Originally posted by Netchicken
Awesome post skifreak.
Here is a link to some pctures from the base, but nothing I can read fabout the tunnels. www.billybils.de...
Nice link about Nellingen & Ecterdingen.
Nellingen also had a small airfield. At the time (1988-89), my unit shared hanger space (D Co. 4-159th Avn. -scout company of the unit) with a
Blackhawk 'dustoff' Medic unit when the unit I was assigned to flew OH-58A's &C's at Nellingen- until the 58A's & 58C's were replaced with the
OH-58D model AHIP scout aircraft and the unit moved into a new hanger with the rest of the unit at SAAF (Ecterdingen). The 4-159th Avn. deployed from
Germany to Desert Storm after I returned to the States in late 1990 (I ended up assigned to 4/3rd ACR in Ft. Bliss- already deployed there...).
Also at Nellingen was our maintaince parts support & repair support facility- but separate unit. So I had 'business' at Nellingen as well...
Anyway...at the time, there were only main 2 units assigned to SAAF. The 4-159th Avn. & an Military Intel unit (2nd. M. I.). There was also a small
'VIP' flight detatchment there as well, that flew C-12's, U-21's & special Learjets with white military livery.
I have some photos somewhere in a scrapbook taken in 1988-90 of the 'Ecterdingen' airfield- I might even have a pic of the 'airshaft' in
As far as I know, the 2nd. MI unit was deactivated- and the 4-159th are now based at 'Simmons' at Ft. Bragg (I was assigned to 1-229th ATKHB in 1995
at Simmons, and the unit was there then)...so I think that there is only a 'VIP' flight detatchment there now- and maybe a 'dustoff' unit.
Back to the topic at hand...
It may have been one thing to fly Me109's out from an underground airstrip...but it's quite different (IMO) to fly large & high powered jet aircraft
from an underground runway. An underground hanger...maybe, but probrably not a whole underground runway for the kind of aircraft suggested
(SR-71...B2...F-117...B-1B...). Anyway, why use an SR, U2, Aurora(?) for gathering intel now-a-days?...when the use of advanced satelites work much
better. Sure, there may be times when a flyover of 'sensitive' areas that may not be imediately accessable to prying satelites- that a UAV like the
Predator may still be used...but, the days of flying manned high altitude planes like the U-2 & SR-71 are over.
Case in point...the days when I was at SAAF, the 2nd. MI unit flew several versions of OV-1's & specially outfitted C-12's & U-21's with 'side
looking radar' and cameras for flying border missions along the East German border. These kind of missions were being phased out about the time I
was leaving Germany...not only because of the changing political climate at the time, but also because of the increasing reliability & use of satelite
imaging. I'm sure other Military Intel units with similar missions were being changed operationally as well, and flying 'photo recon' aircraft