Wiesbaden: Airbase, Army Airfield, Erbenheim:
Lucius D. Clay Kaserne (known as: Wiesbaden Airbase) is a military installation of the United States Army. Wiesbaden airbase is located within Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Germany. The installation is named for General Lucius D. Clay. General Lucius Dubignon Clay was a senior officer of the United States Army who has known for his administration of occupied Germany after World War II.
It’s the headquearters of the United States Army Europe and an important station of the NSA.
Wiesbaden Airbase (Clay Kaserne) is the new U.S. Army headquearters in Europe. The U.S. Army headquarters in Heidelberg and Mannheim have relocated to Wiesbaden. Because of this decision Wiesbaden airbase is growing with many new building projects and modernizations since 2009.
June 14, 2012, Wiesbaden Army Airfield was renamed “Lucius D. Clay Kaserne”. Clay was the former U.S. Military governor in Germany and architext of the rebuilding of Germany after World War II that led to the Marshall Plan. Clay instituted Operation Vittles from Wiesbaden Army Airfield in 1948, retirging only after the Soviets lifted their blockade of Berlin.
Airplane spotting / Spotters information:
From this point you face the airport from the North. If you walk this road and look between the former OV-1D shelters, you can see the complete airfield and should be able to read off most aircraft that are outside the hangars.
2: West side approach
To reach the beginning of rumway 08, you have to drive back to spot 1 and follow the Kühweg and go right when this roads ends. After that, take the first left before the road will go underneath the railway track. This road is the Mittelpfad. Park your car/bicycle before the road will go over the small railway track. From here you will see the aircraft parked on the West corner of the airfield.
3: RWY 08 South Side
If you follow the railway track by foot you will reach spot 5 on the map, where it will be possible to take pictures of the aircraft using runway 08 with the sun behind you. Because the road near you actually is the road to the main gate, showing your camera will most likely result in being sent away.
4: The bridge
When walking or bicycling back over the Kühweg, there will be little bridge over the railway track. When you position yourself on the bridge, you must be able to read aircraft in front of the B/1st MI Bn hangar, as well as other hangars to the right of you.
!! IMPORTANT !!
Wiesbaden Airbase is known as non-spotter friendly !
The airbase is an important installation for the NSA, CIA etc. so visitors and espcially airplane spotters are NOT welcome!
The airbase is almost surrounded by roads were ONLY bicycles are allowed, please read this carefully. As temted it may look like, German police will escort you away from the roads and back on the highway. Be aware that because of the units mission, photography of aircraft on the ground as well as infrastructure is NOT ALLOWED ! I’ve seen airplane spotters and their photo equipement taken in custody when taking pictures from airplanes on the ground.
!! Intelligence !!
The European Technical Center (ETC) is a U.S. NSA (National Security Agency) signals intelligence facility based in Wiesbaden. The facility serves the NSA’s primary communications hub in Europe. The center was known by the code name: ” GODLIKELESION”
As the day of now it’s still unclear for outsiders if the NSA / CIA is still there. Over the months the number of spy planes have been increased. The C-12U’s (from the E/1-214th Avn) are usually flying with the callsign: “DUKE”. The planes have been modified with all the latest spy & intelligence hardware equipped on board.
Some of the most important units inhabiting the base include the 5-th Signal Command, the 66-th Military Intelligence Brigade, the 1-st Air Support Operations Squadron or the 485-th Intelligence Squadron, but the list can easily go on with dozens of other units and commands.
Stationing of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft in 1956:
In 1956, U-2 aircraft were stationed in Wiesbaden for several months. They belong to the CIA and carry out espionage flights at great heights above the Eastern bloc states.
● 11 June 1956: Relocation of Detachment A or “Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Provisional) WRSP-I” from Lakenheath (Great Britain) to Wiesbaden. It is operational with 4 airplanes U-2.
● 20 June 1956 – Mission 2003:
First mission flight of a U-2. The route leads over East Germany and Poland.
● 02 July 1956 – Mission 2009:
Reconnaissance flight over Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria
● 02 July 1956 – Mission 2010:
Reconnaissance flight over the GDR, Poland, Hungary and Romania
● 04 July 1956 – Mission 2013:
First flight of a U-2 over the Soviet Union, airplane is the Article 347. Route: Wiesbaden – Poznan (Poland) – Belarus – Leningrad – Baltic Soviet Republics – Wiesbaden
● 05 July 1956 – Mission 2014:
Flight over the Soviet Union, similar route as the day before, but a little more to the south and further east. It also led over Moscow and it remained the only U-2 flight over the Soviet capital
● 09 July 1956 – Mission 2020:
Wiesbaden – GDR – Poland – Kaliningrad – Lithuania – Belarus – Poland – GDR – Wiesbaden
● 09 July 1956 – Mission 2021:
Wiesbaden – Czechoslovakia/Prague – Austria/Vienna – Hungary – Ukraine/Lviv/Kiev – Belarus/Minsk – Poland – Czechoslovakia – Wiesbaden
● 10 July 1956 – Mission 2023:
Wiesbaden – GDR southern part – Poland southern part – Ukraine – Soviet Union/Moldovan SSR – Crimea – Moldovan SSR – Romania – Hungary – Czechoslovakia – GDR – Wiesbaden
● 29 August 1956 – Mission 1104 and 1105:
Reconnaissance flights on the Suez crisis from Wiesbaden to the Middle East. The landing took place in Turkey in Adana. On the following day, further reconnaissance flights with return to Wiesbaden.
● 17 September 1956: Crash of U-2 “56-6679” (Art 346).
Approximately eight minutes after take-off the aircraft was seen by two pilots in a T-33 and four pilots in a flight of Royal Canadian Air Force F-86’s at 35.000 feet. About five seconds after passing the F-86’s and 500 feet above them the U-2 disintegrated and fell. The pilot was fatally injured. The cause of this accident could not be definitely determined beyond an initial failure of the right wing. Metal fatigue over stress or high internal wing pressures were suggested as possible causes of the wing failure. The possibility of sabotage was thoroughly investigated and sufficient evidence was produced to rule out sabotage as a cause.
● Autumn 1956: Detachment A relocates to Giebelstadt Air Base.
After the first flights, it was recognized that when taking off on a wet runway, splash water came onto the camera covers and affected the image quality. As a result, the runway was cleared of puddles in an elaborate manual process before each take-off.