Luneville-Chenevieres Air Base
|Luneville-Chenevieres Air Base|
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe
Luneville-Chenevieres Air Base is an abandoned military airfield in France, located approximately 14 miles southwest of Châlons-sur-Marne (Departement de la Marne,Champagne-Ardenne); 77 miles northeast of Paris.
Luneville-Chenevieres Air Base's origins begin in 1950 when, with the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faced several problems when attempting to solve the air power survival equation. Planning for first strike survival in both conventional and nuclear wars had to be considered.
The primary operating bases for NATO air forces were built on small parcels of land with very limited dispersal space. It was decided to build dispersal bases away from the primary bases to be used in the event of an emergency. Chenevieres was selected to be one of these NATO Dispersed Operating Bases.
No flying unit was ever permanently assigned to Chenevieres and it was used for dispersal training only. However, it did require the same level of equipment as a standard air base. NATO security personnel were required to control base access, guard equipment, munitions and supplies stored on the facility, as well as prevent vandalism.
Construction began in 1953, and Chenevieres Air Base was designed for 50 fighters with three large hangars constructed. In 1955 construction was completed and Detachment 2, 50th Air Base Group from Toul-Rosières Air Base was designated as the host unit. Aircraft from the 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Toul exercised at the base from 1957 through 1959.
The Toul detachment was discontinued on 1 September 1959 and replaced by Detachment 7, 7514th Support Group when Luneville-Chenevieres was turned over to the United States Army. The detachment from Toul maintained security on the base. Army artillery units utilized the base until 1964 when it was turned over to the French Army.
Under French control, the facility was renamed Quartier La Salle and has been used for equipment storage and as a communications facility.
- McAuliffe, Jerome J: U.S. Air Force in France 1950-1967 (2005), Chapter 17, Dispersed Operating Bases