US Army raises alert level at German bases


Lerato Khumalo

Are there signs of an impending attack? US military bases in Europe have apparently increased their security levels to the second highest standard.

Several US military bases in Europe were placed on high alert on Sunday, as several US media reported, citing officials from American security circles. According to the report, the headquarters of the US European Command in Stuttgart (USEUCOM) issued a community-wide warning. The alert status was raised to the second highest level, “Charlie”. The instructions are said to have been sent to several bases in Germany and Italy, including the “Ramstein Air Base” near Kaiserslautern in Rhineland-Palatinate.

“Charlie threat level is in effect when an incident occurs or intelligence indicates that a terrorist action or attack on personnel or facilities is likely,” the US Army website states. The Ramstein military base called for vigilance on social media. A US official stationed in Europe told CNN that this level of threat had not been seen “in at least ten years.” Typically, the initiation of this level means that the military has received an “active, reliable threat.”

The US military apparently did not want to provide any further information. In response to a CNN query regarding specific protective measures, an army spokesman replied: “For operational security reasons, we will not go into specific measures, but we remain vigilant.”

The reason for the heightened security situation at US military bases is also unclear. However, European and German authorities have been warning of a possible terrorist threat for some time, particularly in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Paris and during the ongoing European football championship in Germany. The USA continues to maintain travel advice for Germany at a higher security level due to an increased terrorist threat.

To strengthen security measures, the German government has hired 580 international police officers to work together with German officials. Before the European Championships, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced that Germany was preparing for all conceivable dangers, from Islamist terror to violent criminals and hooligans.

Ramstein Air Base is of great importance to the US military. The airfield is one of the most important hubs for American cargo and troop transport worldwide.