Helicopter Wing 64

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Hubschraubergeschwader 64
(Helicopter Wing 64)
HSG 64.jpg
Active 1 October 2010–present
Country Federal Republic of Germany
Branch German Air Force
Part of Air Force Combat Command
(Kommando Einsatzverbände der Luftwaffe)
Garrison/HQ Laupheim Air Base
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Frank Best
Bell UH-1D
German NH90
CH-53G from Helicopter Wing 64 still with German Army Aviation Corps markings

Helicopter Wing 64 (German: Hubschraubergeschwader 64) is a wing of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). Formed in 2010, its headquarters was originally based at Holzdorf Air Base in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, but relocated to Laupheim Air Base on 1 January 2013. It is the only wing within the German Air Force whose weapon systems consist solely of helicopters.

Helicopter Wing 64 consists of three groups and has a total of 60 helicopters of the type CH-53G at its disposal, 48 of which are stationed at Laupheim Air Base, whereas the remaining 12 are based at Holzdorf Air Base.[1]

History[edit]

The origins of Helicopter Wing 64 lie in the airforce's Helicopter Transport Wing 64 founded in 1966. When the wing was disbanded in April 1994 personnel and equipment were absorbed by the other air transport wings of the German Air Force. Some personnel and material was transferred to Holzdorf Air Base and incorporated into the command structure of Air Transport Wing 62.[2]

Helicopter Wing 64 was created on 1 October 2010[3] when the helicopters previously assigned to Air Transport Wing 62 formed a new unit. Until 1 January 2013 the wing flew predominantly Bell UH-1D which were to be replaced by helicopters of the type NH90. The first helicopter of the type NH90 was handed over to Helicopter Wing 64 on 21 October 2010, three weeks after the formation of the new unit.[4] Initially, three NH90's were being tested at the air base[5] with another five having been delivered by October 2012.[6]

Whereas helicopter units of the German Army Aviation Corps have been deployed in a variety of military missions abroad, mainly as part of KFOR in Kosovo and ISAF in Afghanistan, Helicopter Wing 64 had not been brought into action outside Germany until 2013. However, only weeks after having been established, the wing provided disaster relief when the river Black Elster burst its banks, resulting in dam failures, which caused widespread flooding in Bad Liebenwerda, Löben and the surrounding areas in September and early October 2010. Helicopter Wing 64 clocked a total of 171 flying hours during this operation.[7]

In October 2011 the German Federal Ministry of Defence announced a reorganisation/reduction of the German Armed Forces. As a consequence, all helicopters of the type CH-53G were to be transferred to the Air Force.[8] German Army Aviation Corps Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment 25 flying CH-53G, based at Laupheim Air Base, was disbanded on 31 December 2012 and re-established as new Helicopter Wing 64 on 1 January 2013.[9] The other unit within the German Army flying CH-53G, Aviation Corps Medium Transport Regiment 15 based at Rheine Air Base, will be disbanded, a number of its helicopters eventually relocating to either Laupheim Air Base or Holzdorf Air Base. The remainder will be decommissioned.[10] The wing's helicopters of the type Bell UH-1D and NH90 were transferred to the German Army.[11] The tasks previously carried out by helicopters of Helicopter Wing 64, most importantly national SAR service and CSAR,[12] were also transferred to the German Army. The restructured wing has a strength of approximately 1800 personnel, 1200 of which are stationed at Laupheim Air Base, the remaining 600 at Holzdorf Air Base.[13]

During the 2013 European floods helicopters from the wing provided logistic support.[14] Seven helicopters of the wing were employed to stabilise dikes, give aid fixing gaps after dike breaches, and evacuate humans at risk of being submerged by the flood. Holzdorf Air Base was utilised as hub for all aerial rescue and support operations at the rivers Elbe, Saale, Mulde, Black Elster and White Elster as well as near Bitterfeld and in Fischbeck.[15]

Tasks[edit]

Being the only helicopter wing in the German Air Force, Helicopter Wing 64 has the following tasks:[16]

  • Providing air transport for all military branches of national as well as multinational forces
  • Planning, operating and supervising of personal recovery missions
  • Support of of special forces
  • Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and military evacuation operations
  • Advanced pilot training (carried out at Holzdorf Air Base)
  • Operating two airbases: Laupheim Air Base and Holzdorf Air Base

Structure[edit]

Helicopter Wing 64 is subordinate to Air Force Operation Command but, unlike the other air foce's transport wings, is not integrated into the command structure of European Air Transport Command (EATC). The wing's main force, the Flying Group and the Technical Group, is stationed at Laupheim Air Base whereas a third group, the Air Transport Group, is based at Holzdorf Air Base.[17]

  • Flying Group
    • No. 1 Squadron
    • No. 2 Squadron
    • Maintenance Squadron
  • Technical Group
    • Weapons Maintenance Squadron
    • Electronic Maintenance Squadron
    • Logistics and Supply Squadron
  • Air Transport Group
    • No. 3 Squadron
    • Air Base Squadron
    • Technical Squadron
    • Supply Squadron

Equipment[edit]

The following helicopters were formerly in service with Helicopter Wing 64:

  • NHIndustries NH90
  • Bell UH-1D

The following helicopters are currently in service with Helicopter Wing 64:

  • CH-53G

The following helicopter will be introduced to Helicopter Wing 64 in 2015:[18]

International deployment[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gückel, Sven (17 January 2013), "Fliegerhorst Holzdorf - Ausbildungsflugbetrieb und Lufttransportgruppe", Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (in German), retrieved 2 March 2013 
  2. ^ Dämpfert, Arne; Konrad Ertl & Klaus Hubmann. (11 December 2009). "Vom LTG zum HSG" (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hubschraubergeschwader 64 aufgestellt" (in German). Flugrevue. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Erster NH 90 beim neuen Hubschraubergeschwader der Luftwaffe" (in German). Flugrevue. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kleiner, schneller, wendiger – Der NH 90 im Testflug" (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Bastiaans, Pieter (11 November 2012). "All change for Germany’s military helicopter forces". Dutch Defence Press. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Erste Herausforderung für das neue Hubschraubergeschwader" (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Quoted from Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (26 October 2011), Neues Stationierungskonzept der Bundeswehr (in German), retrieved 5 November 2011 , PDF-file "Die Stationierung der Bundeswehr in Deutschland", passim
  9. ^ "Wehrbeauftragter besucht die Laupheimer Heeresflieger", Schwäbische Zeitung (in German), 28 August 2012, retrieved 11 November 2012 
  10. ^ Kampferbeck, Jens; Polke, Frank (26 October 2011), "Bundeswehr macht Rheine dicht - Münster wird verkleinert", Münsterländische Volkszeitung (in German), retrieved 5 November 2011 
  11. ^ "Heer und Luftwaffe tauschen Hubschrauber". Flugrevue. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hubschraubergeschwader 64 aufgestellt" (in German). Flugrevue. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Heeresflieger rollen die Regimentsfahne ein", Schwäbische Zeitung (in German), 21 February 2013, retrieved 2 March 2013 
  14. ^ Glückel, Sven (4 June 2013), "Luftunterstützung beim Hochwasser - Für Ernstfall aufgerüstet", Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (in German), retrieved 16 June 2013 
  15. ^ Ray, Roland (19 June 2013), "Soldaten bringen Hilfe aus der Luft", Schwäbische Zeitung (in German), retrieved 19 June 2013 
  16. ^ "Der Auftrag", Das Hubschraubergeschwader 64 (in German) (Federal Ministry of Defence), 26 February 2014, retrieved 28 April 2014 
  17. ^ Müller, Karl (12 June 2012). "Realisierungsplan für die Einnahme der Luftwaffenstruktur" (pdf). Federal Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  18. ^ Wiegold, Thomas (26 July 2013). "SOF Air geht zur Luftwaffe nach Laupheim" (in German). augengeradeaus.net. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lang, Gerhard (2007), Die Flugzeuge der Bundeswehr, Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, ISBN 978-3-6130-2743-5  (German)
  • Rudolph, Christin-Desirëe (2012), Soldaten unterm Rotor: die Huschrauberverbände der Bundeswehr, Suttgart: Motorbuch-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-6130-3413-6  (German)

External links[edit]