 in front of a shelter - (12 August 1988), Source: DoD, Photographer: MSGT Patrick Nugent
Boeing 747 - (12 August 1988), Source: DoD, Photographer: MSGT Patrick Nugent
A F-4 Phantom of the 86 TFW in front of a shelter - (15 September 1982), Source: DoD, Photographer MSGT Mike Daniels
A F-4 north of the field - (01 June 1983), Source: DoD, MSGT Don Sutherland



US Air Force Base.


Aerial picture from July 2016


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