German Giants in the US

The German Air Force always has had a strong presence in the US for training purposes, but its Sikorsky CH-53G Super Jolly Green Giants are rarely seen on US soil. That changed with the arrival of three CH-53s at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for exercise Angel Thunder this month.

Angel Thunder is a large Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) exercise that takes place in the US Southwest, starting 20 May. The exercise specializes in CSAR operations in difficult conditions. A total of eight nations take part and Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, serves as the epicentre of the exercise.

The big helicopters were transported from their German home in Laupheim to Holloman by Antonov An-124 transport aircraft. At Holloman, the German choppers were readied for flight again.

Holloman is Germany’s home-away-from-home in the US. Countless German fighter pilots received their training here, on F-4 Phantoms in the past and on Tornado fighter-bombers in the present.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): One of the CH-53s at Holloman. (Image © Luftwaffe/Astrid Burger-Weber)