As the largest air force exercise in Europe, ELITE has occupied a firm place in the calendar of multinational exercises for more than twelve years. Around 1.700 soldiers at the Heuberg Training Area alone and almost 40 different weapon systems mark a new record for ELITE 2008.
This year as many as 17 guest nations and the NATO actively participate in this exercise. In addition, nine countries will send observers to this electronic warfare exercise. Most participants operated from German bases (only some support services). ELITE offers an excellent platform for exchange of experience and for the further development of military, scientific or industrial programs. “Train as you fight” is the motto.
Pressday, Wednesday July 9
At 07:30 we had to report at the base. Some checks and we reported at the parking place. First coffee and a briefing about the exercise Elite 2008 by Capt. Janzen, Project Officer Elite 2008. Outside it was very windy and wet so good to be inside in stead of outside. After the briefing we were transported to the airbase near the taxi track. The first participants were seen; Polish Su-22’s and Spanish EF-18’s. Most departues/arrivals were in rain but some nice shots were taken with dark clouds at the background. After the morning-mission we visited the different participants; the Polish and Spanish, the Greek Vipers, the Turks and at least the Italian Tornado ECR’s. The second wave departed in the early afternoon and the Su-22’s were great! Also some very dark clouds in the background. After the visit around four o’clock we left the kaserne and went to our hotel. The sun was shining!
Spotterday, Thursday July 10
Also an early start this morning. We reported at 07:30 and the first busses left the kaserne to the airbase. The weather was great. Till 13:00 we could take pictures from the departing and arriving aircraft. Most aircraft taxied back at the taxi track just in front of us and even some aircraft stopped to make some very nice pictures, like the Turkish F-4E-2020’s and F-16’s. The special painted Italian Tornado ECR departed to RAF Fairford. Also the SIGINT Atlantic from MFG-3 departed. One of the two operational Atlantics of the German Navy.
The aircraft involved
|JBG-32||Tornado ECR||46+24, 46+26, 46+27, 46+30, 46+31, 46+32, 46+35, 46+36, 46+46, 46+48, 46+49, 46+54 (all gy/gy c/s)|
|Tornado IDS||43+37, 43+45, 45+35, 45+38, 45+79 (euro-1 c/s)|
|AG-51||Tornado RECCE||44+64 (dep 10 July) and 46+20 (Both with Afghanistan badges)|
|341 Mira/111 PM||F-16C||054, 060 and 070 all red fintip|
|F-16D ||084 red fintip|
|155 Grupo/50 Stormo||Torando ECR||MM7020/50-41, MM7027 spec c/s, MM7030/50-04,MM7059/50-47, MM7082/50-54|
|111 Filo/1 AJU||F-4E-2020||73-1021 , 73-1022 and 77-0285|
|181 Filo/8 AJU||F-16C-50||93-0004, 93-0011, 93-0013|
|Ala 15||EF-18A+||C.15-31/15-18, C.15-39/15-26 and C.15-64/15-34|
|8 Elt.||Su-22 M-4||(2)8103 and (2)8308 spec nose mks|
|KHR-30||Bo-105P1||88+11 (arr/dep 9 July)|
|LIGr25||UH-1D||71+32 (SAR titels; low approach 10 July)|
|‘20+02’||F-104G||JBG-32 ex. 21+36; camo|
|‘DB-132’||F-84F||JBG-32 ex. BF-104/ 52-6764; camo|
|‘DB-232’||F-84F||JBG-32 ex. DB-367/ 51-1645; camo|
|Preserved on airbase:|
|DB-396||T-33A||JBG-32 towed; ex. 57-0681; camo|
We like to thank SM Klaus Kafer, Obersleutnant Michael Knoblach and Chief Master Sergeant Keune for their help and of course all other people from Public Affairs JBG-32. Hope to visit Lechfeld during the next issue of ELITE.