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Relocating

Are you considering relocating your federal career - either by your choice or by Uncle Sam? There are practical issues and concerns to think about when deciding whether or not to relocate. Others have done it while still others have not. This forum will allow for all to offer their insight, post their questions, and help each other out.

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mbpalm0  
#1 Posted : Thursday, June 16, 2022 5:26:02 AM(UTC)
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I have accepted a TJO with the Airforce in Ramstein Germany and accepted another TJO with the Army to Grafenwoehr Germany. I am a current Army GS civ and this will be my first PCS with my 2 middle school aged kids along with my wife. Can anyone give some advice on which of these 2 places will have the best quality of life, off-post housing, travel opportunities, stuff to do with kids? Any big differences between working for the Air Force vs Army? Any info would be great because I am expecting a FJO from both any day now!
JDSIII  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 17, 2022 8:12:18 AM(UTC)
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My vote would be for the Ramstein/Kaiserslautern area. We PCS'd and lived there from 2016-2019, Ramstein is a big base with plenty of activities for the kids and Kaiserslautern is a great place to live. We lived closed to Downtown, and walked the downtown area after dinner. Our son went to Kaiserslautern Middle and loved it. Very easy to travel from.

My only experience in Grafenwohr, was for training as a Army civ when I was in Italy. I only remember that it was pretty remote. Feel free to PM me for more info if you wish.
icanzz  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, July 20, 2022 5:53:34 PM(UTC)
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For those woh live/lived/work(ed) Germany DOD...is getting the VAT forms going to be a big part of life or is it just an occassional thing you will do?
FatHappyCat  
#4 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2022 5:20:12 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: icanzz Go to Quoted Post
For those woh live/lived/work(ed) Germany DOD...is getting the VAT forms going to be a big part of life or is it just an occassional thing you will do?


Between the $5 for each VAT and the time spent in the VAT offices, I'd only use it for occasions when you make big-ticket purchases or if you belong to one of those grocery clubs that let you use VATs at the end of the month.

On a related matter, they are absolutely record keeping beasts there when it comes to VATs. In 2020, it took me forever to clear a VAT that I didn't submit from 16 years ago when I was in Germany the first time.
leviathan1137  
#5 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2022 9:12:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FatHappyCat Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: icanzz Go to Quoted Post
For those woh live/lived/work(ed) Germany DOD...is getting the VAT forms going to be a big part of life or is it just an occassional thing you will do?


Between the $5 for each VAT and the time spent in the VAT offices, I'd only use it for occasions when you make big-ticket purchases or if you belong to one of those grocery clubs that let you use VATs at the end of the month.

On a related matter, they are absolutely record keeping beasts there when it comes to VATs. In 2020, it took me forever to clear a VAT that I didn't submit from 16 years ago when I was in Germany the first time.


Bad news... those VAT forms are $7 each now. And you don't get a discount if you buy all 10 at once. USAER said the cost of running the VAT program was growing and they needed to adjust to the new costs.
Coffee!  
#6 Posted : Monday, August 15, 2022 10:32:42 PM(UTC)

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mbpalm0 - would be curious to know which location you chose? Personally, I would go with Ramstein and the AF. Both locations are good for travel, and both have pros/cons for sure. Having worked with a few agencies now, within the DoD the AF definitely has one of the better cultures. Either way though, Europe! Congrats and enjoy:)
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