The Tactical Air Wings

The Tactical Air Wings

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A Eurofighter and a Tornado fly together in northern German airspace during the 2018 performance assurance.

A Eurofighter of 31 Tactical Air Wing and a Tornado IDSInterdiction Strike (Interdiction Strike) of 33 Tactical Air Wing flying together in an operational formation during the Performance Verification Exercise 2018. The Eurofighter and Tornado aircraft form the …

German Air Force/Stefan Petersen

Although an all-out coordinated air attack has become rather unlikely in Germany, the German Air Force still needs to take appropriate precautions, e. g. to counter the potential risk of terrorist attacks from the air. To this end, fighters of the German air forces have been entrusted with the responsibility of performing air sovereignty tasks, also referred to as air policing.

The two Quick Reaction Alert (QRAQuick Reaction Alert) elements employed for these tasks are stationed at 71 Tactical Air Wing Richthofen in the north and 74 Tactical Air Wing in the south, respectively. Each of the QRAQuick Reaction Alert elements consists of two mission-ready Eurofighter fighter jets, which are armed with an internal gun and air-to-air missiles even in peacetime. Not later than 15 minutes after being alerted, these QRAQuick Reaction Alert aircraft will be in the air to intercept aircraft to be identified. To ensure that such operations can be conducted at any time, not only aircraft crews, but also technicians, local air traffic control personnel, the aircraft firefighting service and other authorities are on permanent alert 365 days a year. More than 50 military and civilian personnel are constantly involved in the process.

While the defense against enemy combat aircraft or the provision of assistance to civilian aircraft in distress is simulated almost every day, cases of emergency are fortunately an exception.

Two Eurofighters of 74 Tactical Air Wing in formation.

On the occasion of a Tiger Meet, the “Ghost Tiger” received a special painting. Here it is flying in formation with a Eurofighter in Southern German airspace. Both fighter jets are stationed at 74 Tactical Air Wing in Neuburg.

German Air Force
Eurofighters and Tornados are lined up at Laage and prepared by the technicians.

Technicians preparing the Tornado and Eurofighter combat aircraft at Laage Air Base for their subsequent missions.

German Air Force/Kevin Schrief
by German Air Force  Headquarters