Taking a STEP toward travel safety

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Personnel stationed at the World’s Best Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and throughout the rest of Europe, are top contenders for the title of most well-traveled. With this title, however, comes a very important topic – travel safety.

For U.S. citizens, the Department of the State provides the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service providing the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, to ensure their safety when living or traveling abroad.

“When travelers who are registered enter their destination into STEP, the program provides information regarding happenings in the respective area,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Royer, 86th Security Forces Squadron antiterrorism and force protection technician. “If something happens at the location while travelers are already there, the program will provide an alert and information to help get the person to safety.”

For most citizens, STEP is an optional tool, but for Department of Defense personnel (military and civilians) stationed across Europe. While each area of responsibility has their own requirements, DoD personnel assigned to EUCOM are mandated by the commander to sign-up with the program, explained Royer.

The program also provides updates regarding travel advisories for health concerns, such as quarantine procedures due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sign-up can be accomplished in a matter of minutes by entering basic information such as name, address, contact number, and email. Passport information is optional to input, but can help travelers if they happen to lose or misplace their passport.

For more information, or to register with the STEP, please visit https://step.state.gov/.