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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Periodicals -- NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen ( lcsh )
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Volume 22, No. 8 NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen 28 April 2006 Next NATO Skywatch: 12 May Submissions due by: 4 May Also in this issue:Fort Eben-Emael See page 4. Sports Day info See page 6. By SMSgt. Johan Hijmenberg E-3A Component Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt on 19 April received the first modern, secure ID-card at the Pass and ID office in Building One. It was recognised several years ago that the existing cards needed an update. The project, under the lead of Warrant Officer Serge Raymond and TSgt. Benjamin Ecken and with the technical help of Mr Steve Lusardi, was launched with the intention of creating modern, secure ID-cards that could also be used for Restricted Area access control. A card solution was found that meets and exceeds the requirements. The Security Squadron is now challenged to issue the new cards to all existing and new holders in the quickest and least painful manner possible. Extra personnel and extended work hours have been established at the Pass and ID office. They hope with the cooperation of the Wings and Component personnel to have all the new cards issued prior to the end of the year. E-3A Component Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt receives the first modernised secure ID-card in the presence of a small audience including Base Support Wing Commander Col. Reinhard Mack (right).Photo MSgt. Mark BoggessNew ID-cards for allMs. Celina Jansen, PIO Intern, interviewed Mr. Hans-Jrgen Plohmann, the Principal Supervisor of the International Dining Hall (IDH), "Star Chef", who has worked there since January 1982. How many personnel work at the IDH? Mr. Plohmann: Presently we have 46 multinational civilians along with our Branch Chief, SMSgt Brian Wright, working at the IDH. And how many meals do the IDH personnel serve every day? Mr. Plohmann: Between 1,100 1,500 meals a day. How many different menus do you offer? Mr. Plohmann: Our breakfast consists of a mix of American and British-style items with omelettes, scrambled eggs, potatoes, grilled tomatoes, sausages and many other specialties. For lunch, we provide four entre choices with one of the entrees being fish. Our dinner consists of three entre choices. During lunch and dinner, we provide a salad bar, soup, and a variety of desserts and drinks. Cappuccino, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available throughout all meal periods. For our aircrew personnel who are unable to enjoy their meal at the IDH, we offer ten different and rotating flight meals. Where do you purchase the food? In the local area, or at a wholesaler? Mr. Plohmann: A lot of the food has to be ordered from a wholesaler, we also get a big part from local companies including butchers and bakeries. How much is spent monthly for the food? Mr. Plohmann: We spend about 60,000 per month. Which special events does the IDH host every year? Mr. Plohmann: We don't have many special events because 95% of our time is needed to complete the daily food service requirements to ensure our guests are provided quality meals. Although, we do host the annual 'Thanksgiving Dinner' that attracts over 600 guests. Furthermore, we provide support for all official events. Why was the IDH renovated and what was renovated? Mr. Plohmann: Most important was the installation of air conditioning in a few working areas where our personnel worked under extremely high temperatures during the summer months. Also, many ceilings throughout the facility were renovated because of the high humidity. Additionally, metallic ventilation systems and coverings were also installed in our dishwashing areas. Our kitchen and office floors and walls were repaired and painted. Lastly, we replaced two major pieces of kitchen equipment. IDH continues on page 3Star Chef reopens after renovation The International Dining Hall team provides excellent service to Component members.Photo Photo Section


2NATOSkywatch 28 April 2006


The Netherlands Support Unit celebrates its 25-year existence on 16 September 2006. All military personnel (Air Force, Army, Navy, Military Police) that were posted at the Dutch AWACS detachment in Geilenkirchen are invited to this immense Orange reunion. It's well known that in these years more than one Dutch military member traded his or her position for a NATO civilian post at the E-3A Component. All these former 'Double Dutch' members are welcome as well with their partner or guest to join this event. For more information and registration surf to and then to National Support Unit The Netherlands or via or (0049) 02451 632182.Orange reunion Conferences examines role of ICT in military transformation Advancements in communications technology and information security systems were the focus of the 3rd NATO Network Enabled Capability Conference during the last week of March in Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S., with nearly 400 attendees. Hosted by Allied Command Transformation, the conference reviewed the technological progress made in the field, and allowed for an exchange of experiences and views on the use of information technology in military transformation. Such an audience confirms both a growing interest in NATO Network Enabled Capability (NEEC) and a need for such a big community to gather from time to time to exchange ideas and experiences,Ž said Maj. Gen. Ruud van Dam, assistant chief of staff for Allied Command Transformation Command's Control, Computers and Intelligence section. Real time information As part of its ongoing military transformation, NATO is looking at moving to 'network-centric' capabilities, which through the use of state-of-the-art information and communication technology aim to give commanders and troops on the ground a real time image of any potential battlefield. A variety of workshops covered a broad range of related issues, including the information security dilemma, where advancements in communications technology could also assist organised enemy networks. Information security proved to be 'hottest' issue discussed at the conference, but some participants also voiced concern that implementation of new technologies is moving too slowly. Maj. Gen. van Dam concluded that, significant progress has been made in all communities, within NATO, Partner nations and industry. I certainly recognise that we still have to progress on the identification of the requirements and the development of concepts. However, I am now convinced that we have a very good foundation to support the implementation of NNEC in several areas.Ž High-level NATO Mediterranean Dialogue event in Morocco On 6 and 7 April under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, the North Atlantic Council and the representatives of the seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries met in Rabat to discuss the state of their cooperation and its future prospects, during the first ever '26+7' political consultation meeting in a Mediterranean Dialogue country. As we continue to enhance the Mediterranean Dialogue process, greater practical cooperation should continue to go hand in hand with more intense political dialogueŽ, said the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, in his opening remarks at the event. The high-level meeting in Rabat represents a further step in the enhancement of the political dimension of the Mediterranean Dialogue, following the Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting in December 2004 in Brussels and the Defence Ministers meeting in February 2006 in Taormina. 28 April 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 Capt. Robert A. Firman Editor: SMSgt. Johan Hijmenberg Lay-out: Mrs.Maureen Geraets-Head Volume 22, No. 828 April 2006 IDH continued from front page How long did it take? Mr. Plohmann: The renovation took about four weeks. Why was the Frisbee-Club the right, or the best replacement for the Dining Hall? Mr. Plohmann: We wanted to keep the high standards of service our guests deserve and we needed enough space and cooking equipment. It was very important to replace the entire Dining Hall because the Clubs are not able to provide the same service due to their limited manpower. It's the breakfast, lunch and dinner that we provide. We also provide the flight meals for our aircrew personnel, meals for the fire brigade and many others. What were the differences in the Frisbee Club and have you relocated the whole Dining Hall into one of the Club's before? Mr. Plohmann: Yes, we relocated the whole Dining Hall to the Frisbee Club in 2002. That's why we went there again. There were a lot of differences, especially for the working personnel. We didn't have our normal working space, large cooking areas, and storage opportunities. It was very difficult for our personnel to provide the same service as the IDH, but every person gave their best, worked hard and was very flexible in this new situation. Did the number of visitors change after the reopening? Mr. Plohmann: No, after the reopening our numbers have remained the same. For example, we provide about 600 meals for lunch. During our time in the Frisbee Club we provided roughly 400 meals for lunch. For the future, we'll continue to provide Component personnel with quality and delicious meals along with a pleasant dining atmosphere! Food Services Branch Chief Senior Master Sgt. Brian K. Wright: The IDH leadership team consisting of Mrs. Angelika Winkler, Mr. Ulli Steen, and Mr. Peter Demarteau along with their teams, expertly managed the Dining Hall during this extremely difficult period. Despite many challenges, the staff performed exceptionally well under adverse conditions. Moving an entire food operation is a difficult task, however, the entire IDH staff pulled together and made it happen! I would also like to thank the Frisbee Club management and staff for their outstanding support and flexibility in allowing us to 'take over' their facility during our renovation.Ž Applications are invited for the following post: Principal Fireman / Deputy Shift Leader, AGK SAF 0105, Advertisement Nr. 06008, NATO Grade C-5, assigned to the Fire/Crash & Rescue Branch, Airfield Services Squadron, Base Support Wing. This post is due to be filled as soon as possible. Closing date: 4 May 2006. For further details, please visit the Component Information Portal (WISE) under Headquarters, PEC, Recruitment/Services Section or review the advertisement posted in Building 8. Note: Only applications of qualified personnel will be considered.Vacancy announcementCustomers making a meal selection.Photo Photo SectionNATO Deputy Secretary General Minuto Rizzo is welcomed at the airport by Ambassador Youssef Amrani, the Director General of Bilateral Relations at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreigh Affairs.Photo NATO


4NATOSkywatch 28 April 2006 By SMSgt. Johan Hijmenberg Those who visit Belgium can see the traces of past wars almost everywhere. You do not have to be a keen observer to notice the remainders of old fortification systems. The area just southwest of Maastricht, on the Belgian side of the River Maas, has played an important role in various armed conflicts for more than twenty centuries. Fort Eben-Emael reminds us of a turbulent time when another war was about to break out and rage through these territories. Once it was the eastern cornerstone of Belgium's defence. After the French-German war (1870-1871) it became obvious that any future war between those two countries would inevitably involve crossing Belgian territory. In 1914, the Germans indeed used this section to enter Belgium--the beginning of WWI. When political and military tension increased again in the early 1930s, the Belgian government decided to build the fortress and surrounding defensive bunkers. Between 1930 and 1932, a massive effort was undertaken to dig tunnels, reinforce them with concrete, and install artillery and observation posts. The main facility could house some 700 soldiers and had its own ventilation systems, food stocks, water pumps and generators. An enormous stronghold built to be state of the art, strategically positioned and well armed, was considered almost impossible to conquer by military experts on both sides. Unfortunately for the Belgians, its Achilles' heel was found and the Germans neutralized the fortress with an audacious surprise attack during the night of 10-11 May 1940. A new kind of explosive neutralized most of its defenders after a few short hours. Elite troops were transported to the fortress and surrounding bunkers in glider planes. With hollow charges, they destroyed the cannons and caused massive damage to the installations. Less than 24 hours later the local commander surrendered. The fortress was opened to the public in 1998 and the success of this event encouraged volunteers to further develop the site as a historical monument. The public can visit the fort, its impressive interior network of corridors, storage rooms, elevators, hospital and gun positions. The blackburned areas, totally devastated by the hollow charges, are still visible as if the attack happened last week. Outside on top you can see where the assault landings took place and the effect of the hollow charge on the armoured twin 120 mm turret. Even those not fascinated by history will be impressed. The competent and enthusiastic tour guides present the information in Dutch, English, French and German. How to find: On the road from Tongeren to Maastricht, following the sign 'Kanne'; follow the 3-kilometre downhill slope and at the T-intersection, follow the signs toward 'Wezet'; follow this road for another 2 kilometres until you see the signs 'Fort Eben-Emael' on the left side of the road. Approximately one hour drive from Geilenkirchen. Text and photo Lt Erika Digel, US Navy The American Shooting Team from NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen celebrated its 20th anniversary on 8 April. The Team held its anniversary at its 307th international competition, taking place in Sennelager, Germany. The shooting team was originally formed in March 1986 when a German Reserve Officer, Tom Esser, an employee of the United States National Support Unit, took the first team to Luxembourg. Since this first event, 246 Americans, both Air Force and Navy, and 51 service members from nine other NATO countries have participated in events throughout ten different European countries. The Team owns no weapons, holds no practices and is made up of a conglomeration of individuals who change from one event to the next. There are no dues and no commitments beyond the willingness to show up for whichever event for which you are signed up. Despite the range of skill levels and constantly changing team composition, great success has been enjoyed over the past twenty years. At 89 competitions, the team has placed in the top three. A total of 191 shooting badges from six different countries have been achieved. In Sennelager the team did not place, but with a robust turnout of eleven people it was a great start to a busy season. The winds were high, but the pistol and rifle competitions were both fun and challenging, and everyone enjoyed the hot meal provided during their break between events. Unfortunately, the machine gun shoot, as had occurred in past years, was not available this year, but a simulated hostage-gunman shoot proved stimulating and entertaining as a replacement. Unlike some other teams, no one on the U.S. team shot the hostage in the head--a great accomplishment! As the team stabilizes and gains coherency it should prove to be an excellent season. The decreasing number of foreign military personnel in Germany has led to an increase in the number of invitations to competitions the U.S. team receives each year. About 25 invitations arrived last year, but due to the limited number of personnel available, only about 20 events are planned for this year. For May a fourday trip to Innsbruck, Austria, as well as trips to Bavaria, Luxembourg, and Poland are scheduled. Peter OserVeltins, Lt. Col. GE A (Res), sponsored anniversary medals for team members. Historic Fort makes great day tripThe entrance of Fort Eben-Emael.Photo SSgt. M. HernandezThe fortress is open on the following weekends in 2006: 20-21 May, 17-18 Jun, 8-9-21 Jul. 26-27 Aug, 23-24 Sep, 21-22 Oct and 25-26 Nov. Opening hours 1000-1600. Entrance fee: adults 5, students 4, children under 12 years old 2.50, parking is free. Outside these dates group tours can be done on request. For more info: American Shooting Team celebrates anniversary The shooting team at Sennelager. Asparagus-Ride with the SelfkantbahnBy Celina Jansen PIO Intern From 18 until 20 June there is a special spring-event called the 'Asparagus-Ride'. Every Sunday and Holiday (except Whit Sun) visitors can have a nice ride in a historical train and eat delicious asparagus meals. The ride with the more than100year-old train starts in GeilenkirchenGillrath or in Gangelt-Schierwaldenrath. On the way, passengers receive a welcome drink and an asparagus meal in the restaurant 'Zur Selfkantbahn' at the station in Schierwaldenrath. It's also possible to eat cream of asparagus soup, asparagus with potatoes and fillet of a pork or ham. The asparagus comes, of course, from the asparagus-region Heinsberg. Asparagus lovers and train fans will love it! The all-inclusive offer is 26 for adults and 14 for children up to 15 years. For boo kings: Geschftsstelle der Selfkantbahn, Aachen, phone 0241-82369; Restaurant 'Zur Selfkantbahn', Gangelt-Schierwaldenrath, 024546962; Heinsberg Tourist-Service eV, Heinsberg, 02452-131415.


28 April 2006 NATOSkywatch 5


6NATOSkywatch 28 April 2006 IDH, Officers', Frisbee and Sentry Clubs now on the BASS LAN System. Menu information under Public Folders/Base Support Wing/Services Squadron/Clubs or IDH. Also, check out the Services Squadron web page for programme information and upcoming events. E-3AComponent Clubs Sunday brunch will alternate between Officers'/Frisbee Clubs. Members from both clubs are eligible to attend. Regular prices brunch members 9.20, guests 11.50; lunch members 6.10, guests 7.65; children 4-12 years half price. Reservations should be made NLT 1200 on the Friday before. Club cards are required. For additional information, please contact the Officers' Club, ext. 4990, or the Frisbee Club, ext. 4994. 7Lunch at the Frisbee Club. Officers' Club closed. 14Mother's Day brunch at the Officers' Club (see special flyer) and Frisbee Club, price: 11,50 and 13,50. 21Family brunch at the Officers' Club. Frisbee Club closed. 28Lunch at the Frisbee Club. Officers' Club closed. Officers' Club (SWPO/4990) Operating hours bar MondayFriday 1100-2300; restaurant Monday-Friday 1130-1330; Sunday 1100-1400 (alternating with the Frisbee Club). Reservations are required for Sunday brunch by 1200 on the Friday before. Club cards required when using the Frisbee Club (ext 4994). Lunch at the Officers' Club: Monday-Thursday A la Carte menu served; Monday + Wednesday a vegetarian special also available; Friday Buffet Style lunch. Throughout the month membership appreciation. One time each month for each Officer's Club member, buy one drink of your choice and get an equivalent drink of your choice free of charge. Club cards required. Tuesdays 1700-1800 Happy Hour, free snacks available. Fridays 1600-1800 Happy Hour, free snacks available. 1Club closed due to Component Holiday. 22-24Fresh asparagus lunchtime specialities. 25+26 Club closed due to Component Holidays Special Notes: The Officers' Club has rooms available for your conferences, meetings, presentations or Commanders' Call, make your reservations now. For members living on base if you like to watch TV and/or have a drink during the weekends while the club is closed collect the key for the Officers' Club casual bar at the Pass/Visitors' Office, Main Gate. Officers' Club Participation in Frisbee Club Events: During Frisbee Club opening hours, Officers' Club members are eligible to utilise the Frisbee Club for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch (on an alternating basis between the Frisbee and Officers' Clubs). Club cards required when Officers' Club members are using the Frisbee Club. Cancellations for Officers' Club events will be accepted up to two days prior to the event on ext. 4990. After this time, a cancellation fee of 5 per person must be charged for non-excused absences. Visit the Officers' Club Web Page on the Component Information Portal, through Base Support Wing, Services Squadron, Clubs, for the latest information. Frisbee Club (SWPN/4994) Make a reservation today at the Frisbee Grill and enjoy the cosy atmosphere and good food! Remember the Frisbee Club is open for breakfast and dinner to all Frisbee and Officers' Club members (club cards required). Throughout the month Happy Hour Monday-Thursday 17001800, Friday with free snacks 1700-1900. Monday Nights Steak Night in the Frisbee Grill during normal restaurant times, open for steak dinners only, normal sized steak 6 and large steak 8 1Club closed due to Component Holiday. 2Skat. 9Bingo. 11IWC Bingo night. 15-19Asparagus speciality week. 23Bingo. 25+26 Club closed due to Component Holidays. Sentry Club (SWPJ/4997) 'Fioretto' Pralines (700 g) & Lindt 'Easter Chocolate Mix' now available in the Souvenir Shop priced 5,50 per bag. In addition to the daily special, the Sentry Club will also offer a weekend special which will include a soup or dessert as well as the main course. The weekend special will be advertised in the Sentry Club and also on the Component information web page. A variety of new pizza (Pizza Gyros, Pizza Bolognese, Pizza Calzone and Pizza Spinach) and new toppings will be available soon. Little rolls made from pizza dough with herb butter or garlic mayonnaise will also be available. Once the preparations have been completed, details will be advertised on the Component web page. Try out our new Salad Bar, various types of fresh salads available at a reasonable price. Do you need support for conferences or meetings? The Sentry Club can assist with coffee, soft drinks, half Brtchen or freshly prepared muffins. For more information, please contact the Sentry Club management. Take advantage of the Sentry Club off-sale operation. We can provide Warsteiner Beer in 30 ltr and 50 ltr containers, various soft drinks in 1 ltr bottles and tables, benches and other items to help in organising your party. Please be sure to order in advance as certain items (e.g. tables, benches, beer wagons, etc.) must be ordered from the supplier. Visit the Souvenir Shop a variety of nice new items have arrived! Additional information on any of the above can be obtained from the Sentry Club Manager, ext. 4996. Sports Department (SWPT/4946) 3Component Sports Day coaches' meeting, 0900, Officers' Club. 5Swimming pool opens. Daily 1000-1900, first weekend free of charge. 6International outdoor soccer tournament. 8+10Outdoor soccer league, 1715, first games, small fields. 13International outdoor volleyball tournament. 15+17Outdoor soccer league, 1715, small fields. 17Jogging cross. 19+20Pr e-season softball tournament. 22+24 Outdoor soccer league, small fields. 27+28Inter national men's & ladies' fast-pitch softball tournament. 29Outdoor soccer league, small fields. 30Softball league, first games, soft fields at 1730. 31Outdoor soccer league, last games. International Library (SWPL/4956) Monday-Friday operating hours 1100-1600. 15-19Closed for Inventory. International Pre-School (SWPS/4957) 1School closed due to NATO holiday. 25School closed due to NATO holiday.There are no more places available for the current school year. Registration for the new school year 2006/2007 will be on 12 & 13 June 2006 as of 0800. First come, first served! For more information, please call the Pre-school, ext. 4957. Thrift Shop (SWPG/4919) Tuesdays + Thursdays operating hours 1000-1400. International Youth Activities (SWPY/4954/5) Registration and further information at the IYA Office in Bldg 95, ext. 4954/5, opening hours Mon-Fri, 0815-1300. Mother's Day Weekend Trip to Keukenhof and Gouda Join the IYA to enjoy the famous Keukenhof Park with its colourful gardens and pavilions filled with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths on Saturday, 13 May, 0800-2000. In the afternoon we will visit the beautiful cheese city of Gouda with its historic buildings and picturesque canals. Point of departure and return is the parking lot outside the Front Gate. Cost is 19 for ages 15+, 16 per child aged 44, and 9 per child aged 0-3. Trip to 'Happy Mosel' Cycle, skate or hike along the beautiful Mosel River! Join the IYA on Sunday, 11 June, 0730-2100, to discover the unique landscape of the river bends, historic towns surrounded by tall cliffs with vineyards, romantic villages and medieval castles. On both sides of the famous Mosel River roads are closed to vehicle traffic and restricted to cyclists, skaters and pedestrians. Booths are set up, where you can buy local specialities, wine, refreshments and souvenirs. There is live music and other performances. You can go at your own pace all age groups are participating, from kids to senior citizens. Point of departure and return is the parking lot outside the Front Gate. Cost is 22 per person. The high standard bus is equipped with a special trailer for your bikes. MWA INFORMATIONMayAutosJuly 2003, Mercedes Benz E240 Avantgarde, 2.6-V6, 177 HP, 6-speed. First owner, blue metallic, 88,000 km, beige leather, navigation, alarm-system, aut. climate control, sound system Harman Kardon, split rear seats, sport suspension, ABS, CBS, ESP, BAS, alloys with new tires, winter tires etc., dealer service/maintained (latest service 5 Apr 06), excellent condition, Euro specs. 26,995 (negotiable). Call ext. 2451 or 02452 964161. SKYWATCHCLASSIFIED 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, 4 May. Component Sports DayThursday, 8 June 06 Open for Component members and their dependantsA Sports Day meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 3 May at 0900 at the Officer's Club conference room. Unit sports representatives and coaches of participating teams are cordially invited to attend. For more information contact Mr. Fritz Stelten at ext. 4920 or Mr. Bert Hendriks at ext. 4921.


28 April 2006 NATOSkywatch 7 LIVEINSTYLE... How to find us: From Geilenkirchen/Brunssum take the motorway E314 direction Antwerpes, exit Maasmechelen or from Aachen over the Holland border direction An twerpes, 1200m after the Belgium custom, exit Maasmechelen. Rijksweg 477 € 3630 Maasmechelen BELGIUM € Tel. 0032/89/76 19 23 ...with our selected collection of solid Belgian style and oak furniture. Please come and see for yourself! BedroomsOccasional furnitureSuitesClocksWall unitsLampsDining room corner units A large variety of clocks at the b b e e s s t t p p r r i i c c e e !


8NATOSkywatch 28 April 2006