GERMAN AIR FORCE Tactical Air Group 71″Richthofen”
Wittmund Northern Germany.
JG 71 is part of NATO’s Immediate Reaction Force, meaning that it must be ready to deploy 12 aircraft on five days’ notice. However, the likelihood of having to deploy at such short notice is almost nil, so the fulfilling Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) interceptions for Northern Germany. JG 71 is sharing its QRA duties with JG 74, which completed Eurofighter conversion in late-2008. Depending on the situation, the dividing line between the two units is roughly Frankfurt–Berlin, with JG 71 protecting the northern part of Germany.
In 2007, for the second year running, JG 71 was German Air Force’s record-breaking fighter wing in terms of flying activity, clocking up over 7,600 flying hours.
The unit is on 24/7 readiness to intercept unidentified aircraft over Germany. Between June and September 2008 the unit took part in NATO‘s Baltic Air Policing. The unit participated in a Baltic Air Policing deployment from 1 November 2009. In June 2010 six of the unit’s F-4s were deployed to Iceland as part of NATOs Icelandic Air Policing mission.
In 2010 JG 71 began receiving its first Eurofighters. The wing flew a mixed fleet for three years until June 2013 when the last Phantoms were withdrawn as scheduled.