Double Dutch Magazine
By Bob den Engelsman (DMAPS) and Erich Seitz (JBG-32)
What is exercise ELITE 2004?
It represents a special high point of used education and continued education of the flying units, the commanding personnel and operational personnel of the anti-aircraft ground-air missile groups. With -near to- real and complex scenarios, the co-operation of all the different Nations Weapons systems is being practiced. Goal of this complex exercise is to determine if the participating units are capable to perform under these -near to- real circumstance, as all counter measure Weapons systems are being used to make the exercise as real as possible for the flying units and the ground troops. Due to the the growing number of participants for this exercise, it has become the leading exercise of its kind within NATO. During the exercise new elements in Electronic Warfare are being practiced and new Tactics are being developed. The efficiency and affectedness of the individual units are being upgraded just because of the fact that they are present at this exercise and all the elements needed for such a complex exercise are present too.
Flight business began at Lechfeld AB on Friday the 30th of April. During that day all the participating pilots had a special briefing in regard of the specifics in German Air Space in and around the area of this exercise. Flying personal NOT present at this briefing was not allowed to fly during the exercise. The announced aircraft from Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Great Britain, Italy as well as of the Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 "I" out of Jagel/Germany had all arrived with their pilots and technical personnel safe in Lechfeld previous to this briefing. After the briefing, Familiarization Flights began for the participating flight crews. Next to NATO countries also Austria, Slovak Republic and Switzerland with different airplanes and ground troops/weapons systems participated powers in this unique exercise organized by the German Air Force. Poland and Hungary have send observers for the exercise.
On Monday 3rd of May, the actual exercise began with a first mass launch, described by Lt. General Walter Jertz, responsible as a commander of the Air Forces leadership commander for the exercise; "this looks like how it goes on an aircraft carrier". This was because of the additional 28 aircraft present at the Air Base for this exercise, operating from all possible places.
The following units were present at Lechfeld AB during exercise ELITE 2004:
Greece / Hellenic Air Force:
The Greek were represented through 341 Squadron / 111 Combat Wing of the Neon Anchialos Air base. The unit was present with three (2/1) F-16C/D and 38 men personnel (7 pilots and 31 technicians). In June 2004 the 50th anniversary of 341 Squadron is celebrated.
Italy / Italian Air Force:
The Italians are represent through 155 Squadron / 50o Stormo based at Piacenza. They are with 6 aircraft of the Type TORNADO ECR and 53 men personnel (20 pilot/navigators and 33 technicians). This is their 7th participation with an ELITE exercise.
Great Britain / Royal Air Force:
Turkey / Turkish Air Force:
Sweden / Swedish Air Force:
The Sweden are represent through F 21 Wing 211 Squadron / Norrbotton Flygflottilj out of Lulea, Lappland. They are present with 4 Saab 37 Viggens (Tk-37E) and 42 men personnel (21 flight crew and/or ground crew as well as 21 technicians). This is their second participation in a ELITE exercise.
Germany / German Air Force:
The German Air Force is represented through 2 TORNADOS RECCE of the Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 (AG-51) out of Jagel, through 4 helicopters Bo-105P of the battle helicopter regiment 36 (HFR-36) out of Fritzlar as well as through TORNADO ECR from Jagdbombergeschwader 32 (JBG-32) out of Lagerlechfeld.
We would like to thank Oberstleutnant Bokelman for his
assistance and especially thank Chief Master Sergant Erich Seitz, Public
Relations Officer from Fighter Bomber Wing 32 ECR at Lecfeld AB.
MOST PHOTOGRAPHS ARE TAKEN BY CHIEF MASTER SERGANT ERICH SEITS