Just like previous years, JG-71 at Wittmund AB, Germany, organized a so-called photocall on Wednesday August 4th. The weather was great; lot of sunshine and photo opportunities of one of the last operational F-4 squadrons in Europe.
This year the organisation managed to arrange a lot of visitors; the German Air Force with 2 Tornado's in special colour scheme (JBG-33 and -38) and one UH-1D. The German Army sent one EC135T.1 and CH-53G from HFWS and the German Navy sent an Atlantic and Super Lynx. Of course also some home based aircraft like 2 F-4F's from JG-71 and an A-4N Skyhawk from Bae/Flight Systems were at the platform. The C-160D Transall was cancelled. Last year there was only one Atlantic and later a JG-73 MiG-29GT, so no reason to complain at all.
At 10:00 coaches brought us to the airbase. Groundcrew were very helpful with removing covers and stairs so there was plenty time and possibilities to take good pictures. Before we left, for the runway, there was enough time to photograph the preserved F-104G and Sabre CL.13 in J(B)G-71 markings.
43+70 Tordando IDS
44+08 Tornado IDS
83+23, Super Lynx
Today 12 JG-71, F-4F's flew short missions with duration from ½ hour up to 1 hour. Unfortunately, photo opportunities of operational F-4's were limited, with the sun behind the aircraft. Let's hope this will change during a future photo tour.
One of the F-4s parked on the instruction platform was the former HO/20 FS/49 FW F-4E 75-0632. This F-4E flew from Holloman to Wittmund and will probably end his life at a scrap yard (at Hopsten AB?). The serial was removed but still visible to identify.
At half past one it was time to leave the airbase. Some people spent the rest of the afternoon near the airbase. Two A-4N's flew and the German visitors departed to their home bases.
I like to thank JG-71 for this great photocall and I hope to visit them again next year. The days of the Phantom are numbered, so it's still great to see them operational.