Are you PCSing to Spangdahlem AB soon? If so I’ve made a handy PSCing to Spangdahlem AB Checklist so that you can make sure that your ready and have everything set up! Really this list would work for any Overseas PCS, you’d just need to fill in your base lodging your PCSing to, and check the driver’s license & pet requirements.
Medical Clearance completed by all family members. I recommend this be one of the first things you do as it can be done as far as 6 months before your RNLTD (Report No Later Than Date). It also needs to be completed in order to receive a hard copy of your orders, which you will need to book airline tickets, etc.
No-Fee Passports, these can be done with RIP, you don’t need to wait on hard copy orders. Make sure they give you a SOFA stamp! I would get these done shortly after the medical clearance. You will need both parents there so if your AD spouse is deployed you can have them fill out the DS-3053 from the government’s passport site HERE and get it notarized and sent to you. Or you can get it done during R&R like we did as well. This normally take 6-8 weeks to get back so start as early as possible.
Civilian Passports (optional but highly encouraged to get while you are in the US) allow a good 10 weeks before departing if not more time. They normally take 6-8 weeks but I would recommend allowing a few more weeks to make sure you have them in hand before leaving. Again both parents will need to be present, if not you’ll need the above DS-3053 form filled out, which is what I took and didn’t have any issues. If you have these prior to arrival in Germany you can start traveling outside the country immediately. This is ideal since Luxembourg, France, Belgium, and such are all within an hour drive from Spangdahlem.
Do online TMO Training (Sponsor) then:
Schedule TMO Unaccompanied Baggage, if you need info on what to send you can read this post
Schedule TMO Household Goods
Pick up hard copy of orders from the MPS. If you have completed your medical clearance early these can be received as soon as 90 days prior to leaving.
Book Flight – with hard copy of orders, make sure you reserve a pet spot of needed. These CAN be booked as soon as you get orders and flights are normally released around 75 days out. Booking early will help get you a spot on the flight you want and ensure your pet can get a spot as well.
Get on the Housing List if you want to live on-base. Go to the Housing website and in the right side bar click on Application for Housing, this can be done after you have received a hard copy of your orders.
Call your insurance company to change your car insurance for the date you plan on shipping your vehicle.
Ship your vehicle if sending one, I’d recommend at least 4-6 weeks out so it will be here when you are or shortly after. It’s MUCH easier to go without a car in the US then here. Getting around at Spangdahlem without a vehicle is very challenging and rental cars are very expensive. Also make sure your vehicle is on your orders so it can be shipped and you won’t have any surprises when you arrive at the port to ship it.
Get a Post Office box, contact your Sponsor and ask them to set one up for you. That way you can mail items if needed. This can be done 90 to 60 days prior to arrival.
Schedule TLF on leaving end, this can normally be done around 60-30 days prior to leaving. Call and check with your base billeting and then put it on the calendar for the day you can call back to schedule.
Schedule TLF at Spangdahlem AB at Eifel Arms Inn, reservations can be made as soon as you know your arrival date. So as soon as you book your airline ticket go make your TLF reservations, especially if you have a pet as pet TLF is limited. Also know that the maximum stay in TLF is 30 days IF you don’t turn down a house, if you turn one down you only get 15 days. Many people do not find a house in that 15 day window so know about off base living options such as the Wiedenhof Palace.
Schedule the Shuttle to Spangdahlem, you can send an email from the website to reserve it. This can be reserved 60 days prior to arrival, reserve early to make sure you get a reservation and a pet spot if needed.
Sponsor Driver’s License Test – have them complete BEFORE arriving to Spangdahlem, it can be taken as early as 60 days prior to arrival. Then they will just need to attend the Newcomer’s briefing on Tues or Friday and they will get a card from the Drivers Safety session that they take to the driver’s license office to get their DL.
Spouses should use the website practice tests & study guide so they can take the test shortly after arrival.
Call and notify all your credit card companies that you will be heading overseas, that way you won’t end up with your card frozen and not able to use it.
Make sure you have everything you need to fly the Rotator (BWI) or commercially such as passports, Military ID cards, pet records, etc. Check out my Flying the Rotator Checklist.
Got a Pet?
Make sure they are booked on your flight. I’d highly recommend the Rotator, flying Commercial gets a bit complicated. You can read 2 stories HERE.
Makes sure your pet is chipped with an Euro chip and then Rabies given AFTER they are microchipped. The Rabies shot needs to be done more than 30 days prior to arrive but no further than 1 year out.
Get a Health Certificate. Have them seen by a vet to get forms signed. The Spangdahlem AB website above has a link to the bilingual forms you’ll need. This needs to be done no further than 10 days prior to flying.
Get USDA stamped paperwork, no further than 10 days prior to flying. Some military vets may be able to provide a USDA stamp, if not you’ll need to find the local office in your city and take the paperwork there to get stamped and pay the $20 fee.
Make sure you have an Airline Approved crate, if not when you show up at the airport your pet will not be allowed to fly. Check your airline for their crate requirements.
I’ve also made a condensed printable version available HERE as well.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful if your PCSing to Spangdahlem, I am a list person as was making all kinds of list trying to get us ready to PCS here.