Military police on patrol at the base in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia heard what they thought was a ticking noise coming from a clothing donation receptacle.
Authorities secured the area immediately, and explosives experts from the state office of criminal investigation spent several hours investigating the container.
They found a battery operated doll intended to make crying noises, but a malfunction had caused the doll to emit a ticking noise instead.
According to police spokesman Norbert Schröders, authorities do not suspect any "malicious intent" regarding how the doll ended up in the container for clothing donations.
The base is home to NATO's airborne early warning and control (AWAC) squadron. A military spokesman was not available to comment on the bomb scare on Monday afternoon.