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Question about USAF fighters in West Germany c. 1975-77

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by Jacob Potts, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Jacob Potts

    Jacob Potts Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2008
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    Jacob Potts
    A friend asked me, I did not know, so I am asking you. Can anyone here shed light on this question? Thanks!

    I was remembering in '77-'79 when I was stationed on the western West German border, near Luxembourg, our F15s would scramble to intercept East German fighter jets when they crossed the border. I was wondering why West German jets didn't do this and why our guys had to cross the whole country to get to the east side to engage the violators.
     
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  3. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Because the German F-4's and F-104's were in the maintenance hangar.;)
     
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  4. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Think about speed, distance and reaction time. That's why we had an F-15 alert facility at Camp New Amsterdam. :)
     
  5. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Another example distance, etc., when I first checked in at Suwon AB in the ROK, they briefed us that we were "two minutes from the DMZ as the Mig flies". Meaning, we would know about the Migs as their bombs exploded around us.

    Also, the first American fighter lost to the enemy during the Korean War was an F-82 Twin Mustang while it was sitting on the ramp at Suwon AB.
     
  6. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jacob, the ones you saw probably scrambled out of Bitburg AB.

     
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  8. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I am not sure the Germans even sat Zulu alert. Most of their fighters were attack or strike DOC.
     
  9. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

    Mar 26, 2011
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    Absolutely. Bitburg is in Germany, more or less at the level of the nortern tip of Luxemburg. Remember that the westernmost part of East Germany wasn't that far, as the crow flies.
    Having been raised at the meeting point of the french-german-luxemburg border, I didn't saw many F-15s at the end of the seventies (probably because these were air superiority fighters) mostly the Canadian CF-104s (tactical fighter-bombers) based just on "the other side" in Germany. And did those guys fly LOW; and you saw them several times a day; getting bored with nothing to do? Just lay in the grass in the garden and wait fifteen minutes or so, they'll fly over you soon. Ah, good old seventies. Have been quarantined in the very same family house for six weeks, haven't seen a jet yet. My, how times change...
    Rgds
     
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  10. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Demands for "Noise Abatement" and problems with encroachment (property development outside the training area and base's perimeter) took some of the fun out it. At CNA, we also had "quiet hours" (I recall between 7PM and 6AM) during which engine runs for maintenance were not allowed. This effected our operational readiness and impacted a pilot's proficiency as well.
     
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  11. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    They lowered the airspeeds for low levels all over Europe about the time I left in 1991 after Desert Storm and my second tour at Lakenheath. Instead of the 480-570 KGS we had been flying, they limited most aircraft to 420 knots and F-111s to 450 knots. Altitudes were raised, too, so not as much training as before. Most of us got nosebleeds at 1000' AGL after years of flying at 100-400' AGL. As the Iron Curtain came down, the civilians felt way less threat and way less tolerant. UK went much the same way. In the 80s you could circumnavigate the UK low level just off the coast. No way to do that in the 90s with large increases in restricted airspace. No Victor Alert anymore, either.
     
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  13. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 F1 Rookie
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    We were still flying RAF fast jets around at 420 (450 for IP-TGT runs) through the mid-naughties (2005 at the earliest) and to 100’ AGL. What fun!
     
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  14. Jacob Potts

    Jacob Potts Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2008
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    Jacob Potts
    Thank you everyone! This is great information! I will share it with my friend. Seriously.
     
  15. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Most folks do not realize how small most of Europe is. Oslo to Rome (1550 miles) is about half the distance from New York to LA (2800 miles). Moscow to London is only 1800 miles. The widest crossing of Texas is about half that.
     

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