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Ramstein Air Base

Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in southwestern Germany. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and for NATO Allied Air Command. Ramstein is located near the town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, which stands outside the base's west gate, in the rural district of Kaiserslautern; the east gate of Ramstein Air Base is circa 16 kilometers from Kaiserslautern. Other nearby civilian communities include Landstuhl, some 3 miles from the west gate; the host unit is the 86th Airlift Wing, commanded by Jr.. The 86th Airlift Wing is composed of six groups, 27 squadrons and three bases in Germany and Belgium, its mission is the operation and maintenance of airlift assets consisting of C-130Js, C-20s, C-21s, C-40B and C-37A Gulfstream aircraft throughout Europe and the Middle East. At Ramstein is the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, which focuses on base-support responsibilities within the KMC, it is composed of 20 squadrons.

The wing provides rapid mobility and agile combat support for military operations, maintains expeditionary forces and infrastructure. The commander of the 435th AGOW is Colonel Michael T. Rawls; the new 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing stood up on 4 September 2008. The current commander of the 521st AMOW is Colonel Thomas Cooper. Ramstein's wings are assigned to the headquarters 3rd Air Force based at Ramstein AB, which controls most of the USAF Wings throughout Europe. Ramstein AB is part of the Kaiserslautern Military Community, where more than 54,000 American service members and more than 5,400 US civilian employees live and work. U. S. organizations in the KMC employ the services of more than 6,200 German workers. Air Force units in the KMC alone employ 9,800 military members, bringing with them nearly 11,100 family members. There are more than 16,200 military, U. S. civilian and U. S. contractors assigned to Ramstein AB alone. In 1984, an enlisted airman assigned to the 1964th Communications Group, solicited National Headquarters Civil Air Patrol to charter the first "Cadet Squadron" in Germany, naming the unit "Ramstein Cadet Squadron" and becoming the unit's first commander as a CAP 1Lt.

The Ramstein Cadet Squadron was formed with Captain Mark Bailey serving as the unit's first liaison officer, as well as other like minded military volunteers and six cadets. To this day, the squadron enjoys vibrant member participation, as well as base support, hosting drill competitions and encampments along with their traditional military studies and aerospace education efforts; the Ramstein Cadet Squadron commander as of February 2019 was Lt Col Chris Blank. The squadron is the parent unit for 2 flights located at Wiesbaden Army Airfield and Patch Barracks, Stuttgart. Current membership as of April 2019 was 124 members. In the subsequent years, a companion cadet squadron was formed at Spangdahlem Air Base. Distance learning cadets are located at Germany. From 2004 to 2006, Ramstein Air Base underwent an extensive expansion with a major construction project – including an all-new airport terminal, among other new facilities, through the so-called Rhein-Main Transition Program, initiated in support of the total closure of Rhein-Main Air Base on 30 December 2005 and transferring all its former capacities to Ramstein Air Base and Spangdahlem Air Base.

While the KMC remains the largest U. S. community overseas at the defense drawdown continues to shape its future. Due to the departure of other main operating installations, more than 100 geographically separated units receive support from Ramstein. Ramstein Air Base served as temporary housing for the United States men's national soccer team during the 2006 World Cup. There is a Summer Camp to Ramstein from British CCF and ATC cadets, as well as Civil Air Patrol encampments and tours like the ones held in July 2015 and June 2016; the construction of the air base was a project designed and undertaken by the French Army and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1949 to 1952, it was an example of international collaboration: designed by French engineers, constructed by local businesses and large number of temporary and migrant workers of Italy, Spain and Turkey and operated by Americans. The area was a swamp. A train line was laid out from Einsiedlerhof-Kaiserslautern in a yoke shape around to the current base and back down to the Landstuhl spur in 1948 by agreement of the U.

S. and French Occupational Forces. Trainloads of earth were moved over the line and spread over the base's current area to raise it to its current level. Once the ground was level, building construction began. Two bases were laid out. Landstuhl Air Base on the south side and Ramstein Air Station on the north. From 1948 to the opening of the bases in 1953 it was the largest one spot construction site in Europe employing over 270,000 Europeans at one time. Landstuhl Air Base, 5 August 1952 Ramstein Air Base, 1 June 1953Landstuhl and Ramstein were separate bases until 1 December 1957Ramstein–Landstuhl Air Base, 1 December 1957 Ramstein Air Base, 15 August 1958 – present Source: Fletcher, Air Force Bases Volume II Source: Fletcher, Air Force Bases Volume II 21st TSC / 39th Movement Control BN. USAREUR Movement Control Team / AMC Logistic Center USAREUR Overseas Replacement Center – Contingency Operations / AMC Passenger Terminal In 1940, construction of today's Bundesautobahn 6 was stopped when a bridge, being built

Oslofjord Tunnel

The Oslofjord Tunnel is a subsea road tunnel which traverses the Oslofjord, connecting Hurum and Frogn in Norway. Carrying three lanes, the 7,306-meter long tunnel reaches a depth of 134 meters below mean sea level; the tunnel has a maximum gradient of seven percent. It acts as the main link connecting Buskerud with Follo and Østfold, supplementing the Moss–Horten Ferry which runs further south; the tunnel is since 2018 a part of European route E134, until 2018 it was part of National Road 23. The crossing was served by the Drøbak–Storsand Ferry, which commenced in 1939. Plans for a fixed link were launched in 1963 based on two bridges which would connect to Håøya. Plans resurfaced in the early 1980s with the advent of subsea tunneling technology and the Oslo Airport location controversy, which proposed airports in Hurum, Ås and Hobøl. Though Gardermoen was build as the airport, the tunnel had raised sufficient support to be built irrespectively. Parliament gave approval on 13 December 1996 and construction started on 14 April 1997.

The tunnel was official opened on 29 June 2000 and was financed in part by a toll, collected by Bompengeselskapet Oslofjordtunnelen at a toll plaza in Frogn. In 2014, the manual toll station was replaced by an automatic station. Since 30 August 2016, it is free to pass through the tunnel; the tunnel was flooded in 2003 and 2008 and experienced a landslide in 2003. All of these incidents resulted in the tunnel being closed for weeks. There have been two major truck fires, one in 2006 and one in 2011. After the latter incident, the tunnel has been closed for heavy traffic exceeding 7.5 tonnes. In an effort to eliminate the problem, the Public Roads Administration has proposed building a second tube; the Oslofjord Tunnel is a 7,306-meter long subsea tunnel which constitutes part of European route E134 and is hence part of the Trans-European road network. The tunnel traverses below Drøbaksundet of the Oslofjord, reaching a maximum depth of 134 meters below mean sea level; the tunnel has three lanes, with one used as a climbing lane in the uphill direction to overcome the seven percent gradient.

It has a speed limit of 70 kilometers per hour, enforced by traffic enforcement cameras. The tunnel has a width of 11.5 meters and was at the time of construction build after criteria for a traffic of up to 7,500 vehicles per day. The tunnel is equipped with 25 evacuation rooms; these can be sealed off from the main tunnel and can each provide pressurized space for thirty to fifty people while a fire is being fought. There is a natural flow of 1,800 litres of sea- and ground water into the tunnel every minute. To handle this a pump system is installed capable of draining 4,000 litres per minute. There is a natural reservoir under the tunnel able to retain 5,000 cubic meters of water, which can act as a buffer, it can be used as a water source for the fire department. The tunnel is built with continual concrete elements to ensure better protection against water leaks; the structure has received artistic decorations in the form of gobo lighting. The tunnel is indefinitely closed for vehicles exceeding 12 meters in length.

From the onset it was designed to be expanded to two tubes, hence a second tube was designed to be built on the south side. European Road 134 is 432 kilometers long and runs from Haugesund through Drammen to the E6 at Vassum in Frogn; the section from Bjørnstad in Røyken to Vassum was built at the same time as the tunnel and is referred to as the Oslofjord Link. The crossing serves as a quicker link connecting Buskerud to Follo and Østfold. Alternative crossing involve driving north via Oslo or south via the Moss–Horten Ferry; the route saves 30 minutes compared to driving via Oslo. The tunnel is operated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration; as part of a national road, its operation and maintenance is financed by the national government. Toll collection is carried out by Bompengeselskapet Oslofjordtunnelen AS, a limited company owned in equal shares by Akershus County Municipality and Buskerud County Municipality, they have subcontracted the operations of the toll plaza to Vegfinans. Undiscounted toll prices are NOK 130 for trucks.

Payment is automated through Autopass. The tunnel experienced a traffic an average 4,432 vehicles per day in 2003; the average annual peak was reached at 7,138 in 2010, before falling to 6,827 in 2012. The road is owned and maintained by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration as a nationally financed project; the connection between Follo and Hurumlandet was served by the Drøbak–Storsand Ferry, a service operated by Bilferjen Drøbak–Hurum. Planning of the ferry service commenced in 1939 and its first ferry, Leif 1, serve the crossing until 1954, it was replaced with Drøbaksund, itself replaced with the larger Drøbaksund II in 1968. The company took over the Svelvik–Verket Ferry, which connects Hurumlandet to Vestfold, in 1971. Drøbaksund I was put into service in 1978 and Drøbaksund III in 1985. From 1993 it was supplemented with Hurumferja, hence the service having two ferries; the ferry had a daily traffic of 320 vehicles in 1980. A fixed crossing of Hurumlandet and the Oslofjord was first proposed by Anton Grønsand in 1958.

It was followed up in a regional transport plan published with a horizon of forty years. Road planning was in the following decade reorganized so that most planning fell within the jurisdiction of a single county; as a crossing of the Oslofjord invariable would have to cross a county

MechAssault

MechAssault is a video game released for the Xbox notable for being one of the first games to support Xbox Live online multiplayer. Developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Microsoft, MechAssault was initiated when Denny Thorley of Day 1 Studios approached Jon Kimmich of Microsoft about developing an original BattleTech game built from the ground up to support console play. "MechAssault" was released in November of 2002. A sequel, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, was released on December 28, 2004. Both games are set in the BattleTech fictional universe. MechAssault takes place in the BattleTech universe, a science-fiction universe that centers around pitched battles between human-piloted walking armed and armored machines, called BattleMechs; the plot of the game centers around an inhabited planet called Helios in the dominion of the Inner Sphere, a powerful coalition of feuding factions in control of large areas of space. The player is a BattleMech pilot in the employment of an elite mercenary organization called Wolf's Dragoons.

The player's ship is hired to investigate the cessation of communications from the planet Helios. The Dragoons' ship, the Icarus arrives at the planet and is shot down upon entering the atmosphere, causing the ship to crash-land on the surface of Helios, it is discovered by the player that a rogue technology-worshipping cult known as the Word of Blake has invaded and conquered Helios, is under the rule of an iron-fisted fanatic called Commander Strader. The game follows the player as, commanded by elite officer Major Natalia and assisted by inept techie Lieutenant Foster, they fight the military forces of the cult, assist in the liberation of the planet from Word of Blake rule, assassinate Commander Strader. MechAssault was one of the first games on the Xbox to feature the ability to be played on the Xbox Live service. "MechAssault" included many of the basic Live services that are now considered standard on any Live-enabled video game. These features included options for finding and creating online matches, such as the common "Quick Match", which enables a player to find an online match regardless of qualifications.

For players who wanted to join a specific type of online session of MechAssault hosted by another player, "Optimatch" allowed the player to specify the criteria for the session they want to join. The player could create and host an online session of MechAssault. Once the player defined all the characteristics of a game, they could invite other players from their friends list or leave slots open for any online player to join the battle. MechAssault had several modes of combat in which players could engage based around by-now-common forms of online competitive gaming. In Grinder mode, the player tries to survive as more'Mechs are spawned into the battle; this mode can played with two players. In Destruction mode, the player can choose a'Mech and fight to the death in deathmatch or team deathmatch; the player or team with the most kills wins. Last Man Standing is a free-for-all with no respawning as a mech. Once a player dies, they respawn as an unarmed infantryman. Gameplay can be either team deathmatch.

Capture the flag is a team based game where the opposing team spawn on opposite ends of the map and try to "Capture" the enemy flag without giving up their own. A common metagame during the height of online popularity was known as "Elemental". A Last Man Standing match, "Elemental" saw only one player choose a Mech while all others chose the Elemental mobile armor, a much smaller and weaker playable class; this was decided by players in voice chat prior to the start of the game. It was released as an official game type known as "Giant Killers". By July 2006, MechAssault earned $26 million in the United States. Next Generation ranked it as the 85th highest-selling game launched for the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube between January 2000 and July 2006 in that country. Combined sales of the MechAssault series reached 1.1 million units in the United States by July 2006. MechAssault received positive reviews. Metacritic gave the game a score of 87 out of 100. GameRankings awarded it a score of 86.92% IGN awarded the game 9.2 out of 10.

Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 9.0, indicating that "If you're going to buy one game with your Xbox Live starter kit, MechAssault is the one to get." MechAssault at MobyGames MechAssault at GameFAQs TeamXbox.com Interview re: Day 1 and FASA games including MechAssault