RAF Laarbruch

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The former Royal Air Force Station Laarbruch, more commonly known as RAF Laarbruch ICAO EDUL (from 1 January 1995 ETUL) was a Royal Air Force station, a military airbase, located in Germany on its border with the Netherlands. The base's motto was Ein feste Burg - "A Fortress Sure").

RAF Laarbruch was home to various first-line squadrons, including II Squadron flying F-4 Phantom II; and 15 and 16 Squadrons flying BAe Buccaneers and 25 Squadron 'C' Flight with Bloodhound surface to air missiles in the 1970s, followed by Jaguars in the 1980s. These were replaced by Tornadoes with four squadrons (2, 15, 16,and 20) resident.

After the first Gulf War, many of the squadrons were relocated, No. 2 Sqn going back to RAF Marham; and 15, 16, and 20 becoming reserve squadrons. When RAF G├╝tersloh closed, the Harriers of 3 and IV squadrons moved in along with the helicopters of 18 Squadron. Laarbruch was also home to 1 and 26 Squadron RAF Regiment. 18 Squadron returned to RAF Odiham in 1997 with the remaining Harrier squadrons departing to RAF Cottesmore in 1999.

After closing in 1999 the airfield found a new civilian lease of life as the budget airline airport Flughafen Niederrhein (Lower Rhine Airport), now known as Airport Weeze after the nearest large settlement. Civil operations began in May 2003.

Laarbruch squadrons

  • No. 2 Squadron RAF; flying Phantom FGR.2 up to 1976 and the SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1/T.2 from 1976 until the 1980s, then the Panavia Tornado GR.1A from the......
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