Nordhorn air / ground shooting range

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Nordhorn air / ground shooting range

Coat of arms air-to-ground firing range

Association badge
Lineup 2001 (Bundeswehr)
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Armed forces armed forces
Armed forces Force Base
Strength ~ 30 civil / military
Insinuation Territorial Tasks Command of the Bundeswehr
Location Nordhorn

The Nordhorn air / ground shooting range (until 2001 Nordhorn Air To Ground Weapon Range ( Nordhorn Range for short )) is a military training area for the German Air Force located near Nordhorn . The 2,193 hectare area is the largest training area used by the Air Force in Germany.


Expansion of the entire Clausheide estate in 1914
Coat of arms of the Royal Air Force Station NORDHORN approx. 1945–2001

The Nordhorn Range was originally part of Gut Klausheide , which was founded on land bought from 1910 by Berta and Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and named after their son Claus. The northern part of the site (north of the Ems-Vechte Canal ) was used for agriculture, while the southern part remained largely unused. 1,927 of Gutsbezirks was in the northern part airfield Klausheide from the Lufthansa reported as an emergency landing. During the Second World War , the air force expanded the area into what is known as the Klausheide port of operations .

Since the Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach family were not interested in using the southern area, they made it available to the Reichswehr in 1933 . It initially used it as an artillery firing range. From the beginning of the Second World War, the area was also used as a bomb dropping area by the Air Force .

After the Second World War, the training area was taken over by the Royal Air Force Germany , which acquired additional areas. As the frequency of use increased with the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, the first protests among the population began in 1954. The increasing number of missed throws on areas outside of the now called Nordhorn Range also contributed to this.

On November 17, 1978, the ordinance on the establishment of the noise protection area for the Nordhorn air-to-ground firing range (LSbV-Nordhorn) of November 9, 1978 came into force. The Engden Desert nature reserve was established in 1988 and expanded to 1,012 hectares in 2002, so that now almost half of the site is under nature protection. Wolves have been sighted repeatedly on the site since 2014 .

Furthermore, during the Cold War, makeshift airfields were planned for the nearby federal motorways 30 and 31 , which were still largely in the planning stage at the time , but these were no longer realized.

After more than fifty years of use, the Royal Air Force handed the training area over to the German Armed Forces in 2001 , which continues to operate it under the name Luft- / Bodenenschießplatz Nordhorn (SPlKdo Nordhorn). In terms of service, however, he is not, as one might assume, subordinate to the Air Force , but to the Territorial Tasks Command of the Bundeswehr of the armed forces base . This continues to use it as the Nordhorn air-to-ground firing range . After the armed forces took over the site, the systematic removal of duds from eighty years of use began.

In order to relieve the population, some of the bombs were to be relocated to the Wittstock military training area in the state of Brandenburg , as soon as an enforceable use permit was available for it. Most recently, however, the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg confirmed the judgments of the lower court in March 2009 that no low-flying aircraft will be allowed to train on the Brandenburg area in the future either. The Ministry of Defense accepted this decision and did not appeal. After the Siegenburg Range in Bavaria was closed as a further practice area and the area is still planned in the 2011 stationing concept , longer-term use is considered likely.


The exercise area, which is 10 km wide in east-west and 9 km deep in north-south, 68 percent of which is forested, enables air / ground shooting and bombing even at night. There are also opportunities for blasting.

Flying formations of NATO that use the range are:

The Air Force currently conducts around 750 training missions each year.

Criticism and efforts to close the square

He has been exposed to criticism since he started using the space for target practice. The reasons for this are the aircraft noise and the environmental pollution, the proximity of the Emsland nuclear power plant and individual missiles. All parliamentary groups in the Nordhorn city council as well as higher levels of the respective parties are calling for the square to be given up.

After the above-mentioned successful lawsuit by Brandenburg municipalities and civil associations against the Wittstock military training area ("Bombodrom") in Brandenburg, which had not been allowed to be used by the Bundeswehr since the end of 2000 due to decisions of the Federal Administrative Court and the Potsdam Administrative Court , the counties Grafschaft Bentheim and Emsland , the cities of Nordhorn and Lingen , the joint municipality of Schüttorf and the municipalities of Wietmarschen , Emsbüren and Geeste have brought a joint action against the continued use of the Nordhorn range.

In a judgment of July 16, 2010, the administrative court in Osnabrück dismissed this action because the plaintiff municipalities had forfeited their "right of defense". Due to the long-term non-enforcement of the right of defense (from 2001 to 2008), "its enforcement is a violation of good faith". The application for admission of an appeal against the judgment was also rejected by the 7th Senate of the Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Lüneburg on January 24, 2012 . In particular, the plaintiffs could not successfully invoke the fact that they wanted to wait for the conclusion of the administrative court proceedings on the “Bombodrom” in Brandenburg: “Their long-term inactivity was in any case likely to give the defendant the impression that the transition from the Nordhorn range the Bundeswehr is not being attacked, at least by legal means. ”This means that the decision of the Osnabrück administrative judge has become final.

Furthermore, various citizens' groups are fighting , such as B. the Notgemeinschaft Nordhorn-Range e. V. , which is one of the first citizens' initiatives nationwide, for a closure. This emerged from protests by residents who occupied the square on July 8, 1971 as a sign of protest. As a result, flight operations had to be suspended for 24 hours.

See also


Web links

Commons : Nordhorn air / ground shooting range  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. , last accessed on March 1, 2011.
  2. Ordinance on the determination of the noise protection area for the air / ground firing range Nordhorn on, accessed on August 9, 2016
  3. Sebastian Hamel: Wolf moves through the Nordhorn range. Photo trap provides secure evidence. Grafschafter Nachrichten , April 14, 2014, accessed December 17, 2014 .
  4. [1], accessed on July 29, 2013
  5. Services of the Armed Forces Base , accessed on July 29, 2013.
  6. cf. on the transfer also Federal Labor Court , judgment of 25 September 2003 - 8 AZR 421/02, NZA 2004, 316, 316f. with details of the organizational and timing.
  7. [2] Rolf Masselink: The thickest bombs are a few meters deep - 1.5 million ammunition parts have been cleared so far on the Nordhorn range, gn-online, November 28, 2013, accessed on April 8, 2014
  8. Linked data sheet, as of 01/12 at the Armed Forces Base , accessed on July 29, 2013.
  9. NLA OL Rep 410 acc. 226 A No. 573 - Display of bombs being dropped ... - Arcinsys detail page. Retrieved April 4, 2019 .
  10. [3] Thomas Kriegisch: Nordhorn advice: The range must go - after the incident, the mayor announces a meeting with those responsible, gn-online, March 29, 2014, accessed on April 8, 2014
  11. [4] Politicians: Stop Range Operation Immediately - De Ridder and Hilbers demand consequences of bomb failure, gn-online, March 26, 2014, accessed on April 8, 2014
  12. Steffen Hebestreit, Frankfurter Rundschau of July 17, 2010, p. 7.
  13. File number 2 A 58/08
  14. File number 7 LA 91/10
  15. [5]  ( 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. Grafschafter Nachrichten of January 28, 2012@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  

Coordinates: 52 ° 26 ′ 9 ″  N , 7 ° 12 ′ 29 ″  E