vendredi 30 décembre 2011

Berlin crisis and operation "Stair Step", 50 years later...

This month, in Air Fan french magazine (n° 397 décember 2011), you can read the article I wrote to celebrate the 50th anniversary of operation "Stair Step", as a US response to the Berlin crisis. 

In 1961, as USSR & East germany started building the Berlin wall, the USA decided to strengthen their military forces in Europe, and especially USAFE. To do so, president Kennedy called several Air National Guard (ANG) units to active duty. Several squadrons, mainly ffighter-bombers ones, were deployed to France, Germany and Spain to face the soviet threat.

F-84F Thunderstreak belonging to the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron from 
Missouri ANG, en route to Toul-Rosières

For the USA, this crisis made possible to reactivate some airbases in France, after several years of stand by status. As a result Chambley AB, Etain AB, Chaumont AB and Toul-Rosières AB each host a F-84F squadron. Meanwhile a whole fighter-bomber wing take possession of Phalsbourg AB,  with its F-86H Sabre.

These F-86H Sabre of 101st TFS were integrated to USAFE during 
the Berlin crisis and sent to Phalsbourg AB, France.
Here is only a part of the deployment focused on France. But to get a detailed inventory of the whole "Stair Step" operation, illustrated by some pretty unseen and rare pictures, order your Air Fan sample now!

You can also take a look at last september's issue of Air Force Magazine :

jeudi 29 décembre 2011

France Air NATO, finally in english!

NATO air power, shot in Chaumont Air Base, France, during a Tactical Weapons
Meet in the second half of the years  1960's. © NATO

After two years of a french-only existence, France-Air-OTAN, le blog welcomes his twin brother, France-Air-NATO, the blog, devoted to every people interested in NATO aviation history in France, covering 1950's and 60's, as well as current use of former air bases and their conversions. If you are USAF or RCAF veteran who served in France, spotter, or just a little nostalgic about this era, this blog is for you!

I will do my best to let you aware of veteran's reunions, books and articles releases, or just general news dealing with NATO, USAF, RCAF or FAF cold war history! To do so, you will be really helpful by sharing your informations with me, if you are organizing events such as reunion, in the USA, Canada, or France of course! I am also always interested in pictures (aircrafts, air bases general views, memorabilia...) Please use the "Contact" link in the right column! Moreover, do not hesitate to leave comments and reactions to my posts.

Just a little word about me : I was born and grew up in Lorraine, France, in the early 1980's. I currently live in Metz. Fond of aviation since my boyhood, I became really passionate for the cold war NATO airbases history in France. I published a book in 2008 (Les forces aériennes de l'OTAN en Lorraine), unfortunately quickly sold out, and have now several projects about this subject. My last work was an article published in this december 2011 issue of french magazine Air Fan .

Just a final point before closing this first post : thank you for your indulgence, as english is not my mother tongue. So, sorry for the mistakes! I hope you will enjoy this new version of my blog! 

                                                                                                 Regards from France! 
                                                                                                              Fabrice Loubette.