Insignia of the Naval Aviation Command

Naval Aviation Command

The Navy‘s airplanes and helicopters belong to this formation – operating independently or in close cooperation with the fleet.


The Naval Aviation Command is one of the three major formations of the German Navy. All naval air forces of the Bundeswehr are subordinate to it. Their tasks include the surveillance of large sea areas as well as maritime warfare from the air against targets above and below water, but also the search and rescue service SARSearch and Rescue in addition to the transport of personnel and material.

On the one hand, the naval aviation cooperates closely with the fleet: the long-distance aircraft P-3C Orion, Sea Lynx Mk88A helicopter and frigates make up the Navy’s submarine hunter team. On the other hand, the Orions, as maritime patrol aircraft, can independently control huge maritime areas. The Sea King Mk41 and its successor NH90 NTHNaval Transport Helicopter Sea Lion are used either as transport helicopters for the fleet or as rescue helicopters for the SARSearch and Rescue service off the coast of Germany.

All naval aircraft are stationed in Nordholz on the North Sea coast of Lower Saxony. They are organized in two formations, both of which are subordinate to the larger formation of the Naval Aviation Command: the fixed wing aircraft in Naval Air Wing 3 “Graf Zeppelin”, the helicopters in Naval Air Wing 5. Around 2,500 naval airmen work for the Naval Aviation Command.

The command staff itself is the control centre for all aircraft in the Navy and pools the expertise of naval aviators. It enables them to carry out their daily tasks by providing the necessary material and organizational support.




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