The 'First Squadron' from the Lechfeld was part of the german fighterbomber wing 32 (JaboG 32 = Jagdbombergeschwader 32). Both are history since 2012/2013. Our squadron was disbanded 26/10/2012 in a small and unglorious ceremony. Only few guests were invited to the end of one of the most famous flying squadrons of the post-war German Luftwaffe. The wing then was set out of service March 31 2013. This time in a some more bigger ceremony and a big LAST CALL party for the last active and all one-time members.
The 1st Squadron of Fighter Bomber Wing 32 (321 Squadron) was set to service in 1958 at Lechfeld airbase and assigned to NATO in 1959. The first aircraft to be flown on the Lechfeld after WW II was the F-84F THUNDERSTREAK. It's era ended 1966 after 80.000 flying hours. The Lechfeld itself has a very long and interesting story. Established as a training range for the royal bavarian army artillary, it hosted later on one of the first bavarian airfields and during the nazi regime the famous Me-262. Tthe first jet fighter aircraft - basis for all (US) jets - was build and tested at the lechfeld. Read here about it.
From 1965 until 1984 the legendary F-104 STARFIGHTER flew 200.000 hours on the Lechfeld before the Fighter Bomber Wing 32 started its conversion to the MRCA (Multi Role Combat Aircraft) PA-200 TORNADO in the IDS (Interdictor Strike) version.
In 1991 a new version of the TORNADO was introduced to the Luftwaffe: the ECR (Electronic Combat and Reconaissance). 321 Squadron was - together with 382 Squadron in Jever - the first operational unit to be equipped with the new aircraft. In 1994 when finally all the systems, sub-systems and software updates were fitted to the aircraft, the conversion was completed.
The ECR TORNADO (stil) is unique in the Luftwaffe. All of our ECR jets which were not scrapped went to Tactical Wing 51 "Immelmann" in Schleswig (the former Recce Wing 51) which is now the only wing equipped with this type of aircraft. Within NATO the aircraft and its mission is not unique (as it was after the F-4G WILD WEASEL were decomissioned until 1999). The 50 Stormo at Piacenza in Italy is also equipped with it.
In 1995 ECR TORNADOs were deployed to Piacenza in Italy, in support of the UN missions for peace on the Balkans. Since then, they formed - together with the Recce Tornados from 51st Recce wing (Immelmann) - the Luftwaffe's Operational Wing No. 1 at Piacenza airbase in Northern Italy.
After thousands of flying hours within the framework of UNPROFOR, IFOR and SFOR the Luftwaffe embarked upon its first warlike operation since WW II in March 1999. As part of operation ALLIED FORCE to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, german ECR TORNADOs were employed from the first night to protect other NATO aircraft from surface to air missiles (SAMs). During all the nights and days while a flight of german ECR TORNADOs was present over Kosovo, not one single allied aircraft was hit by a serb SAM.
Lechfeld from Space - Lechfeld Approach - our squadron buildings
26.10.2012, disbandment: The First Squadron of FBW 32 (321 Tigers) is no longer existent. Today, the Squadron of the 321 Tigers from the Lechfeld was quietly disbanded. No ceremony, no nothing. The two squadrons from FBW 32 had flown for a couple of months out of the 322 sqadron so that it was a foreseeable consequence that one squadron had to leave. Nevertheless would it have been a better solution if both squadron would have been disbanded together with the wing in a nice ceremoniy.
02-06-2006, Change of Command: With the last flight of the squadron commander LTC Michael Sylla, and the official handover of the command to his successor, Major Lothar Sauermann, on Friday 2nd June 2006, the change of command at the 321 Tigers was complete.
Already the wednesday before, May 31st, in the course of a so called 'Italian Red Carpet Night', the so far last flight of the old CO took place. Approx. 150 guests followed the invitation to this special event, which was accompanied by a frame program, which offered, besides a static display and a 'show briefing', also a full scale late shift flight program of the Tigers.The numerous friends and relatives of the Tigers who showed up this evening, received a very interresting view into the daily life of a flying squadron. Rounded off was this day with the welcome when our 'Tiger Boss' and his WSO and former senior ops officer of the Tigers, LTC 'Monte' Berg, who was also on his last flight in Lechfeld, finally landed. Both were welcomed at the shelter by many special guests and by a group of extraordinary pretty cheerleaders. The following reception at the squadron bar with italian wine and specialties gave a good frame for the good-bye words of the commander of the flying group.Finished was this eventful week then on friday with the official ceremony for the handover of the command of the 1. Squadron FBW 32. LTC Mike Sylla will - following this "best flying assignment", which he was allowed to fullfil for nearly 3 years - attend the canadian international staff officer course at the Canadian Forces College in Torontoin, Canada. After that, starting July 2007, he will serve 3 more years as a Luftwaffe liason officer at the canadian NDHQ- National Defence Headquater, Ottawa.
Good luck for you Mike and your family!!
The squadron with the old CO - Transition of the command by the wing commander - Good-by to LTC Sylla by Oberst Kollmann
24/09/2010 - Change of command: the 321 Tigers have a new Squadron Commander (Staka in German). The Command was handed over by the commanding officer of the flying group LTC Jürgen Akkermann from LTC Stephan Huber to Maj. Joerg-Ralf Schroeder.