Air Base, Germany
NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force E-3A Component
is stationed at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. The
unit includes 3,000 military members and NATO civilians representing
13 nations of NATO as they fulfill the mission tasking of
the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Supreme Allied
Commander Atlantic. The E-3A component is NATO's only operational
is the home of the NATO
(North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Airborne Early Warning
Force Command's E-3A Component. The Component's mission is to
provide aircraft and trained aircrews to deliver a surveillance
and/or control platform wherever and whenever directed by the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Airborne Early Warning Force
Commander on behalf of the three major North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) Commanders: the Supreme Allied Commander,
Europe (SACEUR), Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT)
and Commander-in-Chief, Channel (CINCHAN).
NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) was created in January
1980. The command was granted full status as a North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters by North Atlantic Treaty
Organization's Defense Planning Committee on 17 October l980.
It is co-located with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers
Europe (SHAPE), Belgium. Executive agent for the program is
the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), also one of the
Command's primary "customers". The remaining two are
the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) and the Allied
Commander-in-Chief Channel (CINCHAN).
North Atlantic Treaty Organization E-3A aircraft are flown by
integrated multinational crews from 11 nations - Belgium, Canada,
Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
Turkey and the United States. Geilenkirchen is the E-3A Component's
Main Operating Base
(MOB) in addition to being NATO's only multinational operational
by farmland and a natural woodland preserve, the base was originally
built by the British Royal
Air Force after World
War II. Known as RAF Geilenkirchen (known locally as Flugplatz
Teveren after the neighboring village), the British used the
facilities as a fighter installation for various RAF fighter
squadrons from May 1953 until January 1968. Meteors, F-86 Sabres,
Swift Fighter Recces, Hunter day-fighters, and Javelins all
operated out of Geilenkirchen. Eventually, Javelin FAW (Fighter
All weather) Mk 4 & 5 of No. 11 Squadron were replaced by
Javelin FAW Mk 9s and joined by a second Squadron of Javelin
Mk 9s - No. 5(AC) Squadron. In the same period, the aerodrome
was home to Canberra MkB(I)8's of No. 59 Squadron and was later
renumbered as No. 3 Squadron.
Air Base Geilenkirchen is located in Teveren which is four kilometers
west of Geilenkirchen, adjacent to the Netherlands border. Geilenkirchen
is 283 miles from Paris,France, 50 miles from Cologne (Koln),
Germany and 142 miles from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. NATO
AB Geilenkirchen is located 104 miles from Brussels Airport
in Brussels, Belgium. Allied Joint Forces
located in Brunssum, the Netherlands, is a fifteen minute drive
from Geilenkirchen, and Schinnen, 254th Base Support Battalion,
the Netherlands is located approximately 25 minutes from Geilenkirchen.
Geilenkirchen is a small town with a population of about 26,000
people. A moated castle stands in the village. The center of
town offers a variety of shopping stores. Depending on the exchange
rates, shopping in the centrum can be very expensive. Twice
a week there is an outdoor market in the centrum that sells
food and flowers.
airborne warning and control system aircraft from Tinker AFB,
OK, flown by an AWACS crew from the Reserve's 513th Air Control
Group, operate out of Geilenkirchen to support NATO exercises.
and aircraft from the 141st Air National
deploy to Geilenkirchen to provide aerial refueling support
for NATO airborne warning and control system aircraft throughout
the European theater. The Washington Air National Guard supports
this mission once or twice a year as needed.
Washington Air National Guard KC-135
tanker assigned to 141st Air Refueling Wing here crashed
13 January 1999 while landing at Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany.
The four crewmembers on board were killed. The aircraft was
on a routine refueling mission as part of a NATO exercise when
it crashed. The 141st ARW deployed 29 people and two aircraft
to Geilenkirchen to participate in a normal rotation supporting
the NATO mission. They left 03 January 1999 and were scheduled
to return 15 January 1999. The accident investigation board
concluded the aircraft's pitch up to a near vertical attitude
and subsequent stall during a landing attempt were the cause
of the crash. The pitch up was the direct result of the horizontal
stabilizer trim being in a 7.5 nose-up trim condition when the
aircraft was given power to complete a go around prior to landing.
The investigation was unable to determine how the stabilizer
trim came to be in the 7.5 nose up trim condition. (Click here
to read about the crash)
2 Squadron (1955-1957) operated the Gloster
Meteor FR10 and later the Supermarine
3 Squadron (1953-1957 and 1959-1961) operated the Hawker
Hunter F4 and later the Gloster
5 Squadron (1962-1965) operated the Gloster
11 Squadron (1959-1961) operated the Gloster
Meteor NF11 and later the Gloster
Javelin FAW4, FAW5 and FAW9.
59 Squadron (1957-1961) operated the EE
Canberra B2 and B(I)8.
92 Squadron (1965-1968) operated the EE
Lighting F2 and F2A.
96 Squadron (1958-1959) operated the Gloster
234 Squadron (1954-1957) operated the North
American Sabre F4 and later the Hawker
256 Squadron (1958-1958) operated the Gloster
The RAF handed over the station to German
Air Force in March 1968.
The Germans used the base as home for a Surface-to-Surface Missile
Wing equipped with Pershing missiles with support from the U.S.
1980 the base became NATO Airbase Geilenkirchen to house the
main operating base for NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control
Force. This is a multinational organisation operating NATO Boeing
E-3 Sentry aircraft.