Royal Air Force Germany
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|Royal Air Force Germany|
Royal Air Force Germany badge
|Active||1 January 1959 - 1993|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||British Armed Forces,
UK Ministry of Defence
|Motto||Keepers of the Peace|
|Royal Air Force Ensign|
|March||Royal Air Force March Past|
The former Royal Air Force Germany (RAFG) was a command of the Royal Air Force and part of British Forces Germany. It consisted of units located in Germany, initially as part of the occupation following the Second World War, and later as part of the RAF's commitment to the defence of Europe during the Cold War.
From 1954 Canberra bombers equipped 69 (briefly), 102, 103, 104, 149 Squadrons, and later 59 Squadron at RAF Gütersloh. This force was under Bomber Command control from Britain and had been moved because of overcrowding of suitable airfields in the UK to Germany. With the establishment of the British nuclear bomber forces in the context of NATO's strategy of massive retaliation the Canberra bomber squadrons were again withdrawn from Germany.
After 1955, the majority of the air bases were handed over to the newly established German Air Force and RAF Bückeburg to the army of the German Armed Forces. The number of RAF squadrons were reduced. This was both because of the nuclear strategy of NATO and for financial reasons after the fiasco of the Suez crisis . From 1 January 1959, the command was officially called Royal Air Force Germany, the RAF Second Tactical Air Force (2TAF) renamed. At this time the focus was the flying units already on just six main use bases RAF Bruggen, RAF Geilenkirchen, RAF Gutersloh, RAF Jever (No. 2 Squadron, Swifts), RAF Laarbruch and RAF Wildenrath. Important aircraft types at this time were the Canberra as night fighting-suited fighter bombers to three and the Hunter as a day fighter stationed at two airports. From 1960, around the clock there were two on alert Canberra loaded with tactical nuclear weapons who were ready within 15 minutes. In addition there were two seasons that the Swift used them as scouts and four squadrons of Gloster Javelin all-weather interceptors. Two English Electric Lightning squadrons - No. 92 Squadron RAF and No. 19 Squadron RAF - arrived in Germany from 1965.
Jever was transferred in 1961 and Geilenkirchen in 1968, reducing the command to four flying bases. When Geilenkirchen closed, it appears there were two flying squadrons at the base. No. 3 Squadron RAF moved to Laarbruch and No. 92 Squadron RAF moved to Gutersloh.
RAF Germany was disbanded as a separate command in 1993 as part of the reduction of British Armed Forces presence in Europe at the cessation of the Cold War. The remaining RAF forces in Germany ceased to be a separate command, and instead became No 2 Group RAF, part of RAF Strike Command. No. 2 Group was then disbanded on 1 April 1996 by being absorbed into No. 1 Group RAF.
RAFG Stations & Establishments
- RAF Ahlhorn - returned to German control October 1958, now German Airfield Ahlhorner heath
- RAF Bad Kolgrub
- RAF Barrel Mountain - now German Army Air Base Barrel Mountain
- RAF Blankensee
- RAF Bruggen - now a British Army Garrison, called "Elmpt Station, Javelin Barracks"
- RAF Bückeburg - returned at the end of the 1950s, now Bückeburg Air Base
- RAF Butzweilerhof (August 1951 - 31 January 1967, transferred to Bundeswehr)
- RAF Celle - 11 April 1945 – 29 November 1957, now Celle Air Base
- RAF Fassberg - closed down in January 1957, now German Army base
- RAF Fuhlsbüttel
- RAF Gatow (Closed 1994)
- RAF Geilenkirchen - handed over March 1968 to German Air Force, now NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
- RAF Goch
- RAF Gütersloh - now a British Army garrison called Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh
- RAF Hambühren
- RAF Hehn 11 Signals Unit main communications centre for RAFG and BAOR land line communications
- RAF Hustedt
- RAF Husum - a remote radar station on the coast near Husum, Schleswig-Holstein\
- RAF Jever - returned to German control 1961, now Upjever Air Base
- RAF Laarbruch - now a Civilian Airport Airport Weeze
- RAF Lübeck - used during Berlin Airlift, now Lübeck Airport
- RAF Lüneburg
- RAF Nordhorn - air weapons range returned March 2001.
- RAF Nörvenich - transferred mid-1950s, now German Nörvenich Air Base
- RAF Oldenburg - transferred October 1957? With Kuftwaffe. See .
- RAF Plantlünne
- RAF Rheindahlen - now occupied by the British Army, as HQ United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) (HQ UKSC(G))
- RAF Schleswigland - initial RAF designation "B.164 Schleswigland". RAF disestablished RAF Station Schleswigland in April 1958 and turned the southern part of the field over to German control. Last buildings relinquished November 1961. Now German Schleswig Air Base
- RAF Sundern
- RAF Sylt - from July 1945, seemingly handed over 16. October 1961. To Marineflieger training unit? now Sylt Airport
- RAF Uetersen - From November 1948 to March 1950 HQ No. 85 Group RAF, RAF presence until end of November 1955.
- RAF Wahn
- RAF Hospital Wegberg - now occupied by the British Army, as HQ British Forces Germany Health Service (BFGHS)
- RAF Wildenrath - opened on 15 January 1952, closed 1992.
- RAF Winterberg
- RAF Wunstorf - returned to German Air Force 1957, now Wunstorf Air Base
- 1 January 1959 - Air Marshal Sir Humphrey Edwardes-Jones
- 7 January 1961 - Air Marshal Sir John Grandy
- 25 June 1963 - Air Marshal Sir Ronald Lees
- 6 December 1965 - Air Marshal Sir Denis Spotswood
- 16 July 1968 - Air Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris
- 10 November 1970 - Air Marshal Sir Harold Martin
- 4 April 1973 - Air Marshal Sir Nigel Maynard
- 19 January 1976 - Air Marshal Sir Michael Beetham
- 25 July 1977 - Air Marshal Sir John Stacey
- 30 April 1979 - Air Marshal Sir Peter Terry
- 2 February 1981 - Air Marshal Sir Thomas Kennedy
- 9 April 1983 - Air Marshal Sir Patrick Hine
- 1 July 1985 - Air Marshal Sir David Parry-Evans
- 13 April 1987 - Air Marshal Sir Anthony Skingsley
- 14 April 1989 - Air Marshal Sir Roger Palin
- 22 April 1991 - Air Marshal Sir Andrew Wilson
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Air Force.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aircraft of the air force of the United Kingdom.|
- Royal Air Force
- List of Royal Air Force commands
- Royal Air Force station
- RAF Regiment
- Official web page listing current RAF stations
- gallery of images of Germany, from
- RAF Winterberg website
- British Garrison Berlin 1945 -1994, "No where to go", W. Durie ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5
Second Tactical Air Force (2TAF)
No. 2 Group RAF