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  • The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II had a remarkable 50 year long lasting career in Japan. This is a personal review of Phantom encounters in the Land of the Rising Sun. It covers the final 16 years of JASDF F-4EJ
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  • Swiss Tigers are facing their extinction! 110 have originally been ordered by the Swiss Air Force. Nowadays their number is down to only 27. Apart from the F/A-18 Hornets, the F-5s are the Swiss Air Forces only other jet type,
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  • Time to say farewell to a legend! The SAR command of the Transport Helicopter Regiment 30 (Transporthubschrauberregiment 30 / THR 30) at Niederstetten changed from the venerable Bell UH-1D „Huey“ to the modern Airbus Helicopters H145 LUH SAR on 6th July
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  • A historic first! August 2020 saw the visit of Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16C/D “Barak” fighter jets deploying to Germany. With security on high alert and very restricted access to Nörvenich air base, the main location of the event, this
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  • Twice a year, around three-dozen Israeli Air Force (IAF) officers receive their wings. Of these, roughly half will go on to become fighter pilots or weapons system officers, a third will fly helicopters, while the rest are destined to join
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  • With thundering afterburners four F-35A Lightning II soar into the clear blue sky of the Negev desert. They are followed by another four F-15 "Baz" of the Israeli Air Force. The jets are the vanguard of the "Blue Force" and
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  • Nine GR4 Tornados with their wings swept to 25° flying overhead in a close diamond nine formation was a sight to behold! The Royal Air Force bid farewell to its Tornado Force in style at RAF Marham on 28th February
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  • «INIOHOS» exercise was first created in the 80’s and was gradually upgraded and established as an annual Hellenic Air Force Small scale Air Warfare exercise. Recently the scope of the exercise has been extensively increased and does also include ground
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  • Alpine Base Meiringen offers a gorgeous setting The airfield is nestled in a small valley in central Switzerland in the canton of Bern. Surrounded by mountains that partly rise up vertically for several hundred meters it is challenging flying terrain,
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  • The sights at Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria are fascinating. A still typical Warsaw pact flight line filled with MiG-21s and MiG-29s, and even more Fulcrums are visible in the heat haze at the Eastern end of the airfield,
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  • The G7 summit brings together the leaders of the seven G7 member states on a regular basis. Politics aside, the event is also always a great gathering of military and presidential aircraft flying in politicians from all over the world.
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  • With the retirement of the LTV A-7 Corsair II the sky has lost once again another charismatic jetfighter from the 1960s/70s era. The last Air Force to operate this subsonic light attack aircraft has been the Hellenic Air Force (HAF),
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  • The Swiss Air Force still operates two jet types in their fleet, the F-18 Hornet and the F-5E Tiger. During the annual WK (Wiederholungskurs - repetition course) Squadrons operating these aircraft relocate to a certain airbase in order to train their
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  • The 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii - ВВС России) in August 2012 was celebrated with a huge airshow at Moscow Zhukovsky. Loads of aircraft from all eras filled the sky during the parade and for different
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  • After the show of Jagdgeschwader 71 (JG71) at Wittmund to honour the end of the F-4F Phantom II service for the Luftwaffe at the end of June 2013, the two remaining Phantoms of WTD61 soldiered on for one more month.
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  • A large veil of secrecy lies above the Israeli Air Force (IAF – or Heyl Ha'Avir). The air arm is combat proven at an extremly high degree, but due to the sensitivity of their operations only very few information is being
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  • Greece currently scores big headlines due to the financial crises, but to find out its effects was not the purpose of this year's trip to the Peloponnese, visiting the F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-7 Corsairs at Araxos as well as
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  • Night flying is an essential part in the training of every jet pilot, and the ground crews as well. To lessen the noise disturbance in the neighbouring communities, the Luftwaffe conducts night flying training and operations only in the winter
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  • The Combined Joint Personnel Recovery Standardisation Course (CJPRSC) 2010 took place at the Lechfeld AB with a strong participation by the Italian, French and German Armed Forces. This course aims to improve to cooperation and standardization in multi-national CSAR missions.
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  • With the turn to a biennial event it was this time once again the turn to visit the famous 'Spotters Day' at Lagerlechfeld Airbase as well as to hunt some low flying aircraft at the Heuberg training area.
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  • With the landing of a freshly special painted Tornado, the German Air Force Flying Training Center completed 55,555 Tornado flight hours at Holloman AFB, NM, October 13th, 2009, and a reception commemorating the accomplishment shortly followed.German Air Force members shared
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  • On Wednesday, 16/09, Panavia , the managing organisation for the Tornado celebrated the 40th anniversary of the signing og MoU 2 (Memorandum of Understanding) with a small event at the Lagerlechfeld airbase.Besides several speeches a small programm was flown by Tornados,
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  • 90 years after its creation after WW I in 1918 the Polish Air Force is currently undergoing an impressive conversion process. A tour to the air bases of Radom, Dęblin, Mińsk Mazowiecki and Warszawa-Okęcie gave some interesting views and information
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  • ELITE (Electronic Warfare Live Training Exercise) went into its 14th year under this designation in 2008. After reaching its maximum of participating aircraft of different nations in 2007 the number of jets and helicopters was in a slight decrease this
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  • "The Farewell to a Legend", with these words the wing commander of Jagdgeschwader 74, Andreas Pfeiffer, opened its speech due to the decommissioning of the, meanwhile legendary, F-4F Phantom II. Nearly 34 years ago, on September, 26th, 1974, the first
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  • Israel saw in 2008 the 60th anniversary festivities of the state's proclamation on May, 14th 1948. To celebrate this, events were held all over the country, and the Air Force was obviously participating as well. Besides the Open Doors at
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  • Very secretive and mostly inaccessible the HAF (Hellenic Air Force / ΠΟΛΕΜΙΚΗ ΑΕΡΟΠΟΡΙΑ) possesses a very interesting and mixed fleet, including some of the most appealing aircraft around Europe – either way because of the uniqueness of the type or just because
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  • The following pages will tell about major milestones, interesting happenings or just show some nice photos of the flying activity at NATO's smallest airfield, the airfield Neuburg/Zell, home of the Jagdgeschwader 74.The date back until 2003 and will highlight specific
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  • Holloman AFB hosts besides the F-177A Nighthawk equipped 49FW also the Luftwaffe's Tactical Training Center flying Tornados as well as of a permanent detachment of QF-4E Target Drones. During a trip to the south-western part of the USA gave the
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  • Looking at the Middle East the Israel Air Force is considered to be by far the most potent and most modern one. This results from the diffcult political relationship with its neighbours and inside the country as well that translates
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  • The annual ELITE exercise once again attracted a lot of exotic aircraft to southern German airfields in order to train electronic combat of ground and air-based weapon systems.With numbers such as 17 paticipating nations, 1500 soldiers, 45 jets, 13 helicopters
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  • In today's battlefields electronic warfare (EW) plays one of the most important roles in gaining air and ground superiority and a continuous evolution and improvements can be observed amongst all armed forces in order to gain an advantage over the
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  • Electronic Live Warfare Training ExerciseTen years after ist first edition in 1995 ELITE (Electronic Warfare Live Training Exercise) is still going strong. Organized by the German Luftwaffe this years exercise involved participants from 19 countries that are mainly based in
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  • On July 25th, 2006 the first Eurofighter Typhoons touched down at the airbase Neuburg, home of the Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 74.At 11h27 lcl. the smoketrails of two F-4F became visible, announcing the arrival of a double-seater Eurofighter Typhoon and a
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  • After along hard and hard abstinence from jet noise and the smell of keroseneI got twice the possbility to observe and photograph the flight operations of the Jagdbombergeschwader 32 ECR (Fighter Bomber Wing 32, or JaboG32), which is the only
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  • In the dawn of the Tomcat age, Oceana has become the Mekka of the F-14 fan community witht the airshow being the highlight of the year.NAS Ocena is the biggest airbase of the US Navy on the East coast located
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  • Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton is a large multi-role air station located in the scenic Somerset.It is home to Royal Navy (RN) Sea Harrier F/A2s, RN Lynx Helicopters and RN Commando Helicopter Force. RNAS Yeovilton operates over 100 aircraft
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  • At the end of August I had the possibility to spent a day with the Jagdgeschwader (fighter squadron) 73 at their homebase Laage near Rostock.Only one month later the first 5 MiGs were transferred to Poland, so this visit has
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  • An insight view into an Air Force in transition was given during a sunny, and sometimes also thundery week in June by the Austrian Air Force (Au AF). Facing a major reorganisation of the whole AF structure called "ÖBH 2010"
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Holloman 55.555FH

With the landing of a freshly special painted Tornado, the German Air Force Flying Training Center completed 55,555 Tornado flight hours at Holloman AFB, NM, October 13th, 2009, and a reception commemorating the accomplishment shortly followed.
German Air Force members shared the momentous occasion with the 49th Fighter Wing by inviting the wing commander to accompany the GAF FTC commander in the flight.


Where? Holloman AFB, NM

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"It's a real honor for me to have been invited to be a part of this ceremony," said Col. Jeff Harrigian, 49th FW commander. "Fundamentally, this is in appreciation of all the hard work that the German Flying Training Center has undergone for the last several years for this accomplishment to occur and for them to allow me to be a part of it is really an honor."

The sharing of the flight was a gesture that exemplified the continued friendship between the two nations.

"[The 55,555 flight hour] is based on friendship with the community, friendship with Holloman and a lot of dedication and professionalism of our men and women of the flying training center," said Col. Peter Klement, GAF FTC commander. "Certainly this occasion could not be possible no matter how hard we worked, no matter how dedicated we are, if it wasn't for our friends at Holloman Air Force Base and our friends in the community of Alamogordo."


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The German Tornado that the two commanders made the historic feat in received a unique paint job before the flight and everyone who attended the reception got to witness it up close as they taxied right in front of the event.

Celebrating - and flying - the 55.555th Flight Hour of a Holloman Tornado

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"The commander held a competition to choose the best art design concept," said Tina McClain, artist for the 55,555 ceremonial Tornado and painter for the GAF Tornado aircraft.

Senior Airman Kiro Pinter of the GAF FTC won with his plan to have an animated picture of a cartoon-like blue clock running through the side of the Tornado, representing the continuance of the mission -- "to keep it going!"

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Ms. McClain said it took five weeks, ironically, to paint the aircraft.

"Flying in this airplane which is painted up in this spectacular fashion was very cool," said Colonel Harrigian after the flight.

All in all, the new paint job, the flight and the celebration marked an accomplishment that was more than 13 years in the making, and Colonel Klement hopes that the 55,555 flight hour is only the midway mark of the GAF FTC's flight hours here. (text taken from HO website http://www.holloman.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123172680)

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The main idea of the patchwork special scheme on Tornado 45+99 originates from the Transformer movie, which was partly shot at Holloman AFB. Most prominent in the scheme is the tail that shows the Organ Montains on the right side and White Sands National Monumentand the landscape of Sierra Blancaon the left side, both locations being on the Eastern, respectively Western side of Holloman AFB representative of the major landmarks around the Tularosa Basin . A nice detail on the right is furthermore a small UFO from nearby Roswell and two green Alien pilots :) More details are a clock below the cockpit showing 55.555 hours, and it is still counting on. Furthermore the German national colours are shining through the wings and the belly is featuring the New Mexican flag combined with the Luftwaffe's Iron Cross, representing the FT's emblem.

Details of s/c Tornado 45+99

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More information and photos can also be found on Luftwaffe's website news topic about the 55.555th Flight Hour. (http://www.luftwaffe.de/portal/a/luftwaffe/aktu/nach/archiv/2009/okt?yw_contentURL=/01DB060000000001/W27WYJLK092INFODE/content.jsp)

Additionally to the festivities of the 55.555 flight hours of Luftwaffe's FTC Tornados in the afternoon that day I have had the possibility to photograph also the regular Tornados at Holloman. Many thanks go out to all of the German Team at Holloman who gave me such a nice reception and enabled all these photos. Dankeschön!!

daily business at Holloman - GAF FTC

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Of course a visit to Holloman would not be complete without a visit to the White Sands National Monument, preferably during sunset, which is the best time of the day to capture this wonderfull landscape, formed by white snow dunes and covered in magic light:

White Sands National Monument

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