Ramstein Air Bases
Units in 2006The base which was a long time one of the principal bases of hunting of the USAFE, has today a vocation centred on transport and logistics.
The 86th Airlift Wing is the principal unit of the base. Its mission is the control of operations of air transport, parachuting and medical evacuation by air. To achieve these missions, 86th AW is equipped with C-130E Hercules (in the course of replacement by C-130J in January 2007), C-20H, C-21, C-37 and C-40B. The commander of 86th AW ensures the command of the military Community of Kayserslautern ( Kaiserslautern Military Community or KMZ).
Another great unit of Ramstein AB, the 435th Air Bases Wing ensures of the missions of support military operations. It ensures in particular of the forces quickly spreadable in zones of external operations.
The 38th Combat Support Wing responsible for the adminsitratif and operational control of 26 units ( geographically separated units or GSU) is distributed geographically on the whole of the zone depending on the USAFE.
Ramstein AB is the seat of the General headquarter of the United States Air Forces in Europe and of the General headquarter of the air component of the United States European Command (Air Command Europe). The base also shelters organizations of NATO.
It sheltered until 2007 in the neighborhoods of 130 nuclear weapons intended for the fighters.
BeginningsDuring the Second world war, the Luftwaffe uses a portion of the highway, which always passes close to the current base, like tracks takeoff. This impromptu ground is also used by USAAF in the last months of the war.
In 1951, within the framework of its massive program of new air bases, NATO decides the construction of a new base close to the village of Ramstein. Conceived by French engineers, the base is built for the Americans by German companies. Once the completed work, in 1953, two bases distinct is delivered to USAF: Ramstein Air Bases in the north of the Avenue Kisling and Landstuhl Air Bases in the south of this avenue.
Detachment 1 of the 86th Fighter Bomber Wing leaves the base of Neubiberg Air Bases to settle in Landstuhl AB which is officially open on August 5th, 1952. Landstuhl AB is the only one to have the attributes of a true air base: control tower, tracks and taxiways, hangars for planes, etc… the Northern part, Ramstein AB are open on June 1st, 1953. It shelters general headquarters (that of the 12th Air Force settled there as of on April 27th, 1953) and of the dwellings for the soldiers and their families. The 86th Air Bases Group provides the functions of support of Landstuhl while 7030th HQ Support Group that of Ramstein.
86th Fighter To bend WingIn January 1953, the 86th Fighter Bomber Wing leaves Neubiberg Air Bases to settle in Landstuhl AB. 86th FBW is consisted of the 526th Fighter Bomber Squadron and 527th Fighter Bomber Squadron flying on F-84 F Thunderjet. 86th FBW carries out its transition on F-86 F Sabers as from the month of August 1953.
86th Fighter Interceptor WingThe 86th gives up its ground attack mission and specializes in the interception in August 1954, becoming the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing and replacing its F-86F by F-86D. The 440th MADE of Geiger AFB (state of Washington) and the 496th MADE of Hamilton AFB (in California) on F-86D arrive at Landstuhl AB in July 1954. The 527th MADE becomes the 527th Fighter Day Squadron in October 1954, before being dissolved in October 1954. The three squadrons of 86th FIW ensure of alarms on the basis of Erding Air Bases (440th MADE), Hahn Air Bases (496th MADE) and Landstuhl AB (526th MADE).
December 1st 1957, the two bases of Landstuhl and Ramstein are amalgamated and take the name of Ramstein-Landstuhl Air Bases . The current name of Ramstein Air Bases is used as from 1958.
Following the dissolution of the 406th Fighter Interceptor Wing of RAF Manston in May 1958, its three squadrons are transferred with 86th FIW and detached on the basis of Sembach Air Bases (512th MADE), Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Bases (513th MADE) and of Ramstein AB (514th MADE).
86th Air DivisionIn January 1959, the command of the USAFE decides to centralize the command of all the units of interception under the 86th FIW, which becomes on November 18th, 1960 the 86th Air Division (Defense) . Six squadrons, flying on F-102 has Dagger Delta are then attached to 86th AD:
- 32nd MADE with Soesterberg Air Bases in Holland
- 431st MADE with Saragossa Air Bases in Spain
- 496th MADE with Hahn Air Bases in Germany
- 497th MADE with Torrejon Air Bases in Spain
- 525th MADE with Bitburg Air Bases in Germany
- 526th MADE in Ramstein Air Bases
The 497th MADE carries out its transition on F-4 C Phantom II in 1963 and after having taken the designation of 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, made movement on George Air Force Bases in California.
The Crisis of BerlinAugust 13rd 1961, the the USSR begins construction from the Berlin Wall. In answer to this Soviet provocation, the forces of NATO are put in alarm and USAF sends squadrons of reserve in Europe. 86th AD sees its manpower reinforced considerably with the arrival of two squadrons of the National guard on F-104 has Starfighter: the 151st MADE National guard of the Tennessee and the 197th MADE National guard of the Arizona. These two squadrons will remain in Europe from October 1st, 1961 to August 15th 1962.
26th Tactical Wing RecognitionOctober 5th 1966, the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing based with Toul-Rosières Air Bases (also known under the name of TRAB) settles in Ramstein AB. The 26th TRW comprises the 32nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (which will be quickly transferred to RAF Alconbury) and the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on RF-4C. 38th TRS was in fact stationed with Ramstein since 1962, whereas it belonged to the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and flew on RF-101C Voodoo. It passes on RF-4C and is transferred to 26th TRW when this one made movement from TRAB with Ramstein. In November 1968, the 526th MADE which flight always on F-102A is affected with 26th TRW. April 1st, 1970, 86th AD is dissolved, making 26th TRW the unit host of Ramstein AB. The 526th MADE is at the same time famous 526th Tactical Fighter Squadron and starts its conversion to F-4 E. Unit specialized in the operations known as special, the Special 7th Operations Squadron and its C-130 E, C-47 and UH-1 NR, is attached to 26th TRW.
In 1971, infrastructures airport cargo liner are built by a detachment of the 435th Air Bases Wing Rhein-Hand Air Bases to make it possible the Military Airlift Command to make there land its C-5 Galaxy and C-141 Starlifter.
86th Tactical Fighter WingJanuary 31st 1973, within the framework of the operation Creek Action of realignment and optimization of its forces, the USAFE transfers 26th TRW from Ramstein to Zweibrucken Air Bases and the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing de Zweibrucken towards Ramstein. 38th TRS makes movement with Zweibrucken, 7th S.O.S with Rhein-Hand, while 526th TFS remains in Ramstein.
In 1978, 86th TFW acquires a second squadron, the 512th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
July 1st, 1978, the 306th Strategic Wing leaves Germany to be installed on the base of RAF Mildenhall in England. In June 1985, the 316th Air Division is activated to take the command of the units present on the basis of Ramstein. The 377th Combat Wing Support is activated to deal with the logistic and administrative support of the base. June 14th, 1985, 512th TFS begins its conversion to F-16 C, follow-up of 526th TFS in June 1986.
The accident of the meeting of August 1988The August 28th 1988, a air Meeting on the basis of Ramstein turns to the catastrophe when three of the ten planes Aermacchi MB-339 of the Italian lifting patrol of the Frecce Tricolori telescope in full flight, killing 67 spectators, 3 pilots Italian and wounding more than 500 people.
See also: Accident of Ramstein
End of the hunters86th TFW becomes the 86th Fighter Wing on May 1st 1991. June 1st, 1992, following the dissolution of the 316th Air Division, the 377th Combat Support Wing being integrated in the 86th Fighter Wing. July 1st, 1993, the 55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron of the 435th Airlift Wing makes movement of Rhein-Hand Air Bases towards Ramstein. It is followed 75th Airlift Squadron and 76th Airlift Squadron also arrives at Ramstein.
526th FS is dissolved on July 1st, 1994, its personnel and F-16 being transferred to the 555th Fighter Squadron with Aviano Air Bases in Italy. 512th FS is dissolved later three months, on October 1st, to form the 510th Fighter Squadron in Aviano AB. The same day, the 37th Airlift Squadron leaves Rhein-Hand to settle in Ramstein, and 86th FW takes its current designation of 86th Airlift Wing.
The 86th Contingency Response Group is activated on February 26th 1999.
- Official site Ramstein AB
- Page on 526th MADE
- ADOC Kindsbach, control center of NATO
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