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Best and Worst Top Rated Air Force Bases; Overseas

Updated on April 24, 2014

Air Force Base Reviews; Overseas Edition

This edition comes upon the fact that when you fill out your "dream sheet" you are forced to list 10 stateside bases as well as 10 overseas bases (To read the Best and Worst Air Force Stateside Bases click here). So it is best that you are prepared for this when it comes. Keep in mind that you may not get anything on your list (my wife and I didn't). But, I enjoy the prospect of increasing my odds of being stationed somewhere deemed suitable. I would like to indicate that I will not be listing bases that are considered "Deployments".

Another thing I did note is that there are far less reviews for overseas bases. Most of the reviews are straight forward such as 'love' or 'Hate' this base. Perhaps this is because they are more compelled to write a review than those who had a wishy-washy experience. If I find more I will add them, but, this is what the majority of reviews have indicated so far.

Best Air Force Bases Overseas

Kadena, Japan

This is a large base that does not have a lot of westernized shopping. If you can’t fit in smaller sized clothing you will be forced to order online. The commissary isn’t great and the types of food are limited. The weather is tropical and can become very humid in the summer, but, is great during the winter. If you want to experience the culture you will need to learn to drive on the opposite side of the road and cope with the narrow roadways. One review indicated to buy a chain link fence from the US and have it shipped to you, but, they didn’t mention why. There is a lot to do on the island and the people are very friendly, it is a great place if your spouse does not want to work. Overall, it seems that everyone enjoyed their time spent at Kadena despite some of the drawbacks.

Incirlik, Turkey

You’ll have occasional lock downs and curfews imposed, but, most people seem to enjoy their time spent here. They have a DOD school that serves 9-12 grade and had just built a new BX, but, all in all the base is small. You are able to get gardeners and maids for a fairly cheap price to come clean and do yard work once a week (about $50 for both).

Andersen, Guam

The base is small and it only takes about 45 minutes to travel from the north side of the island to the south. There are many small villages that are very friendly. The weather is great as well as the beaches. One review compared it to Hawaii, but, without the crowds. Travel comes easy as you can easily get to Japan and Korea.

Worst Air Force Bases Overseas

Aviano, Italy

For the most part, you will have to live off base and may feel that Italian Houses are not up to par with western style housing. One review did happen to indicate that there is government housing, but, there is usually a one to two year wait. The Base often runs out of supplies at the PX and has been considered not family friendly. Traveling can be a pain due to traffic, the on base facilities are spread out and can be cumbersome to travel around. Typically, nothing is open in the city from noon to three. One review went as far as to refer it as “the gates of hell”, but, did not indicate much more than “Do not come here”. The majority of the reviews do indicate their dislike for this assignment. There was a single positive review that indicates for the right price you can find a nice place to live and that traveling was great.

Volkel, Netherlands

It isn’t technically an AFB so they don’t have the “normal” base facilities as you would typically see. You are forced to travel to an Army base an hour and a half away to go to the commissary or shop locally using the Euro. Savings may be hard to come by as shopping locally or drive to the Army base. If you have children they will have to drive roughly an hour to the nearest international school.

Ramstein, Germany

From what I am seeing in the mass majority of reviews indicate that Ramstein is very unsanitary. Off base housing is nice, but, expensive. The Americans there are rude and are begging to leave. One review stated that the school system is out of date (But, I am unsure as to what that means).


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      OvertheAF 13 months ago

      I haven't been stationed at Ramstein, but I can pass along info from friends who have, along with what I've seen from the couple of times I've visited.


      There's a Chili's on base

      The BX is huge

      There is a gas station on base, which is convenient


      It's a very busy base, so that's a drawback for many

      The locals do seem rude

      A friend's landlord was openly racist against black people and wouldn't rent to them

      We've been in Aviano for 2.5 years now and we are more than ready to return stateside. Everything off base is closed from 12-3 and then closed after 7:30. Restaurants are open from about 11-2 and then 5 or 6-11. Most places are closed on Sunday with the exception of malls and some restaurants, which will instead be closed on a Monday or Tuesday (sometimes both). The Italians are super shitty drivers. They have a serious staring problem and have been known to talk bad about Americans in Italian right in front of them, sometimes getting caught by the Americans that can understand them. There is no on base housing so you're pretty isolated, which can really affect you before you realize it. The base is broken up into a few different areas, but there are 2 main bases, Area F & Area 1 which are a few minutes away from each other. The med group is great but the OB ward (which is still relatively new) is being phased out which is a huge disappointment considering the nearest hospital is a hit-or-miss, usually trying super hard to bank off of Americans' insurance. Car insurance here is grossly expensive due to the high rate of accidents, including when Italians bump your car and act like nothing happened. Basically the only great things about this base are the travel opportunities and the food. Other than that, you live in an area where most locals don't like you, there is very little convenience, the Internet connection will always suck, you find scorpions in your shoes, get eaten by crazy ass mosquitoes in the summer, and you may get your car broken into at some point (depending on where you live).

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      Tom 13 months ago

      Luke AFB Sucks, stationed there 5 years. Was a 7 level NCO had no decision power had to wait for civilians. It's a AFB in name only.

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      Cristina 21 months ago

      Was in Germany for six months. Most of the bad juju there are from crappy AF morale, not living in the right places--back stateside you have racist, less desirable places to live than other cities just like anywhere else. The medical group was outstanding, the travel was incredible, the local children's hospital saved my son's life. As a young woman that was raised to be respectful, I received a lot of respect and common decency right back. As far as u sanitary goes, it is no where even close to Lajes AFB since all the trash is left on the street for pick up and wild cats come in and rip to shreds everything. If you leave recyclables in the trash( clear bags), they won't pick it up. So, if you don't recycle, you probably will have a rough time. The electric and gas wasn't as expensive as Portugal and housing is decently priced.

      Lajes is no longer accompanied but was a great duty station.

      Rstein and Landstuhl was wonderful.

      Osan was phenomenal once you get past the main gate city and idiot airmen. Great food, great shopping, heavenly outdoor activities.

      Those are the only ones I lived in. Ramstein is great outside of work and jaded idiot airmen and dependas. Osan is also great if you are like me and enjoy kimchi, outdoors, historical sites, and dollar stores.

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      SSGT HamNEggs 23 months ago

      Ramstein was amazing when I was there. Folk might have a hard time if they themselves are rude and do not appreciate different cultures. It astounds me that there are folk who live in Germany and NOT find it awe inspiring. I loved talking and hanging out with the German folk. Things are quite a bit more expensive off base in some stores, but they have better structure, work environment, and travel than my experiences in PACAF. Well, Osan AB was a pretty great base, too. I just couldn't stand most of the single airmen.

    • Shannon Cowart profile image

      Shannon Cowart 2 years ago

      Yes, Germany is great. Traveling around Germany is lovely, However RAB is NOT a great base. We were there for four years and I just couldn't stand how that base was ran. Mostly based on my husbands squadron and the low morale that his squadron had. I heard from a lot of spouses that morale was low in most squadrons. That being said. I don't think I'd ever want to be stationed at Ramstein ever again.

      If looking at the outside of base, the cost of living is high and COLA doesn't even begin to cover it. Travel isn't as "easy" and "Cheap" as some make it sound. Yeah you can find SOME bargains but when it comes down to off base housing, the land lords have the inside word and pretty much can raise and lower the rent from just looking at what my husband was given for housing allowence, I mean even to the point where there is a blacklist for land lords trying to screw people out of money.

      I can't say that all Germans were rude. I had met some amazingly kind Germans who really were VERY helpful when asked in a respectful manner. It has it's up's and down's but if my husband were to be given orders there again I'd cry.

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      Mex 3 years ago

      Compared to the other GSUs of Spangdahlem, Volkel has the best facilities and host nation support. Additionally the Queen of the Netherlands provides them with free coffee and small Xmas gifts every year. Volkel also has an AAFES shoppette whereas Buechel, Kleine Brogel, and Ghedi do not.

      This list isn't very comprehensive... Missing a ton of bases.

    • radar4ever profile image

      radar4ever 3 years ago from Waddell, Arizona

      How many of these were double-checked against the infamous PCS-tool every servicemember uses to plan their next move? SITES or STANDARD INSTALLATION TOPIC EXCHANGE SERVICE has a wealth of budget and lifestyle comparison data. You just gotta be on your DoD computer network to access...

    • radar4ever profile image

      radar4ever 3 years ago from Waddell, Arizona

      What the heck is wrong with your data collecting for OCONUS bases? I have traveled extensively throughout European and Korean air bases, including all the main operating bases (Lakenheath/Mildenhal, Spangdahlem, Ramstein, Aviano, Incirlik, Osan, and Kunsan), then many of the smaller stations, kasernes, and posts in Germany. I spent nine years in Germany, PCS-ing, visiting, shopping, and working at many of these places, so I have an exceptionally good idea of what is available and what it costs military members to live there. Ask someone next time...

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      Ready to go 3 years ago

      How Kadena is tops is beyond me. Curfew for the last 1.5 years due to TDY Navy guys who were accused of raping a woman here (that story was still a little suspicious). Besides the ocean (which gets old) and scuba, there isn't a whole lot to do. After a year of being here, you have done it, ate it, and seen it all. Depending on the Yen rate, it can be expensive. The people are looking to rip you off whenever possible. I pay $2000+ for my apartment that would cost half the price in the states. I understand the economy is different here, but they won't negotiate on certain houses because they know who will pay for them. If you are mil to mil they love that because they will try to put you in a house that's around $3500-4000 a month (which is the max OHA for mil to mil depending on rank). Traffic is horrible and pray you don't get into an accident with a local because no matter what, you will pay some kind of deductible due to their laws. The people here drive RIDICULOUS. I've never seen someone make a right turn from the far-left lane on a 6-lane road before. If you mess up here it will be broadcast all over the papers. The only friendly people here are the ones who want your money (i.e. restaurants and shops) the rest could care that we are here. They constantly protest about Americans on island. The weather is nice and the food is good, but not worth the curfew or the limitations we have. For being a grown adult I've never felt so stripped of my freedoms as I have here. As an NCO I'd expect more freedom to come and go rather than worry about having my commander called because I drove up to the gate after midnight (has happened)

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      momofthree 3 years ago

      I lived in germany for sometime and yall are giving Greg such a hard time. Living in germany we have met very few who like it there as well. Trust me my husband and I always try to be positive and look for the good in everything and I honestly have to say I agree with greg. My husband works with a lot of germans and he has told me crazy things about there work ethics as well.... also we lived off base and decided to move on due to our landlords daughter and son in law harassing us no stop. Even to the point of them telling my littles that they were stupid Americans. We have never been rude or nasty in any way. It is dirty I agree they do not have garage cans anywhere. ... traveling is nice but expensive considering the dollar is worth less plus 19% tax yes they have vat forms to get ride of the tax but you still have to pay for those as well. We are making the best out of it but unfortunately greg is correct.

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      Bill 3 years ago

      Greg, you sound like a typical ROAD Sgt who has nothing better to do but complain. Have you ever given it a thought and said hey, maybe the locals are rude because the U.S soldiers before have displayed worse behavior?? I remember the Army guys stationed there a few years ago went a around starting bar fights and so on so yes the locals are going to label any uniform wearing person as a bad person. For being overseas for 20 years and in the military for 23 years you sure sound ungrateful and unappreciative of the things you could have enjoyed while being overseas.

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      Joan 3 years ago

      Greg, how come you spent that many years overseas, if it is that awful??? The extra money was too good, huh? You would think that living in a different country would open your mind and get a different view on things, but not in your case!

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      Nicole 3 years ago

      Ramstein is unsanitary hahaha that is a joke! And if you want rude people come to Aviano lol

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      Greg 3 years ago

      I have been overseas for 20 of my 23 years in the AF. Ramstein is by far the worst base. The locals are the rudest people I have ever met and there is no such thing as good customer service anywhere around the base. The people are a little better when you travel away from the base but let's face it, you spend the majority of your time close to the base. I don't even want to get started on their work ethic either. Don't make them mad or they will be on sick leave forever! I had one guy move desks in October, the next day he had a sick slip for one week. It is now March and he still hasn't came back to work. This place will be beautiful in my rear view mirror!

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      Jace 4 years ago

      I lived in Spangdahlem, and we went to Ramstein a lot, I don't know anyone whuo hates living in Germany period. It isn't like America, but what do you expect, it is Europe. I would do it again in a heart beat, anywhere in Europe.

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      SSgt Olson 4 years ago

      I loved Ramstein and lived in Landstuhl. So much to do there