$300M for German Tornado Fighter Training in the USA
On June 16/11, the US DSCA announced Germany’s official request for base services, to support the German Air Force Tactical Training Center at Holloman Air Force Base (AFB), NM. Base services include training services, fuel, munitions, base operating support, and other related operational and/or logistics requirements. Munitions used by the German Tornado fighters on base will include 720 MK-82 500 pound bombs, 135 MK-84 2,000 pound bombs, and 5 BQM-167 Skeeter target drones. The estimated cost is up to $300 million, but that will depend on the final government-to-government agreement. Since there’s no contractor involved, it’s likely to be pretty close.
The German Air Force has actually been training its aircrews in the United States since 1958. Interoperability is one reason, but another is Germany’s population density, which really restricts the airspace for full-throttle fighter training. This overseas training took place on various bases before it was consolidated at Holloman AFB, NM, in 1992, and an inter-government agreement made the GAF TTC a full tenant unit on May 1/96. Holloman was picked for consistent flying weather, and for its proximity to the German Air Force Air Defense Center at Ft. Bliss, TX. DSCA [PDF] | Holloman AFB factsheet.