Tag Archives: USAF

President Obama visits Hannover

On 24 and 25 April 2016 the U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hannover, Germany. The main purpose of his visit was to open the Hannover Messe but next to that he also had meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as with the Prime Ministers of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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President Obama greets the crowd at Hannover Airport

The pictures on this page were taken during President Obama’s arrival at Hannover Airport on 24 April and his departure on 25 April. Obviously there was a large number of security staff from both German and US authorities.

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Security Forces

The Beast

Airforce One

Leaving Germany

Other visitors

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The Hawgs are back in town

On the 2nd of October 2015, 5 A-10Cs from the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany.

An A-10C belonging to the 75th Fighter Squadron comes in to land at Spangdahlem Airbase
An A-10C belonging to the 75th Fighter Squadron comes in to land at Spangdahlem Airbase

The A-10s assigned to the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are in Germany to conduct training as part of their Theater Security Package mission in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Operation Atlantic Resolve are ongoing efforts in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, namely the War in Donbass. All U.S. efforts in support of NATO fall under the umbrella of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The U.S. took several immediate steps to demonstrate solidarity with NATO, such as augmenting the air, ground and naval presence in the region, and enhancing previously scheduled exercises. The U.S. is taking measures to enhance NATO military plans and defense capabilities and remains committed to maintaining a persistent presence in Eastern Europe.

Spangdahlem Airbase

Spangdahlem Air Base (IATA:SPM, ICAO: ETAD, former code EDAD) is a United States Air Force base constructed between 1951 and 1953 and located near the small German town of Spangdahlem, approximately 30 km NNE of the city of Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate. Spangdahlem is home of the 52d Fighter Wing, which maintains, deploys and employs Lockheed Martin Block 50 F-16CJ. In total, 4,800 military personnel, 840 German nationals and 200 US contractors are working at the base.

The 52nd Fighter Wing Commander's F-16C sporting special markings, lands at its homebase.
The 52nd Fighter Wing Commander’s F-16C sporting special markings, lands at its homebase.
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Raptors deploy to Europe

In the evening of 28 August 2015 a flight of four F-22 Raptors from the Tyndall based 95th Fighter Squadron arrived at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany for what will be the F-22s first training deployment in Europe.

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The Raptors will train with U.S. services and allied air forces through mid-September. This deployment is part of European Reassurance Initiative, which saw U.S. based A-10s, F-16s and F-15s deploy to Europe in order to train with allies. Obviously, this is also a show of force against the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe (even though this is not said with so many words).

One of the four F-22 Raptors landing at Spangdahlem's Runway05.
One of the four F-22 Raptors landing at Spangdahlem’s Runway05.

Earlier on, a 60th AMW C-17 Globemaster III arrived with the 60 airmen and associated equipment who will support this deployment. During the coming weeks, the Raptors will combat air training will be performed with F-16s and F15s, in order to see how this 5th generation aircraft performs in the European Theatre and if all the infrastructure is suited as well.

TABOR11 is about to touch down at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany.
TABOR11 is about to touch down at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany.

“This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security.” said General Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander.

The F-22 Raptors show their distinctive shape upon arrival at Spangdahlem Airbase
The F-22 Raptors show their distinctive shape upon arrival at Spangdahlem Airbase

It is not yet know which other airbases will be visited during this deployment, but there are rumours about Lakenheath and Eastern Europe. Time will tell…..

 

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52nd Fighter Wing F-16 Crash in Germany

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft with the callsign Rocky2, assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, crashed Aug. 11, 2015, at approximately 9:38 a.m. near Engelmannsreuth in the county of Bayreuth, Germany. The accident happened during a training flight at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany.

The crash location near Engelmannsreuth, Germany. (c) Google Maps
The crash location near Engelmannsreuth, Germany. (c) Google Maps

The aircraft did not have any live ordnance loaded, only four 25 pound practice bombs were carried. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

The picture below shows the aircraft concerned, 91-0366/SP, in better condition during the 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport.

U.S. Air Force F-16C 91-0366/SP during the 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
U.S. Air Force F-16C 91-0366/SP during the 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

 

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A Blast from the Past

Recently I had the opportunity to scan some of the slides that I took at Twenthe Airbase in the nineties and the beginning of the new Milennium. Looking at those pictures brings back nice memories, so why not share those pictures as well.

1996 Open House

The Open House usually brought many nice visitors to Twenthe and 1996 was no exception.

PC-7 L-04 of the EMVO taxiing in for the static display
PC-7 L-04 of the EMVO taxiing in for the static display

2003 Open House

The 2003 Open House was a great success, but it was also the last Open House for Twenthe Airbase. The day after the show, Defence Minister Kamp announced that Twenthe would be closed because of budget cuts.

Members of the Airmobile Brigade are being dropped off by a Hercules during the 2003 Open House.
Members of the Airmobile Brigade are being dropped off by a Hercules during the 2003 Open House.

General Visitors

Over the course of the years, Twenthe was visited by many aircraft. Some were spectacular and unique, some a bit less.

This Sukhoi 22 was temporarily based at Hopsten and flew missions to HSA in Hengelo. This was done to test the HSA's new SMART-L radar. After one of those flights, a fly-by was made at Twenthe.
This Sukhoi 22 was temporarily based at Hopsten and flew missions to HSA in Hengelo. This was done to test the HSA’s new SMART-L radar. After one of those flights, a fly-by was made at Twenthe.
A Venezuelan Hercules in 1998. This aircraft visited Twenthe to pick up goods from HSA in Hengelo.
A Venezuelan Hercules in 1998. This aircraft visited Twenthe to pick up goods from HSA in Hengelo.
When the F-16's from Twenthe were deployed to Villafranca and later Amendola, freuquent visits were made my Belgian Hercules aircraft. Together with the Dutch transport fleet they supported the Belgian/Dutch F-16 deployments.
When the F-16’s from Twenthe were deployed to Villafranca and later Amendola, freuquent visits were made my Belgian Hercules aircraft. Together with the Dutch transport fleet they supported the Belgian/Dutch F-16 deployments.

Night Flying

One of the things F-16 pilots had to practice was flying by night. This video shows some take-offs in the beginning of the evening, during the final months of Twenthe’s active period.

F-16AM J-141 deploying the dragchute. This dragchute helps the F-16 to stop at a shorter stretch of runway.
F-16AM J-141 deploying the dragchute. This dragchute helps the F-16 to stop at a shorter stretch of runway.
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Paris Air Show 2015

During the week of 15 to 21 june 2015, the 51st edition of the Paris Air Show (Salon international de l’aéronautique et de l’espace) was held at Le Bourget airport. This Air Show takes place every 2 years and counts as one of the largest trade shows for the aviation industry.  Also this year, the show was visited by over 150,000 professional visitors as well as more than 3,000 journalists from over 80 countries.

This year’s edition of the Paris Air Show showed 1,017 order commitments and 206 options, which leads to a total of 1,223 orders. Of these orders, 531 went to Airbus and 350 to Boeing.

Traditionally the Paris Air Show is the home show for Airbus, as well as companies from the French defence industry like Dassault, Thales and MDBA. After this year’s merger with Eurocopter, the Airbus booth was the largest booth on the grounds and showed a wide spectrum of aircraft, ranging from the electrically powered E-Fan, through the Caracal helicopter, up to the enormous A.380 airliner.  The booth also featured a full-scale mock-up of the new H160 helicopter. The H160 made it’s first flight from Marseille in the week prior to the Paris Air Show. Airbus also showed it’s goods in full force during the flying display. After the may 2015’s fatal crash in Seville and it’s subsequent grounding, the A.400M was back in action, showing an impressive flying display.

The Airbus A.400M waits at the beginning of the runway whilst the A.380 completes its display.
The Airbus A.400M waits at the beginning of the runway whilst the A.380 completes its display.

Due to the sequestration, the United Stated Department of Defence had to miss out on the 2013 edition of the Paris Air Show, but this year they returned in full force, showing aircraft such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the P-8 Poseidon on the static display.

P-8 Poseidon
US Navy P-8 Poseidon at Paris Air Show 2015

An interesting newcomer was the Chengdu/PAC JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan. This fighter aircraft was developed jointly by China and Pakistan. Pakistan produces 58% of the aircraft, China produces 42% and the aircraft is powered by a Klimov RD-93 engine. There are plans though to equip the next version of the JF-17 with a different engine, as the RD-93 (developed from the MiG-29’s RD-33) produces too much smoke. For this year’s Paris Air Show, the Pakistan Air Force brought 3 aircraft. One featured in the static show, while the other was shown during the flying display. The 3rd JF-17 featured as a backup aircraft. At the end of the show, Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood of the Pakistan Air Force announced that the first export-order was signed with an undisclosed Asian country.

The  JF-17 in the static show  displaying the weapons it can carry.
The JF-17 in the static show displaying the weapons it can carry.

Even though Airbus dominated the show, Boeing also made sure it’s presence was noted. In the weeks before the Air Show a video was already loaded onto YouTube, showing the complete display that the Boeing 787-9 would fly in Le Bourget. This display featured a near-vertical take-off and the audience was not left disappointed.

Boeing displayed the B.787-9 Dreamliner in the colours of Vietnam Airlines
Boeing displayed the B.787-9 Dreamliner in the colours of Vietnam Airlines

A new player in the market for small airliners is Bombardier. In Paris the Canadian company showed it’s new C-series with the CS100 and the CS300. With these aircraft Bombardier focuses on the market that is currently served by aircraft such as the Airbus 320 and the Boeing 737.

On the Ground

Le Bourget always has many gems in the static display, some hidden away behind flagpoles, tents and banners. Below is an impression of what could be found on the ground.

Up in the Air

Next to a huge showground for the static display, Le Bourget would not be complete without a flying display. Here are some pictures from this years show.

Patrouille de France

No Air Show is complete without a show from the famous Patrouille de France. The same obviously goes for Le Bourget.

The next Paris Air Show will be in June 2017. Let’s see what that edition will bring.

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Warthogs at Nordhorn Range

Some action pictures of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs at the Nordhorn Air to Ground Range. The Nordhorn Range  is a military aviation bombing and gunnery range to the east of nearby Nordhorn, in Lower Saxony, Germany. This is one of the few gunnery ranges in Western-Europe where A-10 pilots can use the mighty 30mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon.

These A-10’s from the 355th Fighter Wing were at the time deployed to Spangdahlem Airbase for the US Airforce’s Theatre Security Package. This was a response to Russia’s agressions towards Ukraine.

After a couple of weeks in Germany the A-10’s moved further east to have exercises with other NATO countries.

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