|Erding Air Base|
|IATA: none – ICAO: ETSE|
|Owner||Unified Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany|
|Operator||German Air Force|
|Elevation AMSL||1,515 ft / 462 m|
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Erding Air Base (German: Fliegerhorst Erding, ICAO: ETSE) is a German Air Force airfield near the town of Erding, about 45 kilometers (28 mi) northeast of central Munich in Bavaria. It is the home of the 5th Air Defense Missile Squadron and the 1st Air Force Maintenance Regiment.
The last public airshow at Erding was held during the summer of 1986.
Prior to and during World War II, Erding was a Luftwaffe pilot training airfield. It was seized by the United States Army in April 1945 and used as a United States Air Force facility during the early years of the Cold War.
Erding was used as an Air Depot, Air Base and an Air Station. On 14 December 1957, control of Erding Air Base was returned to the reconstituted German Air Force as a front line facility where it hosted various F-104, Tornado and other fighter squadrons.
USAF Units At Erding Air Base
USAF Units stationed at Erding were:
- 85th Air Depot Wing, 1 Jun 1945
- Redesignated: European Air Depot, 1 Sep 1945
- Redesignated: Erding Air Depot, 5 Nov 1946
- Redesignated: 7200th Air Force Depot Wing, 1 Jul 1948
- Redesignated: 85th Air Defense Wing, 25 Jul 1949
- Redesignated: 7485th Air Depot Wing, 1 Dec 1953
- Redesignated: 7485th Support Wing (Training), 1 Apr 1956-1 Apr 1957
- 440th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 17 Feb 1956-1 Jan 1960
- 52d Tactical Fighter Group, 1 Apr 1971-31 Jul 1972
Originally developed as an Air Depot in the early postwar years, the mission of Erding Air Base (later Station) was to provided depot-level maintenance of USAFE and NATO fighters. With the opening of Châteauroux-Déols Air Base, France in 1953, Erding became a satellite depot.
The mission of Erding Air Base was changed in 1956 to training German Air Force personnel into the newly reconstituted German Air Force and the base was turned over to the German Air Force on 1 April 1957.
With the creation of NATO in response to Cold War tensions in Europe, USAFE wanted its major air bases in West Germany moved west of the Rhine River to provide greater air defense warning time. The establishment of the new bases in the Rhineland-Palatinate diminished the USAF use of Erding. It became an air defense facility in 1956 with the assignment of the F-86D equipped 440th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, a detachment of the 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Landstuhl Air Base until the arrival of the F-102 in Europe and budget cutbacks in 1960 forced its closure.
In 1966 with France withdrawing from NATO it left a gap in the air defense network of Europe. Operation Creek Ale filled that gap by rotating Convair F-102A Delta Dart interceptors from various squadrons of the 86th Air Division based at Ramstein Air Base. Squadrons from Soesterberg Air Base, Zaragoza Air Base, Hahn Air Base, Bitburg Air Base and Ramstein Air Base rotated to Erding for air defense alert.
With the inactivation of the 86th Air Division in 1970, the 52d Fighter Group was formed at Erding in 1971 with some of the F-102's on a permanent basis. In 1972 the F-102s were withdrawn from Europe and the 52d FG was inactivated.
Relegated to Air Station status, Erding hosted TDY units of CONUS based USAF aircraft though the 1980s for short-term deployments as part of the annual Reforger exercises.
USAF Emblem Gallery
- Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present
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