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As a squadron (of French escadre and Italian squadra , German "pike square") refers to military organizations in Navy and Air Force .


Cavalry formations ( squadrons ) were originally called squadrons . The term has been used as a synonym for fleet or part of the fleet since the 17th century . A decisive prerequisite for the application of the squadron principle was the construction of a larger number of relatively equivalent warships of one class (type or series construction) , which was generally accepted towards the end of the 19th century .

Naval forces

In the Imperial Navy , the squadron was the basic structure for capital ships, usually ships of the line , battleships or cruisers . Any two existing capital ships from one type divisions formed a wing, a plurality of wing fleet.

In France and Italy , the German rank of Vice Admiral is still today called Vice-Amiral d'Escadre or Ammiraglio di Squadra (literally: "Squadron Admiral ").

In the German Navy , a squadron based on the Anglo-American system is a combination of several warships of the same type to form a combat unit at regimental or battalion level . Formations composed of various units that are temporarily put together for a mission are also referred to as squadrons in common usage. Naval aviation squadrons are essentially the same as the air force squadrons.

Air Force

In the German-speaking world, the term squadron was introduced as an organizational unit of air forces during the First World War . The names of the tasks are usually preceded by the respective task description, followed by a number. Usually there are also corresponding abbreviations, for example: Jagdbombergeschwader 32 (JaboG 32).

Over the past 100 years of military aviation there have been a. Squadron types for the following roles:

  • Reconnaissance squadron ( Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht , Luftwaffe / Bundeswehr ): aerial reconnaissance, for decades pure photo reconnaissance, today also electronic reconnaissance
  • Bomb squadron (of the OHL ) / Bogohl ( Air Force / German Empire ): Tactical ground attack
  • Fliegerzielgeschwader (Air Force / Wehrmacht)
  • Aircraft transfer squadron (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht)
  • Aircraft liaison squadron (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht)
  • Helicopter transport squadron / HTG (Air Force / Bundeswehr): Air transport
  • Helicopter squadron / HSG (Air Force / Bundeswehr): Air transport, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
  • Jagdfliegergeschwader / JG ( NVA ): Air combat
  • Jagdgeschwader / JaGe, JG (Fliegertruppe / Deutsches Kaiserreich, Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe / Bundeswehr): Air combat, until the introduction of the F-86K in the Bundeswehr in the early 1960s, all- day fighter squadrons, with the arrival of the F-86K all-weather fighter squadrons
  • Jagdbombenfliegergeschwader / JBG (NVA): Tactical ground attack
  • Jagdbombergeschwader / JaboG (Luftwaffe / Bundeswehr): Tactical ground attack
  • Kampfgeschwader / KG (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): tactical ground attack, de facto "bomber squadrons" equipped with twin-engine bombers
  • Lehrgeschwader / LG (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): Assessment of the deployment of aircraft that were often won in combat missions
  • Light Combat Squadron / LeKG (Air Force / German Army): tactical ground attack ( close air support )
  • Air transport squadron / LTG (Air Force / Bundeswehr): Tactical air transport
  • Air support squadron ( Federal Army / Austria ): Tactical air transport
  • Marinefliegergeschwader / MFG (NVA, German Navy ): The operational roles of the MFGs are not derived from the name. The NVA operated the MFG 28 , which was equipped with fighter-bombers, and the German Navy also operated two fighter-bomber associations. Today the German Navy only operates maritime patrols and helicopters .
  • Nachtjagdgeschwader / NJG (Air Force / Wehrmacht): Air combat
  • Battle squadron (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): tactical ground attack (close air support), emerged from the dive combat squadrons
  • Schnellkampfgeschwader (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): tactical ground attack
  • Seenotgeschwader (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): Search and Rescue
  • Sturzkampfgeschwader (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): tactical ground attack (close air support)
  • Tactical Air Force Squadron (Luftwaffe / Bundeswehr): Air reconnaissance, combat and tactical ground attack, a "multi-role" squadron
  • Transport helicopter squadron / THG (NVA): Air transport
  • Surveillance squadron (Federal Army / Austria): Air combat, de facto a "fighter squadron"
  • Destroyer squadron (Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht): Air combat, de facto "fighter squadrons" equipped with twin-engine heavy fighters

Note: There are practically no strategic units in the German-speaking area. The most likely exception is the transport and air refueling squadron of the German flight readiness (1. LTStff / FlBschft BMVg).

Air forces in the German Empire

The first squadron formations, each consisting of several squadrons, were set up in the German Air Force during the First World War . By the end of the war:

Luftwaffe Wehrmacht

In the Air Force of the Armed Forces a squadron of three existed until four groups to 27 per aircraft and the squadron staff.

Air Force NVA

In the NVA air force , the squadron usually consisted of the squadron command, with the commander at the head, the deputies and:

The combat squadrons were comparable to the battalion and were commanded by active aviators in the rank of major , lieutenant colonel from the rank group of staff officers and consisted of three aviator chains each. Subordinate to the squadron commander, also a squadron commander or squadron leader, was one company of technical personnel, which in turn was divided into three groups.

The flying personnel consisted exclusively of professional soldiers , the technical personnel of professional soldiers ( officers , ensigns and professional NCOs ) as well as regular soldiers in the ranks of NCOs .

The service position of the squadron commander was comparable to the functional designation used in the Wehrmacht Air Force and the German Armed Forces, Commodore .

German Air Force and Navy

The Air Force refers to the flying formations as Fliegergeschwader and the air defense units as anti-aircraft missile squadrons . Hierarchically, they are comparable to the ship squadron of the Navy and the regiment of the Army .

The function name for the commanding officer of an Air Wing ( Engl. Wing or group ) is Commodore with the rank of colonel or naval captain in the Navy. The Air Force currently has tactical air force squadrons, air transport squadrons and helicopter squadrons. The Navy currently has two naval aviation squadrons. The Army Aviation describe their flying units as regiments.

The inventory of an air force squadron usually includes:

  • the flying group (FlgGrp)
  • the technical group (TGrp)
  • the air base group (dissolved)

The flying group

The flying group includes the flying squadrons and the flight operations squadron , which u. a. consists of the air traffic control train with space and approach control service and flight advice, the air base fire brigade, the telecommunication center, the electronic support train and the telecommunication electronic train.

The technical group

The technical group is responsible for the provision of the aircraft through maintenance and repair . In addition, logistical tasks are carried out here. The Tactical Air Force Wing 33 with an air base group (for security and transport tasks) is an exception to this basic structure .


In foreign missions and exercises, structures are set up that are based on the respective framework conditions (e.g. number of weapon systems, required logistical support, required property protection, etc.).

Examples of previous Bundeswehr squadrons are:

  • Operational Wing 1 of the Air Force in Piacenza (Italy) (1995 to 2001): Tornado Association (reconnaissance and ECR) in the context of various operations (including IFOR , SFOR , KFOR )
  • Operational squadron Mazar-e Sharif : Combined armed forces of CH-53, Transall C-160 and reconnaissance tornadoes in one operational area. This is the Bundeswehr's largest squadron to date. It was divided into three groups. The commander of the Einsatzgruppe (EinsGrp), a lieutenant colonel , leads the air reconnaissance , MedEvac and air transport forces. In addition, he ensures airspace monitoring as well as support for air traffic control and the organization of flight operations. The commander of the operational support group is responsible for the logistics and technical availability of the aircraft. Due to the threat situation, the Commodore is also responsible for the property protection group , including infantry and ordnance disposal.

Anti-aircraft missile squadron

The only remaining anti-aircraft missile squadron 1 (FlaRakG 1) of the Air Force is divided into four anti-aircraft missile groups (FlaRakGrp) with the support and combat squadrons.

The structure of the squadrons of the German Air Force is generally not transferable to the air forces of other nations. Different management philosophies are represented in numerous variations of the structures.

See also

Wiktionary: Squadron  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Reinhard Brühl , Albrecht Charisius, Klaus Dorst a. a. (Ed.): Dictionary of German military history. Volume 1: A - Me. Military publishing house of the German Democratic Republic, Berlin (East) 1985, p. 248.
  2. ↑ Change of leadership in the task force of the Einsatzgeschwader Mazar-e Sharif  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Air Force Press and Information Center, December 16, 2008.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.luftwaffe.de  
  3. ^ Structure of the operational wing MeS on the Luftwaffe homepage; viewed on January 5, 2009  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.luftwaffe.de