Please help me on this, I forget : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


ODESSA (Texas)-The German air force says the United States has no court jurisdiction to restrict its Luftwaffe pilots from low-level training missions in West Texas."--------- -----"He said the immunity claim runs counter the Holloman "bed-down" agreement the Germans signed in which they agreed to abide by the laws and regulations of the U. S. Airforce before beginning operations in the United States in 1991." The article mentions the U.S. Airforce is training German pilots at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Please help me on this, I forget. Why are the Germans here? Why are we spending our tax dollars to train them? What is in it for the U. S.? What is the spin?(The answer to that question is not the same as the answer to the first question).

-- Roberta Blackard (, December 02, 1998


Roberta, The German Air Force has been training with our pilots since at least 1974, and probably much earlier. I was stationed at Luke Air Force base (just West of Phoenix, AZ) and they were flying the F-104 - a brick with a jet engine attached :) which proved the theory that anything will fly with enough horsepower behind it.

They are probably training with NATO in mind. There are lots of reasons to do this. One really good one is that if a German pilot is flying with a U.S. pilot and he zigs when our guy zags the result is lots of small metal pieces of aircraft spread over a wide area. Another really good reason is that this kind of training builds trust between cooperating forces (like the multi-national forces created before the Gulf War also circa 1990).

If I remember, West Texas has a low level navigation training base near the Big Bend area very near the Mexican border - I can't remember the name. But, I can't imagine the U.S. and German governments, or Air Forces, fighting over this, is there a civilian in there somewhere?

The fact that there is a suit over something like this only proves, IMHO, that things generally stop making any sense when lawyers get involved. Which brings me back to Y2K - How do we keep our justice system from following the same insane path in a post Y2K World?

-- Lance Young (, December 02, 1998.

Hi Lance, How refreshing to hear a non-paranoid reply. I was expecting the black helicopter people to fill my e-mail coffers.

As for the lawyers-----If post y2k we are forced to deal with real people face to face, and if people cannot make wild accusations without proof and public opinion is what you know your neighbors think, then lawyers are going to be hard pressed to present their case. I am hoping for a small feifdom with a benevolent despot.


-- Roberta Blackard (, December 02, 1998.

From LUFTWAFFE STRENGTHENS "TEAM HOLLOMAN" (Flug Revue, Dec. 1996, "Germany's leading aerospace magazine!):
The Luftwaffe is responsible for its flying operation from Holloman, but adheres to the regulations of the USAF host, the Wing Commander of the 49th Fighter Wing. In a few years, the Training Command will enter the next phase (Holloman II). At that point the entire German Tornado training will be concentrated in New Mexico. This was initiated by the US offer to use the free capacities and the end of the former training concept in Germany: The Alpha Jet operation in F|rstenfeldbruck will cease in 1997, TTTE training in Cottesmore, UK, will run out in 1999. Also, the Phantom training was already moved in 1992 from George AFB, Calif., to Holloman. The Tornado weapon system training, right now in Cottesmore, and the instructor training, right now in Jever, Germany, will also move to the Luftwaffe's newest base in the US. Another 600 soldiers and 30 more aircraft will go to Holloman in 1999 to facilitate a smooth transition, making the Training Command at Holloman the largest permanent Luftwaffe command outside of Germany.

This web site quotes a report from the Congressional Research Service of The Library of Congress:

At a press briefing on May 2 [1996], Ken Bacon, the Pentagon spokesperson, said that it was "not quite accurate" to say that the Germans had established a permanent military base on U.S. soil. Rather, he said, "[t]hey are tenants at an American military base.... I think that we should not look at this, this should not be portrayed by anybody as a German invasion or occupation of U.S. space. It's not that. This is an opportunity for two allies to train together." During the briefing, Bacon was asked again and again about the precise status of the German Air Force at Holloman. The briefing card he used stated: "...Holloman is a U.S, Air Force Base, has been in existence since 1942 and will remain a U.S. Air Force installation....The U,S. Air Force 49th Fighter Wing Commander shall exercise overall responsibility and will have command and control of all base operations. The Germans are a tenant unit under his operational control."

This is quite a long report, and may answer some of your questions. On Feb. 23, 1998, the Los Angeles Times ran this article : Tolerance Is Low for Low-Flight Training Around the World. This paragraph appears:

Germany has moved most of its low-altitude training to Canada's Goose Bay air base in Labrador and the United States' Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico under agreements with the two nations. "Because low flying is so unpopular in Europe, there's a tendency to dump it on less populated areas," complains Grace Potorti of Reno, Nev., whose Rural Alliance for Military Accountability has fought the use of such training in the United States for 13 years.

-- Tom Carey (, December 02, 1998.

Repeat after me please:

"One. The military has only one mission - to protect us (the US) from foreign enemies. It does this by killing people and breaking things."

"Two. To do its mission, (to win future wars) the military must practice, or our soldiers and airmen will be murdered. The US Army and Navy lost tens of thousands of men - killed and captured into unbelieveable torture and starvation - early in WWII because we had not practiced fighting realistically under real conditions. Hundreds of ships, planes, and thousands of arms were lost becasue we were not ready to fight.

"Three. The same is true for other countries. Friendly and enemy.

"Four. The country has treaties with many nations - some of whom (UK, Canada, France) were allies in WWII - some of whom Japan, Germany, Italy were enemies. To preotect our troops (our interests) it is essential that any one we fight alongside of be at least as capable as our own troops. Or our troops are surrounded and die. If there is a valid treaty with a country - we must ensure they can be trained. Funding (compensation) is expected, and is received in many different ways, including being allowed to use bases in their country.

"Five. Low level training can't realistically be done over populated areas - but it MUST be done. Else our pilots will be killed in the first days in the next war when they have to fly low to avoid getting killed. And to kill the enemy. See above.

Six. Therefore, these people who have been suing about this kind of training are making their living (who is paying them?) trying to prevent our soldiers from winning the next war. Why? Why do they want our soldiers to die? Why do they want our military to lose?

Seven. By the way, these same arguments can be made about landmines.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 02, 1998.

Our military has so many different training arrangements with various allies that it would take a book to list them all and all their ramifications. Send me an email and I will send you the story my nephew told me about the recruit from Cameroon, Africa who went through Basic training over here as part of one of these programs. It can't be printed on a family level post - but is funny to me anyway - but I am told I have a warped sense of humor.

-- Paul Davis (, December 02, 1998.

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