German air force – aircraft, but no pilot


Bundeswehr in a different way: Only function missing-capable combat aircraft, now the staff is missing – at least in the air force Laage base in Rostock. From there, Volker Witting reported.

You fly if pilots are in there

With a deafening roar, they rise in the sky. In minutes, a distance of three Eurofighter roar Laage in a row on the shimmering runway in Rostock. Everyday life air force base. Up to 20 times a day Eurofighter from here to practice flights and for securing the German airspace.

Laage is something like the flagship site of the German air force. The air force squadron is the training site for Eurofighter pilots. According to the flight basic training abroad is here rehearsed to the practice – in the air and on the ground.

Operational jet fighters, but no pilots

The Deputy head of the air force squadron, Jan gloystein has, is proud of “his” Fliegerhorst. But he has a serious Problem: “to Me the pilots are missing.” He currently has 23. “There are 20 missing me.” As a reason he’s called a “grew up” problem in the air force; too little of the candidate so.

In other locations, the air force, it’s no different. Only about Two-thirds of the fighter pilot occupied, it is alarming in the last report of military officer Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD).

In a response to the Federal government on a request of the FDP, it was recently alone in the first half of 2018, six of the drivers had quit. In the previous five years, there were a total of only eleven. Curls and, apparently, the lucrative salaries in the field of civil aviation. The crash of two Eurofighter at the end of June has damaged the Image of the air force, as an employer, in addition. Another reason for the lack of talent the lack of flight practice in the army was for a long time, because flight ready were missing machines.

Air force at the low point

Yet about a year ago, the then-new chief of staff of the air force, Ingo Gerhartz had beaten the Alarm: “The air force is at a low point.” Many of its fighter jets were ready for use, parts of the industry are not available, the inspection of a Eurofighter takes often longer than a year. Totally unacceptable, had Gerhartz complained at the time.

The policy seems to have Ingo Gerhartz answered

The air force wing “Steinhoff” has certainly improved since then, quite a bit. The Outcry of Gerhartz has apparently left politics and industry. Colonel Jan gloystein has Lieutenant assured, however, that now 70 percent of its 24 Eurofighter operational for the training. Only in the case of the older model, it is missing rows, sometimes of spare parts; otherwise, the supply is good. It is absurd: it used to be a lack of flying machines to prepare, lack of the air force today the pilots. A Problem that is likely to deal with the German armed forces for years.

The new defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer can make advertising for the Pilotenjob: “We are not only the noise harasser,” says gloystein has.

Hope for a money blessing and a new flight simulators

Can fly freely in Laage completely noise – in one of the two “Full Mission”-flight simulators. The simulators are available in large dome-like halls. It’s cockpits are Original one of a Eurofighter with all the fittings and Displays. On the panoramic canvas of the landscape is projected, the sky, the pale sun, of the attacker. Everything is amazingly real. Pride of the Trainer claim that it is the best System in the world. 29 experts, 16 of them are former flight instructor who will supervise the Simulator-based training.

DW-Reporter Volker Witting, impressed by the flight simulator

According to NATO rules Bundeswehr pilots have to demonstrate 180 hours of flight time per year. 40 of which must be completed in the Simulator. Only around 58 percent of German pilots currently meet these requirements of the NATO response readiness. In Laage, you will soon remedy with the addition of two new flight simulators that will be used in the coming year, so that critical situations can be practiced in the air even better. In the air force you put on the defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer. The have promised for more money for the Bundeswehr to use.