German Planes Headed for US!

I see herethat we will soon have NATO planes patrolling the US coasts.

Is there any precedence for this sort of thing? Obviously the US has done it in some other places, but has anyone else gotten our back in such a high profile way?

mmmmm…german pilots.

Now if they’d only send their fireman over.

German pilots and aircraft have been coming over here for years, as have pilots and aircraft from other allied nations. The German squadron of ex-East German MiG-29 aircraft has come over at least once to conduct practical air-to-air exercises.

My understanding is that the Luftwaffe has been training its pilots in Arizona for many years as the weather here is better and the skies are more “wide open”.

Gots to get me to Arizona

The Luftwaffe trains there? I thought it was just Lufthansa. (And didn’t Lufthansa stop training there just recently?)

Yes, but there’s a difference between going on exercises and actively defending sovereign borders. My question is, has the US ever wanted/needed anyone else to defend us, or fight on our behalf? I can’t think of any since the French in the 1780s.

BTW, I think this is great. I will admit that I was pessimistic about the reliability and loyalty of our NATO allies (aside from UK and Canada), and I am glad to be shown wrong.

There was a Royal Canadian Air Force operational air base on Annette Island, in Alaska, during the Second World War, which I think was the only Canadian base on US soil. The units there was the 135th (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF, which flew Hurricanes (Mk XIIs), and later the 149th (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, RCAF, which flew Venturas.

The German AF (are they still called Luftwaffe?) also has people at Dulles IAP, or at least they did as of about 3 yrs ago when I moved out of the area.

Well, we might have wanted someone to step in when Washington was burning, but it didn’t happen, and we’ve never had more than a territory under serious threat from a foreign power (the CSA was never officially recognized, the flag has never lost a star) since. And since nobody stepped in to ‘restore democracy’ during the Civil War, no, I don’t think anyone has fought to defend us since the French.

Now, as for fighting on our behalf, I think the Afghanis might qualify: They were supplied by the US government to fight the Soviets during the 1979-1989 war. AFAIK, no US soldiers died there (officially). So, the Taliban might have fought on our behalf, even if they were fighting their own war. Neat fact: Osama bin Ladin’s terrorist camps were built by the CIA from American plans.

“has the US ever wanted/needed anyone else to defend us, or fight on our behalf?”

What the Germans are supplying is AWACS aircraft with trained crews because this is a resource that we can use and they have to offer us. I guess that operating a radar station with wings could be considered “defending” or “fighting”; then again, it might not be.

And isn’t it Texas, not Arizona, where the German pilots train?

This is not a citation worth anything, but the guy on NPR just said that this is the first time that NATO forces have been dispatched in defense of the United States.

Uh, yeah. Seeing as how the US has always been the big dog in NATO, this fact is not surprising me.

Their motive was to fight for their own country; we supported them because it suited us (In hindsight…).

I don’t think they thought of themselves as acting on our behalf. It was their war before it was ours.

The Luftwaffe has training at Hollomon AFB in southern New Mexico, and the Bundeswehr also has personel at Fort Bliss in West Texas/New Mexico.
So they already have quite a few planes and personel here. I suppose they will simply conduct patrols in addition to training here.

A wild guess on my part -
How about British anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic during WW2? Does defending convoys count?

I think that’s as close as we’ll get. Prize to Kelly.

Ah, the Luftwaffe - the Washington Generals of the History Channel.
-Homer Simpson

The Luftwaffe has an active-duty fighter squadron based at Holloman AFB for training purposes, they don’t have any combat duties. We’ve got more wide-open spaces that allow for high-speed low-level flying over here. NATO units often take part in the Air Force’s Red Flag excercises at Nellis AFB in Nevada, but those are just short-term excercises.

This is, however, the first time a NATO unit (not just Germans, from what I hear) has deployed to the United States in order to assist in providing security for the nation.

Of course, it’s also the first time the US military has performed combat air patrol over the continental United States…

Yes, because it simply means “air force”. The U.S. Air Force, for example, is also called the “amerikanische Luftwaffe” in German.

More info - here’s the NATO press release:
They aren’t so much German planes as they are NATO planes based in Germany. Apparently the squadron is commanded by a USAF general. Looks like it’s mostly Americans and Germans, though…with quite a few other nationalities.