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Luftwaffe - German Air Force - Organization

The structure and organisation of the Air Force are dictated by its operational mission. Below ministerial level, the Air Force Command is responsible for ‘Operations’, and the Air Force Office for ‘Mission Support’. The German Air Force Command exercises command and control over all the Air Force’s operational units. As the force provider it is responsible for operational training, exercises and preparation of operations and makes Air Force units available for Bundeswehr operations. The German Air Force Command has three divisions under its control as well as the Air Transport Command, whose tasks in the medium term will be transferred to a European Air Transport Command. The target structure of the Air Force will include a total of seven combat air wings.

Three surface-to-air missile (SAM) wings form the core of the ground-based air defence and ensure the basic capability for missile defence. The number of tactical air command and control units is being adapted to operational needs and condensed to three. The Air Force’s specific capabilities for key point and installation defence are being pooled and consolidated in one battalion-size unit.

The Air Force Office looks after those aspects of mission support that remain the responsibility of the Air Force. In case of operations, the Air Force Office is subordinate to the Air Force Command. It also performs joint tasks through its flight safety and flight operations departments as well as through subordinate agencies for air traffic control and aviation medicine. The Air Force Office exercises direct command and control over the Air Force Training Command, including its training units and schools, and over the Air Force Weapon Systems Command and its logistics units.

The German Air Force has been training its aircrews in the United States since 1958. This training took place on various bases throughout the states before it was moved to Holloman Air Force Base, NM, in 1992. German Air Force pilot candidates learn to fly in Texas at U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training. The future Weapon System Officers (WSO) attend undergraduate navigator training at Pensacola NAS, Fl.

German Air Force pilot training programs are broken into two categories: transport and tactical. All transport training is done entirely within the Federal Republic, while all tactical (i.e., fighter) basic training is done in the United States. Initial ?ight screening for the tactical program was done in Germany, but the GAF, due to weather and air space considerations, moved this program to the US as an "add-on" to the training of Lufthansa airline pilots. Since 1989, over 3,000 German Air Force and Navy pilots have been trained at Airline Training Center of Arizona (ATCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa at Phoenix Goodyear (GYR) airport. In January 2001, Lufthansa Flight Training (LFT) ordered three G120A aircraft plus four optional. The G120As were utilised by the LFT's subsidiary Airline Training Centre Arizona (ATCA) to train the pilots of German Armed Forces.

The Jet Basic training the Air Force takes place in the United States of America. To this end, the aircraft types T-6 Texan II and T-38C are used, which are stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas and fly with American insignia. The T-6 Texan II is a further development of originating from Switzerland Pilatus PC-9 and was introduced in 2003 for the first time as a successor to the Cessna T-37 Tweet. The revised Beechcraft aircraft was based and the T-6 Texan, hence the term Texan II.

The U.S. Air Force's 20th Fighter Squadron at Holloman trained German pilots and WSOs to fly the F-4F PHANTOM. In addition, the 20th conducted the Flight Instructor (IP) and the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC). The German government paid the full cost of this program. The 20th Fighter Squadron was inactivated on December 20, 2004.

The German Air Force Tactical Training Center (GAF TTC) was activated as a tenant unit at Holloman AFB May 1, 1996. This program, based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two governments and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Defence (FMOD), is unique by the way that it allows the German Air Force to deploy and station their TORNADO A/C permanently at Holloman AFB, NM. With the activation, 300 German military personnel and 12 Tornado aircraft joined Team Holloman. The mission was to conduct a Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) for the TORNADO and advanced tactical training in preparation for combat.

The Tactical Training Center was redesignated the German Air Force Flying Training Center (GAF FTC) July 1, 1999 in conjunction with their growing mission. In addition, German Air Force pilots and WSOs learned to fly the TORNADO at Holloman AFB and instructor aircrews were trained as well. As of July 2007 there were 600 German military personnel and 21 Tornado aircraft assigned to Holloman AFB, NM. These numbers may increase up to 900 personnel and 42 A/C, depending on the actual training needs. As of 2012 Holloman AFB was awaiting the arrival of 24 Eurofighters for German Air Force pilot training.

The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop aircraft and is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. It has replaced the US Air Force's T-37B Tweet and is replacing the US Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the German Air Force, the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force, and the Iraqi Air Force.

Luftwaffe - German Air Force - Organization - 2006

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Page last modified: 11-11-2014 19:36:20 ZULU