NATO skywatch

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NATO skywatch
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Skywatch magazine
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization skywatch
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NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen skywatch
Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (Geilenkirchen, Germany) ( issuing body )
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Volume 22, No. 22 NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen 1 December 2006 Next NATO Skywatch: 15 December Submissions due by: 7 December Also in this issue:Component Holidays 2007 See page 3. Visit a Christmas Market See page 8. AWACS N-2 returns home after modernization By 2Lt. Jolene Bottor The N-2, otherwise identified by its tail number 458, was flown home to Geilenkirchen Air Base from the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) facility in Manching Germany, on 21 November. The N-2 had been at EADS since last December as part of the NATO Mid-Term modernization programme. An official ceremony marking this milestone in the NATO-midterm modernization programme included guest speakers from Boeing, EADS, NAPMA, Force Command and Component Commander, Brig. Gen. Stephen Schmidt. The enhancements to the aircraft provide NATO with a superior view of the air space by integrating data from various sensors on board the AWACS, as well as from other sources, and an increased capacity in the number of targets it can manage. The system provides the aircraft with the ability to receive mission orders and updates from remote locations via satellite data links and electronically integrates them via the mission computing system. The N-2 was handed over on schedule and the remaining 16 AWACS will be upgraded by the end of 2008. The 2007 E-3A Component calendar with great colour photos will be available next week; it makes a great Christmas gift. There is only a limited quantity and this anniversary edition will be going fast! Make sure to visit the Officers Club, Frisbee Club or Sentry Club to get yours for 5. The newly modernized N-2 taking off at EADS, Manching. The crew that flew N-2 from EADS Manching to its home base Geilenkirchen. From left to right: TSgt. Steve Taylor, Capt. Dave Vernusky, TSgt. James Crane, CMSgt. Roland W eiss, Capt. Tibor Loke, Maj. MatthiasSc hmidt.Photos MSgt. Mark Boggess


2NATOSkywatch 1 December 2006


1 December 2006 NATOSkywatch 3 NATO Skywatch is an authorized, unofficial commercial enterprise newspaper published under exclusive written agreement with the NAEW & CF E-3A Component by Pollaert Mediacenter, Postbus1234, 6040 KE Roermond, +31 (475) 370 280. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the official views of, or endorsement by, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitutean endorsement by NATO of the products or services advertised. Submissions are due seven days before publication and may be edited for style and space. Send articles and classified advertisements to the NAEWF E-3A Component Public Information Office (PIO), Postfach 433007, D-52511 Geilenkirchen, or base distribution Mail Stop 33. Call PIO at (02451) 632480 or fax (02451) 7936 or e-mail For paid advertisements call Hub Durlinger Media at +31 (46) 452-9292 or fax +31 (46) 452-9285. Articles may be reproduced after permission has been obtained from the editor, provided mention is made of NATO Skywatch. Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt Chief, Public Information Office 2Lt. Jolene Bottor Editor Mrs. Maureen Geraets-Head Volume 22, No. 221 December 2006 On Friday, 10 November the sixth-grade Elementary School students visited the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten. They took part in a Veterans Day ceremony, along with students from AFNORTH Elementary School and the AFNORTH ROTC students. Mr.Frank Haggerty, Assistant Superintendent of the cemetery, gave the children a brief history lesson about the war activity in the area, reviewing the highlights of the last eleven months of World War II. Mr. Michael Yasechak, the Superintendent of the cemetery, spoke about Veterans Day and of the history of the cemetery. He began the ceremony by singing the national anthem of Canada, The Netherlands, and the US. The children sang a song and took part in a peace walk around the cemetery. Ms. Brazell supplied the children with roses so they could each honour a Veteran. The children carefully chose a grave to lay a flower upon, showing great respect for the sacrifice represented at Margraten. Veteran's Day ceremonyBy A1C Andr Scheibel On 5 December, an important night has arrived! Families in the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Germany gather together in their living room, singing all the Saint Nicholas songs they know. Then, suddenly, theres a knock at the door. The children run to the door and find a lot of packages; the unwrapping can begin. In the 4th century, A.D., Saint Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, which is now situated in Turkey. According to the legend, he saved his town from starvation. He is also said to have revived three children from the dead and to have offered gifts of dowries to poor young women. Some sources say he died on the sixth of December in 343 A.D. In 1087 his remains were taken to Bari, Italy. It is unclear why, according to the Dutch tradition, he comes from Spain. Possibly it has something to do with the fact that Saint Nicholas was the patron of the sailors that this myth began. It could also explain why Saint Nicholas has Zwarte PietenŽ (black Peters) to help him because the Moors dominated Spain for several hundreds of years. Another explanation for the black PetersŽ being black is that they come down the chimneys so often they cant wash the dirt off. The legendary gifts of Saint Nicholas to the poor are the cause for giving presents to children on the eve of his feast day, 6 December. Every year the Saint and his assistants visit the children to warn the naughty ones and to give presents to the those who behaved well. The worst punishment is to be taken to Spain by black PeterŽ in his big bag, out of which the good children get their presents, sweets, chocolate, etc. Instead of presents you can get the roedeŽ (rod), too. A couple of weeks before the birthday of Saint Nicholas, he and his helpers arrive from Spain by steamboat. From the arrival until his birthday the children put their shoes in front of the fireplace and hope that Nicholas and his helpers will bring some sweets, or little presents for them. During this period they sing special Nicholas songs. Over the decades, it has become a custom for the children to put their shoes by the chimney several evenings before 5 December. Peter will ring the doorbell, scatter goodies through the slightly opened doors and leave a basket full of presents on the steps. Early in the morning on 6 December, after having visited everyone, Saint Nicholas leaves and goes back to Spain until next year. E-3A Component Holidays 2007The official 2007 E-3A Component holidays schedule, including seven E-3A Component Commanders stand-down days. Any questions should be directed to Personnel Division, ext. 2300. New Years Day 1 January Monday Commanders Stand-Down Day 19 FebruaryMonday (Carnival Monday) Good Friday 6 AprilFriday Easter Sunday8 April Sunday Easter Monday 9 April Monday Labour Day 1 May Tuesday Ascension Day 17 May Thursday Whit Sunday 27 May Sunday Whit Monday 28 May Monday Corpus Christi 7 June Thursday Commanders Stand-Down Day 8 June Friday German Unity Day 3 October Wednesday All Saints Day 1 November Thursday Commanders Stand-Down Day 2 November Friday Commanders Stand-Down Day 24 December Monday Christmas Day 25 December Tuesday Boxing Day 26 December Wednesday Commanders Stand-Down Day 27 December Thursday Commanders Stand-Down Day 28 December Friday Commanders Stand-Down Day 31 DecemberMonday It's a tradition to celebrate St. NicholasPhoto Courtesy Elementary School


4NATOSkywatch 1 December 2006 By A1C Andr Scheibel On 10 November the E-3A Component hosted the 19th Annual Cross Country Run. At exactly 1100, Lt.Col. Thomas Kracke, services squadron commander welcomed the participants to Geilenkirchen Air Base, after which he sent them off to race the track. Already at 0830 the first runners arrived at the New Gym for registration and their preparation for the 7-km run. Runners came from the military bases and police stations located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and also more than 50 participants from the E-3A Component. The first place runner, finishing with a time of 23:29 was Tim Stessens representing the 10th Wing Tactical Team from Belgium. Following in second place was Ronny Driesen with a time of 24:06 and in the third place Harry Van Loon with a time of 24:19, both also from the Belgium team. The top E-3A Component male finisher was Claus Cohnen with a time of 27:05 and the best female was Marion Kuhn with a time of 29:28. The top team was the 10 W Tac with 14 points. Team Ranking TeamPoints 110 W Tac14 2E-3A Component64 3KPB Rhein-Erft Kreis78 Cross Country results:Position/NameTeamTime Cat. A (Men 18…29) 1Tim Stessens10 W Tac23:49 2Sascha BergerJVSV.Heinsberg24:49 3Jeroen Mombles-Scheper10 W Tac28:27 Cat. B (Men 30…39) 1Ronny Driesen10 W Tac24:06 2Rainer HergartenPolice Koeln24:38 3Patrick Vandersanden10 W Tac26:23 Cat. C (Men 40…49) 1 Harry VanLoon10 W Tac24:19 2Michael PaulussenPolice Aachen25:21 3Guido Maurissen10 W Tac26:12 Cat. D (Men 50+) 1Robert PayneJFC HQ Brunssum25:39 2Jochen ScheuerPolice Duisburg30:08 3Fred LamberwonJFC HQ Brunssum31:05 Cat. E (Women open) 1Marion KuhnPolice Aachen29:28 2Rosanna VervergaertE-3A Component32:11 3Tanja Cortens10 W Tac33:28 Biannual customer satisfaction survey for students, parents and teachers Following the race, fostering international camaraderie and sportsmanship, the post-race party was held at the Frisbee Club. As with any race, trophies were presented to the top category finishers by the Chief of Morale Welfare Activities, Capt. Karen Rowe. International Cross Country Run By 1Lt Sren Jarling The German shooting award Schtzenschnur was presented to SrA Frank Hawkins (USAF), TSgt Jason Krebsbach (USAF) and MSgt Jaime Arienza (SPAF) by Capt. Fabian Kusche, the Chief Force Protection, and 1Lt Sren Jarling, the Chief Training Section, for outstanding results during several shooting exercises at the end of October. November awardees included MSgt Jose Ortega (USAF), MSgt Leon Lux (RNLAF), TSgt Eugene Lammert (USAF) and TSgt Shannon Britt (USAF). They all presented excellent skills in shooting the assault rifle G36, the pistol H&K USP, and the machine gun MG-3 during a special shooting event of the Security Squadron at the shooting range in Niederheid. SrA Hawkins and MSgt Arienza achieved Silver level and TSgt Krebsbach, who works as an IMP and shooting instructor, achieved Gold level. MSgt Ortega, MSgt Lux, TSgt Britt and TSgt Lammert all achieved Gold level of the shooting award. The German shooting award is an award for military members who show above-average skills in shooting a wide-range of weapons including small arms, rifles, submachine guns and machine guns. It can also be presented to foreign troops/participants. An example to understand the challenge: to achieve the Gold level with the pistol, you need to hit a manŽ target at 25 m with 5 rounds 5 times; 4 times would be the Silver level and 3 hits the Bronze level.German shooting award SchŸtzenschnur' for international E-3A Component members By Dr. Terry Emerson, Principal Geilenkirchen Elementary School The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will begin administering its biannual Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) through 28 February 2007. The CSS provides valuable feedback to DoDEA from its most important customers students, parents, and teachers. The survey will review the quality of education provided and hopes to identify areas needing improvement. Separate surveys will be given to teachers, parents, students in grades 4-5, students in grades 6-8, and students in grades 9-12. Various groups, including the DoDDS and DDESS teachers unions, DoDEA Teachers of the Year, superintendents, principals, students and Education Directorate staff members at the DoDEA headquarters, developed the survey. Some questions were adapted from the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Publics Attitudes Toward Schools,Ž with additional DoDEA-specific questions. Officials estimate it will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the survey, which will be available, online at and clicking on the CSS link. Where Internet access is a concern for parents, an electronic version of the surveys will be available for printing. The survey is important to enhancing the school improvement process. We encourage everyone parents, students, and teachers to participate in the survey,Ž said DoDEA Director, Dr. Joseph Tafoya. A high response rate provides our schools with more and valuable information about their programs and is part of our continual efforts to improve the quality of education provided to DoD dependents.Ž Information derived from the surveys will be used to improve planning efforts at all levels throughout DoDEA. Schools, districts, and areas will use the survey results to gain insight into the satisfaction levels of sponsors and students, which is one of many measures used for future planning of programs and services offered to DoDEAs students. The survey results will also be used to monitor the DoDEA Community Strategic Plan (CSP), which contains the strategic direction for DoDEA for the years 2006-2011. For more information on the CSS, please call the Geilenkirchen Elementary School office at 0245190-3080 or visit the DoDEA website at


1 December 2006 NATOSkywatch 5


6NATOSkywatch 1 December 2006 Further information and registration at the IYA Office in Bldg 95, ext. 4955, office hours Monday…Friday, 0815…1300. Christmas Party On Wednesday, 13 December, 1500 to 1730, the IYA is offering a Christmas Party for all international Component children at the E-3A Component Officers Club. Children under the age of 6 have to be accompanied by an adult; parents of older children are also welcome to attend. Play seasonal games, win a prize at the wheel of fortune, enjoy seasonal refreshments, and meet Santa … he even has a little gift for you. Bring your camera: children and families can have their photo taken with Santa at no cost. During the party the winners of this years Christmas Colouring Contest will receive their awards. There is no fee. Please call ext. 4954/5 to sign up. Children enrolled in the December IYA Afternoon Club are automatically registered. Advent Day Programs The IYA is offering Special Day Programs full of fun activities for ages 6 and older on Thursday, 21 December, and on Friday, 22 December. Cost is 10,50 including lunch per child per day. New Years Break Program From 2 to 5 January the IYA is organizing a four-day session for children aged 6 and older with activities from 0930 to 1630. The children can be dropped off at 0800, and picked up no later than 1730. The program offers fun games, arts & crafts, sports, free play, special projects and movies. Cost is 50 for one child, 100 for two children, and 125 for three or more children, including field trip to Kinderstad Indoor Playpark on Thursday and lunch on Friday. Trip to Kinderstad Indoor Playpark On Thursday, 4 January, the IYA is offering a trip for ages 6 and older to Kinderstad Indoor Playpark in Heerlen, the Netherlands. The bus departs at 0900, and gets back at about 1730. Cost is 20 per child, chaperones go free. IYA Christmas Moonlight Family Steam Train Ride Santa Claus and his elf are already planning to join the traditional International Youth Activities Moonlight Ride for international Component children and their parents on the historic Selfkant Steam Train. On Friday, 8 December, at 1900 we will get on the train at Gillrath Station,International Youth Activitiesand travel to Schierwaldenrath in the restored antique wagons built between 1889 and 1956. There will be one short stop on the way when two special passengers arrive in a carriage drawn by a horse. Santa and his elf will welcome all the children and present them with a bag of Christmas goodies on the journey to Schierwaldenrath. Once we arrive, everybody has the opportunity to enjoy refreshments in a heated tent listening to Christmas songs, before returning to Gillrath. Tickets are 6,70 per child and 10,20 per adult. Tickets include BrtchenŽ with coffee, Glhwein, or a soft drink at Schierwaldenrath, plus Christmas goodies for children, and can be purchased at the IYA Office. The Flyin Frisbee BootsŽ went to a big line dance and country festival in Heerlen, the Netherlands, last month, where Dave Sheriff, a known line dance singer from England, performed along with three other bands and singers. Line dancing has traditionally had a cowboy image, and it was danced predominantly to country-western music. This changed in the late 1990s, as more young people became involved. Today, country music may make up the minority of a DJs play list, with the balance spread through a variety of many different musical styles both new and old. Genres including Celtic, Swing, Pop, Rock, Big Band, Folk, and almost anything else that has a regular beat. You might be a line dancer if you grapevine down your supermarket aisles. Line dance lessons are held on Monday between 1930 and 2230 in the Frisbee Club. Additional practice, as part of the Component fitness program, is on Thursdays between 1200 and 1330 in the New Gym, upstairs in the multi purpose room. There is no course start; you can join in at any time. New dances taught on Mondays are new for everyone. Learn the dances and enjoy going to the festivals held by several clubs in the area. Part of the fascination of line dancing is being able to dance with people you dont know and who maybe dont speak the same language. Also, it is not required to have a partner so come on out and make some new friends. For more information look at our WISE page or contact Andy (Andreas) Bischoff Line dancers meet the Sheriff Line Dancing is IN nowadays and is part of the fitness program.Photo courtesy Andreas Bischoff Autos07/2003, Mercedes Benz E240 Avantgarde, 2.6-V6, 177HP, 6-speed, first owner, blue metallic, 108,000 km, beige leather, nav. and alarm system, auto climate control, sound system Harman Kardon, split rear seats, sports suspension, BS, CBS, ESP, BAS etc. New tires and new brakes. Dealer maintained, excellent condition, Eur. Specs, only 22,995. Call ext. 2451 or 02452-964161 or 0176 21654684. 1999, Suzuki Baleno Wagon 1.6 GLX, in good condition from first (non smoker) owner, CD, airco, alloy wheels, etc. Asking 2,500 or best offer. Call Istvan at +31 621 107 224.MiscellaneousOriginal collectors item jukebox Seeburg L101, build in 1959, asking price 3,900. Plays your 45-rpm-singles, in perfect condition. For more info call Hans Janssen 02456-2824. SKYWATCHCLASSIFIED By Cheryl B. Quinn I dont know about you, but I miss going out for bagels and coffee. Pick your flavour, pick your cream cheese, pick your toppings if you wish and top it off with a big cup of your choice of coffee.Sit back, listen to quiet music, eat and read the paper.I miss it. Well, I am happy to report I no longer miss it. There is a new place in Sittard, the Netherlands. It is called Bagels & Beans, located on Putstraat, just barely off the market. They have lots of different choices of hot drinks teas, coffees, and flavour add-ins. And, the XL is just that XL. They also offer cold drinks and fresh squeezed juices that could easily pass as a smoothie when you add the yogurt option. They have a couple of breakfast combinations if you want to have it all.Ž They also offer other baked goods, a high tea called Sweet Sin,Ž and all kinds of bagel combinations with lots of different toppings. For English speakers, this place is no problem; there are menus right on the table in Dutch and English. The whole front of the restaurant is nonsmoking, with a couple tables in the back for smokers. The atmosphere is fun and airy, full of windows and sunshine. There is also outside seating where you can enjoy a view of the market square. Bagels & Beans is located to the left of the V&D department store, just two storefronts down the side pedestrian street called Putstraat. Check out the website at www.bagelbeans.nlThere's this Place! The Selfkant-steamtrain is ready for its Christmas rides.Photo PIO archive Skywatch Classifieds are free to all NATO personnel. Advertisements must be printed or typed, and include your name, office symbol and duty extension. The editor will not accept advertisements for services that generate a regular income, or for housing other than vacation rentals. Submissions for the next NATO Skywatch are due to PIO, Mail Stop 33, e-mail:, before noon Thursday, 7 December.


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8NATOSkywatch 1 December 2006 Aachen Weihnachtsmarkt 24 Nov-23 Dec 06 1100-2030 daily Sunday, 26 Nov 06, 1800-2100 One of the largest and prettiest Christmas Markets in Germany with sales, food, and beverage booths will be set-up throughout the historical part of the city. Dsseldorf Nikolausmarkt 23 Nov-23 Dec 06 Monday-Thursday, 1200-2000, Friday, 1200-2100 Saturday 1100-2100, Sunday, 1100-2000 There is a Nikolausmarkt in the historical part of the city and a Weihnachtsmarkt with approx. 148 booths at Knigsalle, Corneliusplatz, Schadowplatz, and Schadowstrasse. Essen 34th International Weihnachtsmarkt 23 Nov-22 Dec 06 1100-2100 daily This international Christmas market has its 265 booths set-up throughout the city from Willy-Brandt-Platz through Rathausstrasse to Kennedyplatz and Limbecker Platz. The numerous attractions guarantee an eventful visit for the entire family. Frankfurt Weihnachtsmarkt 23 Nov-21 Dec 06 Monday-Saturday, 1000-2100 daily Sunday, 1100-2100 At Rmerberg, Paulsplatz, Liebfrauenberg and Mainkai. The Frankfurt Christmas market has become one of the best known in Germany. This is attributed to the fact that the market has grown in size (approx. 200 businesses), to the historical background of the Rmerberg, to a varied assortment of goods, to the numerous special events connected with the Christmas market, as well as to the symbol of the season, the 30 meters high Christmas tree. The beautiful spruce tree is imported from Norway and presented by the German-Scandinavian Bank to the cities of Frankfurt, London and New York. Approx. three million visitors attend the market each year. Koblenz Weihnachtsmarkt 24 Nov-23 Dec 06 Monday-Thursday, 1000-2000 Friday Saturday, 1000-2100 Sunday, 1100-2000 One of the largest Christmas markets in the State of Rheinland-Pfalz. Sales, food and beverage booths will be set-up throughout the historical AltstadtŽ. Nrnberg Christkindlemarkt 1-23 Dec 06 Sunday, 1 Dec, 1400-2100 Monday-Wednesday, 0930-2000 Thursday-Saturday, 0930-2100 Sunday, 1030-2100 Since 1628, this is a very traditional and well known Christmas market. Rewarding is a stroll through the streets and lanes of the old city with its Christmas decorations, where oases of tranquility away from the pre-Christmas bustle can always be found in such places as the craftsmens courtyard or Jacobs market. Trier Weihnachtsmarkt 27 Nov-22 Dec 06 Monday-Saturday, 1000-2030 Sunday, 1100-2030 Christmas in Germanys oldest city. A variety of retail, food, and beverage booths will be setup at the HauptmarktŽ and DomfreiheitŽ in historical downtown Trier. Cologne Klner Weihnachtsmrkte A dv ent on t he Rhine 23 Nov-23 Dec 06 Sunday-Thursday, 1100-2100 Friday-Saturday, 1100-2200 Many booths offering gifts, food and beverages are divided upon several decks of the boat MS Wappen von MainzŽ. From its location at the Rheinpromenade, one will have a wonderful view onto the old part of town and the cathedral. Medie v al Chris tmas Mar k e t at t he Chocolat e Museum 1-23 Dec 06 Tuesday-Sunday, 1100-2100 The medieval Christmas market is located next to the chocolate museum by the Rhine River. Admission fee 2.50, no admission for kids shorter than 1.38 meters. This is a very unique market. Weihnachtsmarkt at the Dom 23 Nov-23 Dec 06 1100-2100, daily This traditional Christmas market with approx. 160 sales, food and beverage booths will be set-up around the famous cathedral of Cologne. Alts tadt W eihnac hts-mar kt 23 Nov-23 Dec 06 1100-2100, daily This traditional Christmas market with its half timbered booths will be set-up at Alter Markt in front of city hall. W eihnac htsmar kt at N eumar kt 23 Nov-23 Dec 1100-2100, daily Colognes oldest Christmas Market at the historic Neumarkt. W eihnac htsmar kt at R udolf splatz 23 Nov-23 Dec 06 1100-2100, daily Fairy-tale Christmas market. Subway stop: Hahnentor Brussels, Belgium The Grand-Place Opening hours: 2 December 2006-1 January 2007 Monday-Friday, 1100-2000 Saturday-Sunday, 1100-2200 24 + 31 December 2006, 1100-1800 25 December 2006 and 1 January 2007, 1400-2200. Lige, Belgium 1-30 December 2006 Monday-Thursday, 1100-1900 Friday, 1100-2000 Saturday + Sunday, 1000-2000 A nice Christmas market on place St. Lambert and Place du MarchVisit one of the Christmas Markets Photo PIO archive


1 December 2006 NATOSkywatch 9


10NATOSkywatch 1 December 2006