Taszár Air Base
Taszár Air Base
|Elevation AMSL||156 m / 512 ft|
GlobalSecurity.org says that "In 1949 the new airfield, which is still in use today, was constructed using conscripted labor. The new runways were hard-topped and became the base of the Hungarian 50th Fighter Regiment. On September 1, 1958, the Defense Ministry made the decision to reorganize the structure of the Hungarian Air Force. It was at this time that the 31st Fighter Regiment was ordered to form. Independent training within the 31st began in 1959. A quantum jump in the quality of training was the introduction of the MiG-19 in 1959, and the introduction of the MiG-21 in 1962."[better source needed]
From December 1995, it became the primary staging post for U.S. peacekeeping forces coming and going into the Balkans. It was the closest airfield to the Balkans capable of landing strategic aircraft, with good rail and road links. The base then evolved into the first site for unmanned Predator aircraft missions, a rest and recreation site for Balkan-based soldiers, a training ground for armored units and a home base for aircraft that made reconnaissance and bombing runs to stop ethnic-cleansing in Kosovo.
In 1999 the airbase was used by the United States Marine Corps as a base for aircraft supporting Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. During Operation Joint Forge (1998-2004) the National Support Element (NSE) of the U.S. Army (consisting of approximately 250 U.S. Army personnel) was located at the airbase. In late 2000 the NSE's designation was changed to United States Army Support Element Tasar (USASET).
It was reportedly 'mothballed' in 2001, but the United States then used it to train the Free Iraqi Forces before March 2003. Then Major General David Barno said the training programme had been ended, with the departure of the second group of Free Iraqi Forces, on April 1, 2003. The U.S. flag was lowered on NATO's first military base in former Warsaw Pact territory as the American presence there came to an end in a ceremony on 30 June 2004. The overall successes of the NATO missions in Bosnia and Kosovo and the smaller number of soldiers required there eliminated the need for U.S./NATO use of Taszár.
- LHTA - Taszár
- Taszár Air Base at GlobalSecurity.org, accessed March 2012
- David Oliver (ed.), 'East European Air Power,' No.3 in the AFM Airpower Series, Air Forces Monthly/Key Publishing, 1991(?)
- Eastern Wings, 31st Kapos Tactical Fighter Regiment - Taszar, 1996
- Accident history for LHTA at Aviation Safety Network
- Airport information for LHTA at Great Circle Mapper.