Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces)

The years 1955–1957 were a tran­si­tio­nal peri­od for the Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base, during which the US Armed Forces han­ded over the base that is often cal­led “Furs­ty” to the Ger­man Luft­waf­fe (Air Force). During this peri­od, Ame­ri­can advi­sers remain­ed at the air base to train Luft­waf­fe ins­truc­tor per­son­nel. After the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­ma­ny had joi­n­ed NATO (1955), the trai­ning of Ger­man pilots and the buil­dup of “Flug­füh­rer­schu­le B” (pilot school “B”) star­ted as ear­ly as in Janu­ary 1956 with the first Ger­man jet pilots gra­dua­ting in Sep­tem­ber 1956. On 1st Octo­ber 1957, the air base was taken over by the Ger­man Luft­waf­fe and offi­ci­al­ly han­ded over on 14th Decem­ber 1957.


Due to the quick­ly incre­asing num­ber of Ger­man Air Force staff, the Offi­ziers­ver­ei­ni­gung (com­mis­sio­ned offi­cers’ asso­cia­ti­on) was alre­a­dy foun­ded in June 1958; soon after, in August 1958, the Unter­of­fi­ziers­ver­ei­ni­gung (non-commissioned offi­cers’ asso­cia­ti­on) was foun­ded. In 1960, the last US sol­diers left Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base. By then, “Flug­füh­rer­schu­le B” had beco­me a cen­tral trai­ning faci­li­ty and the Kom­man­do der Schu­len (head­quar­ters of the schools) had come to play a cen­tral role in the Ger­man Luft­waf­fe. In 1960, Ger­man mili­ta­ry trai­ning aid for other armed forces such as the Nige­ri­an or Ethio­pian Air Forces started.

In 1961, the air base con­sis­ted of 19 inde­pen­dent units:

  • Kom­man­do der Schu­len (head­quar­ters of the schools) (sin­ce 1956)
  • Luft­waf­fen­aus­bil­dungs­bri­ga­den 1 – 4 (air force trai­ning bri­ga­des 1 to 4) (sin­ce 1961)
  • Flug­zeug­füh­rer­schu­le “B“ (pilot school “B”) (sin­ce 1956)
  • Flug­me­di­zi­ni­sches Insti­tut der Luft­waf­fe (air force insti­tu­te of avia­ti­on medicine)
  • Offiziersanwärter-Bataillon der Luft­waf­fe (air force offi­cer can­di­da­te battalion)
  • 1. Luftrettungs- und Ver­bin­dungs­staf­fel (1st air res­cue and liai­son squa­dron) (sin­ce 1959)
  • Schwe­re Luft­waf­fen­pio­nier­kom­pa­nie Süd (air force hea­vy engi­neer com­pa­ny south) (sin­ce 1959)
  • Flug­si­che­rungs­be­reichs­zen­tra­le 1 (air traf­fic con­trol regio­nal cen­ter 1)
  • 1. Flug­si­che­rungs­kom­pa­nie (1st air traf­fic con­trol company)
  • 1. Luft­waf­fen­sa­ni­täts­aus­bil­dungs­kom­pa­nie (1st air force medi­cal ser­vice trai­ning company)
  • Geo­phy­si­ka­li­sche Lehr­grup­pe (geo­phy­sics trai­ning branch) (sin­ce 1961)
  • Stand­ort­kom­man­dan­tur (gar­ri­son com­mand) (sin­ce 1956)
  • Stand­ort­ver­wal­tung (gar­ri­son admi­nis­tra­ti­on) (sin­ce 1955)
  • Kreis­wehr­ersatz­amt (mili­ta­ry regis­tra­ti­on office)
  • katho­li­sche und evan­ge­li­sche Mili­tär­seel­sor­ge (catho­lic and pro­tes­tant chaplaincy)

In 1962, the Ehren­mal der Luft­waf­fe (air force and avia­ti­on memo­ri­al), which was a memo­ri­al to all the pilots who were kil­led in the World Wars, was com­ple­ted and han­ded over to the Air Force in May 1966.

In Octo­ber 1963, the com­mand of the 1. Luft­waf­fen­di­vi­si­on (1st air divi­si­on) was trans­fer­red from Munich to Fürs­ten­feld­bruck. The year 1964 mark­ed a tur­ning point in the histo­ry of Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base as the Luft­waf­fen­schu­le 50 (air force wea­pons school 50) moved from Erding to Fürs­ten­feld­bruck and was inte­gra­ted into the new Luft­waf­fen­schu­le 50 tog­e­ther with Flug­zeug­füh­rer­schu­le “B”. As a result, 150 recruits of the Offiziersanwärter-Battalion were sworn in in front of Fürs­ten­feld monas­tery church in a public cerem­o­ny in Novem­ber 1965. In April 1968, Luft­waf­fen­schu­le 50 was reor­ga­ni­zed. The 1st squa­dron beca­me a trai­ning and test­ing cen­ter. The 2nd squa­dron was tas­ked with wea­pon trai­ning on G‑91 as well the euro­pea­niza­ti­on of pilots trai­ned in the US as all Luft­waf­fe jet pilots had been trai­ned in Texas sin­ce 1966. In the same year the Chiefs of Air Force staff of the NATO sta­tes Gre­at Bri­tain, Bel­gi­um, the Net­her­lands, Ita­ly, Cana­da and the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­ma­ny came tog­e­ther for a con­fe­rence at Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base. In 1970, wea­pon sys­tems offi­cer trai­ning at wea­pon sys­tem RF‑4 Phan­tom was taken up.

In April 1973, the Flug­lehr­grup­pe (air­crew trai­ning cen­ter) of the Fach­hoch­schu­le (col­lege of appli­ed sci­en­ces) Neu­bi­berg was inte­gra­ted into the trai­ning group of the Luft­waf­fen­schu­le as the third fly­ing squa­dron. In 1975, the Offi­ziers­schu­le der Luft­waf­fe (air force offi­cer school) was relo­ca­ted from Neu­bi­berg to Fürs­ten­feld­bruck. In this con­text, a new and modern offi­cer school, the so-called “Blaue Palais” (blue palace) was built and com­ple­ted in 1977. The tea­ching staff con­sis­ted of more than 250 mili­ta­ry and civi­li­an per­son­nel tea­ching 1,900 stu­dents. The Luft­waf­fen­schu­le 50 was ren­a­med Jagd­bom­ber­ge­schwa­der 49 (figh­ter bom­ber wing 49) and two years later alre­a­dy the first Alpha Jets took off from Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base. From 1990 onwards, also basic trai­ning cour­ses for mem­bers of the Natio­nal People’s Army (NVA) of the dis­sol­ving GDR took place in Fürs­ten­feld­bruck. All in all, the Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base was an important trai­ning cen­ter of the Ger­man Air Force and was invol­ved direct­ly or indi­rect­ly in all of NATO’s deter­rence and defence con­cepts in the peri­od bet­ween 1957 and the his­to­ric chan­ge in 1989/1990.

In June 1991 the Fede­ral Minis­try of Defence made the momen­tous decis­i­on for Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base to dis­band the Jagd­bom­ber­ge­schwa­der 49. In 1994, the decis­i­on was put into prac­ti­ce and when the Flug­lehr­grup­pe was decom­mis­sio­ned in 1997 an Alpha Jet took off for the last time. In 2003, flight ope­ra­ti­ons were dis­con­tin­ued and only one year later the Fede­ral Minis­try of Defence deci­ded to com­ple­te­ly give up Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base. This cul­mi­na­ted in the decis­i­on to clo­se down the enti­re site inclu­ding the Offi­ziers­schu­le der Luftwaffe.

Accor­ding to cur­rent infor­ma­ti­on, it can be assu­med that the last rema­in­ders of the Ger­man Armed Forces will lea­ve around the year 2020.

In 1972, Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base gai­ned noto­rie­ty during the Olym­pic Games in Munich when ter­ro­rists of the Black Sep­tem­ber Orga­niza­ti­on took mem­bers of the Israe­li Olym­pic team hos­ta­ge and tried to escape from Fürs­ten­feld­bruck air base by pla­ne. In the ensuing fire­fight bet­ween the ter­ro­rists and the poli­ce nine Israe­li hos­ta­ges, a poli­ce­man and five ter­ro­rists were kil­led. In 1999, a memo­ri­al com­me­mo­ra­ting the Israe­li vic­tims of the Munich mas­sacre was inaugurated.

Until the 1990s, the air base was the big­gest employ­er in the dis­trict of Fürs­ten­feld­bruck. In 1991, in addi­ti­on to 2,800 mili­ta­ry staff, 1,800 civi­li­ans were employ­ed at the air base, living in Fürs­ten­feld­bruck with their fami­lies. Moreo­ver, for the local eco­no­my the air base staff were important cus­to­mers with con­sidera­ble spen­ding power. Local busi­nesses, espe­ci­al­ly craft­smen pro­fi­ted from orders for exten­si­ve con­s­truc­tion mea­su­res at the air base. For the enti­re peri­od the air base has exis­ted, the muni­ci­pal aut­ho­ri­ties and tho­se respon­si­ble at the air base did their best to stay on good terms. Events such as the town balls, which took place at the air base fre­quent­ly, as well as the “open days” are prime examp­les of the good rela­ti­onship. Thus, more than 200,000 visi­tors came to the air base in 1960, one year later the NATO air­show attrac­ted some 500,000 visitors.

Despi­te all this, parts of the popu­la­ti­on expres­sed their con­cerns about air­craft noise.