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Luftwaffe - German Air Force - 1989

By 1989 the Air Force (some 111,000 persons and 680 combataircraft) was headed by the Air Force Inspector, who handled organizational development and directed combat training of large and small units. The West German Air Force included a Tactical Command, Support Commandand Air Force Office. The Tactical Command ((hheadquartered at Porz-WahnAir Base) was the highest Air Force operational formation, intended for accomplishing missions of support to combat operations of branches of the Armed Forces. The Tactical Command included the 1st and 3d air support divisions, the 2d and 4th air defense divisions, the FRG Air Force Training Command in the United States, a liaison group with the US Air Force in Europe, and other entities. Command and control of Tactical Command was exercised by a commander in chief through hisstaff.

The 1st and 3d air support divisions were intended for accomplishing missions in the interests of branches of the Armed Forces. Each of them had a Pershing-1A missile squadron (36 launchers), 5-7 fighter-bomber squadrons, one reconnaissance squadron as well as other subunits. These divisions were capable of conducting combat operations employing both conventional and nuclear weapons. The 2d and 4th air defense divisions were intended for accomplishing missions in the NATO allied air defense system. A division included a fighter squadron, 2-4 surface-to-air missile regiments and two signal regiments. The fighter squadrons had F-4F aircraft and Nike-Hercules, Improved Hawk and Roland HI surface-to-air missile regiments.

The FRG Air Force Training Command in the United States engaged in training flight and engineering-technical personnel for air and missile units. The Air Force Support Command (Porz-Wahn) accomplished missions of planning requirements and supplying units with items of logistic support, purchasing and distributing aviation equipment and supporting equipment, as well as moving troops and freight by air in theinterests of branches of the Armed Forces. To accomplish the latter mission, the following are administratively subordinate to the CIC of the Air Force Rear: Air Transport Command, Air Force logistic support groups (North and South) and the Air Force Logistic Support Office. The command element has a considerable number of central and field depots and transportation resources. An information service had been established in it to improve the organization of logistic support.

The Air Transport Command (Mnster) united three air transport squadrons, a transport helicopter squadron and a special-purpose group engaged in government air movements. The command had 200 military transport aircraft and helicopters. The Air Force Office (Porz-Wahn) organized personnel training in military educational institutions and planned the organization and course of combat training in units. The following were subordinate to the Office chief: commands (FRG Air Force Training Command in the United States, headquarters services), directorates (personnel, military geophysics), and other units and sub-units.

The air squadron was the basic operational-tactical combat unit and consisted of two detachments of 18 aircraft each s well as of technical and airfield service subunits. The FRG Air Force had a total of 73 F-104G, 152 F-4F and 180 Tornado, 173 Alpha Jet light attack aircraft, 76 RF-4E reconnaissance aircraft, 89 C-160 Transall military-transport aircraft, 110 UH-lD general-purpose helicopters, 72 Pershing-1 A missile launchers, and 216 each Nike-Hercules and Improved Hawk surface-to-air missile launchers.

The basic forces of combat aviation, operational-tactical missiles and surface-to-air missiles of the FRG Air Force were included in the 2d and 4th allied tactical air forces of NATO Allied Air Forces Central Europe, and represented the most powerful air grouping in this sector (after the U.S. Air Force). Some forces of the West German Air Force were included in the NATO Allied Air Forces Baltic Approaches.

The FRG airfield network included some 400 airfields and landing strips. The most important airfields were considered to be Ahlhorn, Wittmund, Landsberg, Neuburg, Oldenburg, Ingolstadt, Memmingen and Frsten-feldbruck.

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Page last modified: 15-04-2013 12:15:01 ZULU