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Old 28th Aug 2009, 10:33   #1 (permalink)
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: the Alamo battleground
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Exclamation (ex-RAF) Nordhorn

Hello military ppruners!

The German shooting range in Nordhorn, has made the news indirectly a few weeks ago by being one of the remaining two operational military training ranges. The range in Wittstock, Brandenburg aka “Bombodrom” will finally be closed by the German military due to fierce public resistance.

This has brought back quite a bit of memories since my parents live in the vicinity, and I haven't seen or heard anything about it since I left over 15 years ago. Information from wiki etc. has been sparse at best and I wonder if there is any military ppruner out there who's willing to share some info about the range.

I'll just list the questions I have in no particular order:

Was this shooting range just used for shooting (dop!) or bomb dropping as well? Where there any other NATO nations besides the USAF w/ A10s that used the range? Were combined exercises (meaning different a/c types) performed? Any special procedures in regards to the nuclear power plant nearby? Was it a complete visual exercise or was there any instrument flying involved? Where were the RAF squadrons based?

Any info appreciated.

7 7 7 7
Squawk7777 is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2009, 10:51   #2 (permalink)
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I've dropped practice bombs there from my 'Tin Triangle'(Vulcan ,617 Sqn & 35 Sqn), we used to end up there at the end of a low level trek round Germany when taking part in NATO exercises.
Specaircrew is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2009, 12:34   #3 (permalink)
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I used to fly pipeline patrols right through it a few years ago. Didn't they use it for artillery practice/testing aswell?
CyclicRick is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2009, 13:06   #4 (permalink)
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Guns, rockets, bombs both visually delivered and radar delivered by BAF, USAF, GAF, RDAF, RNoAF, RNlAF, RAF and anybody else who was operating in 2ATAF or 4ATAF including the French. In the Buccaneer and Tornado we used level and dive deliveries as did most others. There were strafe panels, a dive bomb circle and a Strike Target for the practice of nuclear deliveries (visual and blind). In the 70s and 80s, the RAF dropped 28lb and 4kg (replaced the 16lb PB) practice bombs and fired SNEB rockets as well as 30mm Aden and 28mm Mauser cannon. The RAF were based at Laarbruch, Gutersloh, Bruggen and Wildenrath.

One day, back in the 70s, the locals complained about the use of the range and protested on top of the Strike Target. We were banned from flying on the range the first day of the protest, on the second day we were told to fly as low and as fast over the target as possible to make the point that they were trespassing on British territory (RAF Nordhorn), on the third day the local police and Fire Service removed the trespassers with water cannon and on the 4th day we were bombing again!

The IP for the range was well to the north almost on the Dutch border and the trick was to skyline the church in the village and then set off from overhead it on a track of 181 degrees across the right hand house in a row that crossed track and then over a crossroads known as the crows 'feet', which was also the split point turn for the dive circle and strafe!

Great days.

foldingwings is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2009, 09:54   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: W Sussex
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..........a track of 181 degrees across the right hand house
known colloquially as 'the old lady's house'.
I always wondered if an old lady really lived there. Considering some of the runs were at 150ft/550kts, she might have been a little hard of hearing.
Peter Carter is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2009, 11:35   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Frankly, I don't care if she was hard of hearing - her husband shouldn't have invaded Poland.
Flap62 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2009, 08:52   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Great to know that Squawk 7777 appreciated all the effort that went into our replies to his request for information! Waer!

foldingwings is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2009, 08:59   #8 (permalink)
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Frankly, I don't care if she was hard of hearing - her husband shouldn't have invaded Poland.

If she couldn't take a joke..
Al R is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2009, 09:30   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: May 1999
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Don't forget there was also an outside toilet at a factory near Nordhorn that was also used as a target for night attacks!! (In joke but many will recognise and remember the event)

Wholigan is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2009, 12:34   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2004
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As part of a Taceval in the 70s, the Belgian Mirage wing at Liege had to qualify each squadron in FRA (First Run Attack) strafe at Nordhorn. Confident in the prowess of one of their Mirage pilots, who was always a 'high percentage scorer', one of the squadrons despatched him at the head of a stream of Mirage Vs to Nordhorn where he successfully qualified well inside the NATO standard. Having completed his FRA, he then exited the range and orbited at Lingen whilst the rest of the squadron approached the strafe targets from the north making the usual callsign exchanges with the range controller. However, as each aircraft approached abeam Lingen, they each broke out from the range pattern whilst the squadron strafe 'ace' picked up their callsign and pitched in for another FRA, scoring highly on each pass!

Those were the days!

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