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REFERRAL AND RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

Developing a sense of community here starts before you arrive at Kalkar Air Station. We recognize the efforts behind this transition and want to make sure you are satisfied with the details of your move. To obtain Referral and Relocation Assistance, we encourage you to reach out for personalized services provided by the Military Housing Office (MHO) staff. 

Kalkar is a small town, located in northwestern Germany in the state of Nordrhein--Westfalen (North Rhine--Westfalia). It is near the German-Netherlands border on the southern side of the Rhine River. This town of approximately 14,000 celebrated its 770th anniversary in 2000. Kalkar lies 7 miles (12 kilometers) southeast of Kleve (pronounced "CLAY-ve"), population 64,000; 7 miles northeast of Goch (pronounced "gawkh" but gurgle the "kh"), population 30,000; 22 miles (36 kilometers) southeast of Nijmegen (pronounced "NYE-meggen"), the Netherlands; and 60 road miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Düsseldorf, the nearest major German city and the one with the most accessible major international airport. Von-Seydlitz Kaserne, is the German base where our support unit, the Combined Air Operations Centre and the Joint Air Power Competence Centre are located, which is about a mile from the town center. 

Planning Your Move
Moving to an overseas location requires additional planning to make sure you and your family are prepared for the transition. There are many things you can do before you arrive to ensure the process to get settled in your new home and community is seamless.

Lodging
Kalkar does not have temporary lodging facilities. You should plan on staying in a hotel or furnished apartment upon your arrival. You will be paid Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) when you are overseas and not assigned government quarters for up to 60 days. Ask your sponsor what options will be available for your arrival time.

Due to limited options in the Kalkar area, it is essential that you tell your sponsor about special needs prior to your arrival. For example, if you have no transportation, the best option will probably be an apartment or hotel room within Kalkar. There is an assortment of shops and restaurants within Kalkar which are within walking distance of any apartment or hotel. The military Kaserne (German base) and NSU are also accessible by bicycle from these locations (only 3 km from the main square in Kalkar). 

Drivers License
USAREUR Pamphlet 190-34/USAFE Pamphlet 125-11, "Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany," covers vehicle registration and driver training matters in detail. Your sponsor can get one to send you, if you want to study it before you arrive at Kalkar, or you can download a copy of it from the Army website. You will get both your driver's license testing and vehicle inspection at Geilenkirchen. If you are stationed in the CONUS, visit the USAFE Driver's License Exam website to take your driver's license test online. You have to request a proctor for the test. Make sure to print out a copy when passing the test. If you are stationed overseas, keep your license that was issued to you or make a copy of it. This will prevent you from having to re-take the test. 

The exam is made up of 75 multiple-choice questions on European rules and driving procedures, plus 25 traffic signs that must be identified. The test is difficult, and more than 30 percent of all first-time testers fail. Practice exams and information about the test can be found on the Air Force Portal. Normally, before you get your USAREUR Driver's License, you must watch a video in order to take the exam. Because we are so far from Geilenkirchen, our Vehicle NCOs can show you the video and present you with a letter certifying that you have received the training. Then, all you have to do is take the test. You must also have a valid stateside driver's license to get a USAREUR POV license. There is a $10 fee for the USAREUR license that you will have to pay by credit card.

US Forces personnel stationed in Germany may not operate a POV in Germany unless they hold a valid USAREUR POV operator's license. NOTE: non-active duty spouses may legally operate a rental car using just their International Driver's License but active duty military personnel must have the USAREUR license before they can legally drive that car. WARNING: Local Rental Car companies will allow you to rent vehicles without the USAREUR license. 

Individuals without a valid stateside driver's license cannot get an USAREUR license or drive in Germany. Teenagers who have a valid stateside driver's license can take the USAREUR course and tests when they are 17, but must be 18 before they can drive without a licensed adult in the car. They also can only drive in Germany.

There are two options for training an unlicensed driver. They can go to a German driving school, which is very expensive--as much as $1,700--and the student must speak German. The other option is to get licensed in the US and then take the USAREUR course and tests. The military doesn't pay for or provide driver training for learners.

Power Requirements 
The electrical current in Kalkar is 220-240 volts and 50 cycles as opposed to 110 volts and 60 cycles in the United States. Transformers for use with small electrical appliances are available through the Family Support Representative at Kalkar and 220 volt appliances may also be purchased in the local Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores. Departing service members often sell their used 220 volt appliances for a reasonable price. 

More information on products for each location can be found on the AAFES website.

Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC)
The local AFRC is another great resource to obtain pertinent information about the area. 
Contact Information: OL-B 470th ABS 
                                      PSC 21 Box 400 
                                      APO AE 09261 
Phone: 0049-2824-16765 (DSN 312-454-8765)

HOUSING ALLOWANCES

Military members are entitled to various allowances to ensure the transition to a new location is as smooth and stress free as possible. If you have any questions about the allowances listed, please contact the MHO. 

Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) and Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA)
For overseas areas only, individuals moving into community housing may be eligible for OHA and MIHA. Specific circumstances, conditions and requirements of OHA or MIHA are identified in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations.

These extra allowances are in place to off-set the higher costs of living in overseas communities. OHA is a reimbursement and based on actual expenses for rental and utility/recurring maintenance allowances. It is adjusted every pay period for changes in exchange rates. 

Members are also authorized a one-time Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA). This allowance is provided for the purchase of supplemental items not normally available in foreign housing, but considered standard when renting in the community at U.S. locations such as window coverings, light fixtures, electricity connection, etc. 

At Kalkar members are also authorized MIHA/Miscellaneous for realtors' fees as there is no full time housing office there. The Housing Assistant will help you when filing the request with your Finance Office.

For more information about your OHA and MIHA, visit the Defense Travel Management Office website.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) 
Kalkar does not have temporary lodging facilities. You should plan on staying in a hotel or furnished apartment upon your arrival. You will be paid Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) when you are overseas and not assigned government quarters for up to 60 days. Ask your sponsor what options will be available for your arrival time.

Due to limited options in the Kalkar area, it is essential that you tell your sponsor about special needs prior to your arrival. For example, if you will not have transportation, the best option will probably be an apartment or hotel room within Kalkar. There is an assortment of shops and restaurants within Kalkar which are within walking distance of any apartment or hotel. The military Kaserne (German base) and NSU are also accessible by bicycle from these locations (only 3 km from the main square in Kalkar).

The Housing Assistance will file the TLA claim to the respective Finance Office. If you need to extend your TLA period due to unforeseen reasons, contact your MHO as soon as possible. 

Financing Your Up-Front Move-In Cost 
All service military members are entitled to a 100 percent advance of required up-front rent payments and security deposits. Service members must pay back the advanced rent in 12 monthly payments. They may request to have repayment of the security deposits over $500 suspended until termination of the rental contract. Upon termination of the contract the member is required to repay the full amount of the security advance. 

The MHO will assist you in completing the required paperwork to begin processing your rent advance. For specific questions about the program, please contact the Financial Services Office. 

Finance Customer Service Ramstein for JAPCC and CAOC
DSN 312-480-5548
Email: 86cpts.finance@ramstein.af.mil 

Geilenkirchen Finance Office for NSU personnel 
Phone: 0049-2451-63-6048