German Air Force Patch 71 JG F 4F Phantom Richthofen 1a
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German Air Force Patch 71 JG F 4F Phantom Richthofen 1a

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German Air Force Patch JG 71 Fighter Wing F 4F Phantom Richthofen 1988 Wittmund AB Velcro Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 90mm by 80mm three and one half inches by three and three sixteenth inches.

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Jagdgeschwader 71 JG 71 Fighter Wing was activated in June 1959 at RAF Ahlhorn equipped with fifty Sabre Mk 6 fighter aircraft and a number of T 33A T Bird for liaison duties commanded by Major Erich Hartmann the highest scoring fighter ace in WWII and was the first German Air Force jet fighter wing. JG 71 was assigned to NATO Command Force NATO CF under 3 Air Defence Division for NATO air defence operations on 1 June 1960 including the provision of a QRA Quick Reaction Alert interception flight.  

The Wing comprises a Headquarters and three Groups namely Flying Group Technical Group and Aerodrome Group. Flying Group controls the two flying Squadrons of the Wing 711 named Seven Eleven and 712. Technical Group provides aircraft technical services including maintenance and repair weapons and ammunition survival equipment fuelling Aerodrome fire protection while Aerodrome Group provides non aeronautical activities and tasks including transportation supplies medical services Aerodrome security and defence runway and airfield repair. 

On the 43rd anniversary of the death of the Red Baron Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen JG 71 was given the honorary title of Richthofen on 21 April 1961 reflected on its emblem of a red stylized letter R over a NATO cross on a shield. Hartmann tried to adopt the yellow tulip flower and JG 52 emblem of his WWII Wing but did not receive approval. The Wing was reassigned to 4 Air Defense Division on 22 February 1962. The Wing relocated to Wittmund AB in March 1963 and began its conversion to F 104 Starfighter aircraft with the first landing on 9 April 1963 and the final Sabre operation flown in 1965 with the wing having completed 48829 Sabre flight hours. 

JG 71 was relieved of its NATO assignment on 31 January 1974 in anticipation of its transition to the F 4F Phantom II with the first received on 7 March 1974 with the Starfighters decommissioned on 19 September 1974 after the Wing achieved a total of 83182 F 104 hours. Following F 4F workup JG 71 was reassigned for NATO operations on 1 April 1975 adding fighter bomber tasking to its fighter role. 

Jagdgeschwader 71 deployed for its first low level flight training to Goose Bay Canada in June 1981 and on 2 April 1984 deployed aircraft to reinforced lengths of the A29 motorway at Ahlhorn for field landings and take offs. The Wing continued deployments and exercises in Europe Canada and USA and achieved 100000 F 4F Phantom flight hour on 12 March 1986. The Wings secondary role of Fighter Bomber Attack was relinquished in 1988 returning JG 71 exclusively to Fighter and QRA tasking. In 1991 Bae Systems began providing aerial target services from Wittmund AB for Luftwaffe and other NATO air forces equipped with F 100 Super Sabre aircraft and was unofficial known as 3 Staffel 71 JG and 713 Dartziel Staffel Dart Target Squadron. The Wing received its first upgraded F 4F Phantom II ICE Improved Combat Efficiency aircraft on 22 July 1993. With the end of the Cold War JG 71 was assigned for Krisenreaktionskrafte KRK Rapid Reaction Force in addition to its NATO obligations on 1 July 1995. Bae Systems 713 Dartziel Staffel replaced its F 100s with six A 4N Skyhawk aircraft in 2001. 

The Wing established the F 4F Training Group at Wittmund AB on 14 June 2005 following the withdrawal of F 4F Training Squadron at Fliegerisches Ausbildungszentrum der Luftwaffe FlgAusbZLw German Air Force Tactical Training Centre GAFTTC Holloman AB USA. The Wing deployed to Lithuania for NATO Air Policing from June to October 2005 and achieved 250000 F 4F Phantom flight hour on 30 May 2007. Construction of the Eurofighter simulator building commenced on 26 June 2007 at Wittmund AB. Further NATO Air Policing deployments followed from June to September 2008 and from November 2009 to January 2010. In June 2010 six F 4Fs were deployed to Iceland as part of NATO Icelandic Air Policing.  

JG 71 began receiving its first Eurofighters in 2010 and operated a mixed fleet for three years until 29 June 2013 when the last Phantoms were withdrawn. Jagdgeschwader JG 71 was redesignated Taktische Luftwaffengruppe Richthofen TaktLwGrp R Tactical Air Force Group Richthofen on 30 September 2013. 


This patch dates from 1988.




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