Unfortunately, the weather was dull during both visits. However, because of the lack of opportunity to see HSG64's NH90s and UH-1Ds in the future, I hope that you like the pictures anyway. I owe special thanks to Oberleutnant Christian Albrecht from HSG64 for his patience to show me around.
Base Visit Report : Holzdorf Helicopter Base in Transition
HOLZDORF - German Helicopter Base in Transition
Helmut Richter reports on the recent and upcoming changes at Holzdorf Air Base, with photos of the helicopters of the resident units and participants of the Combined Joint Personnel Recovery Standardization Course in 2012.
When you drive down south from the center of Berlin on the B101 road for some 100km you might believe you have reached the "middle of nowhere". However east of Holzdorf on the border between the Brandenburg and Sachsen-Anhalt Federal States, one of the most modern Luftwaffe air bases has been developed in recent years. In October 2010, the new Hubschraubergeschwader 64 (HSG64) was created from the helicopter elements of the Lufttransportgeschwader (LTG62 and LTG63) to be re-equipped with the new NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter. For that purpose, new infrastructure had been created at Holzdorf, including specifically equipped hangars and a NH90 simulator.
During the buildup of the NH90 strength, the UH-1D helicopters also continued to be used by HSG64 until the end of 2012, when the UH-1Ds were transferred to the Heer (German Army) where they will also be phased out in 2015. As the dedicated Luftwaffe helicopter wing, HSG64 has its heritage in the former HTG64. HTG64 operated at Ahlhorn airbase from 1966 until 1994, when its UH-1Ds were transferred to the Lufttransportgeschwader with LTG62 locating its helicopter squadron at Holzdorf.
Also located at Holzdorf until its disbandment in November 2012 was Heeresflieger-Unterstützungsstaffel 1 (HFUS1) operating Bo 105 helicopters. The HFUS1 badge appropriately features a stork, which is a common sight in this rural area.
When the buildup of HSG64 was still in its early phase, further reform of the size and structure of the German Bundeswehr in 2011 was introducing further change for Holzdorf, the full effects of which only became clearer in 2012. A reduction of the overall number of NH90 Tactical Ttransport Helicopters from 122 to only 82 resulted in the decision to not split up the smaller number between the two services Heer and Luftwaffe, but to allocate all NH90 TTHs to the German Army. Instead, all CH-53's will be re-allocated to the Air Force's HSG64.
In order to make use of investments already made, HSG64 will be split between Holzdorf and Laupheim, where previously Heeresflieger Mittleres Transporthubschrauberregiment 25 (MTHR25) was located with the CH-53. Laupheim will host the majority of HSG64's CH-53s. Holzdorf will also remain associated with the NH90 - at least temporarily, while Transporthubschrauberregiment 10 from Faßberg operates a detachment unit here.
During 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Holzdorf twice. My second visit in September was during the NATO Combined Joint Personnel Recovery Standardization Course 2012 (CJPRSC 2012), which was hosted in Holzdorf for the first time. From several perspectives, Holzdorf is considered to be a very good match for the objectives of the CJPRSC, providing good facilities for the operation of helicopters and fast jets as well as a variety of suitable training areas in the vicinity. Therefore, Holzdorf has hopes to host CJPRSC in the future, although accommodation for that many participants on base and in hotels remains an issue. Surprisingly, CJPRSC 2012 had no participation by German air vehicles, but an interesting mix of helicopters in particular from France and Italy as well as two Italian Air Force AMX as fast jet element.
Report and photos by Helmut Richter ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 27 November 2013
27 Nov 2013 Added Disqus for feedback comments