Squadron Exchanges 1986

20 till 29 May 1986

This month there was a two-way exchange between the Italian Air Force Rimini based 23 Gruppo and the Norwegian 332SKV at Rygge AB. Participating Italian Starfighters were MM6775/5-30, MM6814/5-42 and MM6878 5-44. The fourth aircraft is still unknown.
Beneath some formation photos showing various Italian Starfighters together with Norwegian F-16s over Norway. The third photo was taken over the Mount Etna (volcano) in Italy showing "host" Starfighter MM6704/5-41 leading two Norwegian F-16s. Photos thanks to Riccardo Vestuto and Tom Svendsen. Also a photo showing the arrival of the four Norwegian F-16s at Rimini.

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6 till 16 June 1986

This month the German Navy held one if its last squadron exchange with Starfighters involved by a squadron exchange between the 2nd staffel of MFG2, based at Eggebek, and the Italian Air Force 20 Gruppo based at Grosseto, flying the TF-104G and F-104G. It was a 2-way squadron exchange but both not at the same time. First two Navy F-104G and two TF-104G aircraft flew to Italy (6 till 16 June period) while later that month four Italian one-seaters (no TFs) flew to Germany (16 till 25 June period).

Late June 1986

This month the Belgium Air Force 1 Escadrille, based at Bierset and flying the Mirage 5BA, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 18 Gruppo based at Trapani-Birgi, flying the F-104S. It is unknown if it was a 1 or 2-way squadron exchange but at least the Italians flew to Belgium. The four participating aircraft were MM6843/37-02, MM6918/37-04, MM6876/37-16 (new lightgrey small codes) and finally MM6802. At least some aircraft were seen at Bierset on 26 June. The MM6802 had just arrived with 18 Gruppo and did not yet have a squadron code applied. This was the first exchange of 18 Gruppo after it was reformed during 1984.
Beneath a photo showing the MM6843 code 37-02 on the flightline of Bierset on June 26th (by Jean Marie Hanon) and a photo showing MM6876 (taken after the exercise at Decimonannu) showing the Zapp which was applied on the aft fuselage during the exchange (Photo Peter Mühlböck).

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16th till 25 June 1986

This month the German Navy held one if its last squadron exchange with Starfighters involved by a squadron exchange between the 2nd staffel of MFG2, based at Eggebek, and the Italian Air Force 20 Gruppo based at Grosseto, flying the TF-104G and F-104G. It was a 2-way squadron exchange but both not at the same time. First two Navy F-104G and two TF-104G aircraft flew to Italy (6 till 16 June period) while later that month four Italian one-seaters (no TFs) flew to Germany (16 till 25 June period).

June 1986

This year the Spanish Air Force 212 Escuadron (ALA 21), flying the SF-5A from Moron, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 9 Gruppo based at Grosseto, flying the F-104S. It is unknown if it was a 1 or 2-way squadron exchange but at least the SF-5A flew to Grosseto.

10 till 18 July 1986

Since MFG2 was almost retiring the F-104, the last Starfighter involved squadron squadron exchange took place in July 1986 with Turkish Air Force squadron 161 Filo Bandirma, flying the F-104G. The 1st staffel of MFG2 went to Bandirma with RF-104G 21+19, F-104G 26+78 and two TF-104G aircraft 27+81 and 28+25. According Axel Ostermann, the Turkish squadron left them completely alone during their stay except for one short familiarization flight in the beginning. The very nice air-to-air photos beneath (thanks to Axel Ostermann) show the Turkish 5722/6-722 during the mentioned familiarization flight while the other show the German aircraft flying over the Turkish countryside. Note the Turkish flags on their tails which they received lateron at Bandirma. It was a one-way exchange, only the Germans flew to Turkey.

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Early August 1986

This month the USAFE 38 TRS/26 TRW, flying the RF-4C Phantom from Zweibrucken, Germany, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 132 Gruppo based at Villafranca, flying the RF-104G and F-104G. It was a 2-way squadron exchange. Sadly, on August 4th, one of the participating aircraft, MM6586/3-12, carrying an Orpheus pod, crashed near Bernach, in Germany during the exchange, gladly the pilot Capt. A Corselli ejected safely. Other aircraft have not yet been identified.

August 1986

This month JBG34 (2nd Staffel), flying the F-104G at Memmingen AB, exchanged with the Hellenic 345 MIRA, flying the A-7H at Souda. It was very likely a one-way event where at least 6 Starfighter (including one lizard painted TF-104G, likely 27+77) flew to Greece for a 10 days stay. Beneath a photo showing Greek and German pilots in front of the German two-seater at Souda, thanks to Dimitris Adamopoulos.

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Late August 1986

This month the Hellenic Air Force 336 Mira, flying the F-104G, based at Araxos AB, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 22 Gruppo based at Istrana, flying the F-104S. It is unknown if it was a 1 or 2-way squadron exchange but at least the Greek Starfighters flew to Italy. Aircraft seen in Italy on August 25th were F-104G 7087/FG-087, 7153/FG153, 7195/FG195 and TF-104G 5921/TF912. Beneath a photo showing aircraft 7153 landing at Istrana on August 25th. It was taken by Sergio Gava. Also a group taken at Araxos thanks to Maria Anastopoulou

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27 August till 5 September 1986

Four Italian Starfighters from the Villafranca based 28 Gruppo exchanged with German Air Force AG51 at Bremgarten flying the RF-4E Phantom. It was a two-way squadron exchange. Only 1 participating Italian F-104’s at Bremgarten could be identified being RF-104G MM6651 code 3-47 as seen beneath.

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September 1986

This month the Royal Air Force 43 Squadron, based at Leuchars, UK, flying the Phantom FG.1, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 21 Gruppo based at Cameri, flying the F-104S. It was a 2-way squadron exchange.

21 till 30 October 1986

This month the Dutch Air Force 306 Squadron, flying the F-16, based at Volkel AB, was involved in a squadron exchange with the Italian Air Force 102 Gruppo based at Rimini, flying the F-104S and F-104S/ASA. It was a 2-way squadron exchange. Italian Starfighters seen at Volkel were MM6791/5-06 (S), MM6792/5-25 (S/ASA), MM6798/5-16 (S) and MM6848/5-26 (S). Two F-104S aircraft flew to Soesterberg Air Base already in February 22nd, 1986 which was a planned pre-visit for the squadron exchange at Volkel AB. During the squadron exchange one of the F-104s (MM6798 serial 5-16) pulled so much G during one of the dogfights with F-16s that he had to stay on the ground for a while for intensive inspection. Afterall it was ok and the aircraft departed to Rimini lateron. Beneath photos of the four participating Italian Starfighters taken at Volkel. All taken by Michael de Boer except aircraft 5-06 which was taken by Rene Kolle.

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