Germany will disband its Tornado training unit at Holloman Air Force Base in the US in 2019. Berlin has decided to move training to Schleswig-Jagel in northern Germany. Holloman AFB in New Mexico has been home to German Air Force fighter jet training since 1992, using both the F-4 Phantom and Panavia Tornado.
The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, given the reduced number of Tornados still in German operation. A total of 85 of the fighter-bomber jets still fly, with roughly 70 based at two airbases in Germany. The remainder are at Holloman and will return to Germany by 2019, heading to Schleswig-Jagel.
Berlin states training within its own borders is more cost-effective, probably since fever Tornado crews are required. The Eurofighter has largely taken over all of it tasks, although Tornados are currently flying recce mission over Syria.
During the eighties and especially during the nineties, the Tornado was the most numerous fighter aircraft flown by the German Air Force. The type was in use as fighter bomber, recce and SEAD platform and also served as an air-to-air refueller. The German Navy used the jet for anti-shipping warfare.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): German Tornados take off from Holloman Air Force Base. (Image © Luftwaffe/Jane Hannemann)