RAF Bruggen – West Rhine Golfclub

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Tripreport RAF Bruggen – West Rhine Golfclub
[Page under construction 17-7-2021]

The former Royal Air Force station Bruggen, more commonly known as RAF Bruggen, (IATA: BGN, ICAO:EDUR) in Germany was a major station of the Royal Air Force until 15 june 2001. It was situated next to the village of Elmpt, about 43 kilometres west of Dusseldorf on the Dutch-German border. The base named after the village of Bruggen, the nearest rail depot. The station became active in 1953 during the rapid expansion of NATO forces in Europe. In 2002 it was handed over to the British Army and renamed Javelin Barracks. The main paint shop situated next to the main runway was responsible for the surface finishing of all aircraft, ground equipment and RAF regiment rapier missile systems.
During the cold war, RAF Bruggen had a Strike/Attack role. The initial strike capability at RAF Bruggen was provided by the English Electrix Canberra (British first-gen jet powered medium bomber) and later replaced by the Jaguar squadrons. In 1984 they were replaced for the world famous Panavia Tornado GR. 1 (Tornado’s/TONKA’s)

With a total of 4 Tornado GR. 1 squadrons at Bruggen and 2 more at its nearby sister airbase RAF Laarbruch. Bruggen and Laarbruch formed the largest Tornado force in NATO. Hardened aircraft shelters were equipped with the U.S. Weapon Storage Security System (WS3), each able to store up to 4 WE.177 tactical nuclear bombs, for delivery by Tornado aircraft.

The WE.177 was as series of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons with which the Royal Navy & Royal Air Force were equipped. It was the primary air-dropped nuclear weapon in the United Kingdom from the late 1960s into the 1990s. Three versions were produced A,B and C type. The first to be produced was the 450 kilotonnes of TNT, which entered service in 1966 and the C type which followed later. Only since 1998 the weapons were retired from usage by RAF.

The 1984 – Nuclear Incident – RAF Bruggen
On 4 September 2007, the British military admitted that there had been an accident with a nuclear weapon at RAF Bruggen on 2 May 1984. BirdieBarty spoke military personal back in 2015 about this incident.

An unidentified military ranked officer for the German-based British military in RAF Bruggen confirmed the incident. BirdieBarty reveals de-classified information about the incident. The unidentified military ranked officer told BirdieBarty a nuclear warhead which had 8 times the explosive power of the US Hiroshima atomic bomb, was damaged during transport.
On the 2nd of May military personal were moving the atomic bomb for inspection & paint job. (Which confirms me, the only reason to move a nuclear bomb out of its shell is you have the intention of using it). I asked the unidentified military officer which airplanes were supposed to be equipped but no answer was given. I can only assume that it was for “black operations during the cold”. However the military personal left the 8 times more powerful atomic bomb then US Hiroshima on a transit and left for the local golf course on base. With the intention moving it later back to a secure location. As the day progressed weather changed from cloudy to rainy. As the unidentified military officer told me (almost laughing) that they almost forgotten they left a atomic bomb just outside of the clubhouse. As rain starts to drop, the military personal jumped into the transit (after a new pints of beer).
Upon listening to the unidentified military ranked officer I couldn’t believe what I was just hearing….

The nuclear warhead was damaged in transit when its container slid off the wet trailer as it cornered from the golf course back to hangars. The nuclear warhead rolled onto the tarmac and was dented within its container. The base was shut down while the bomb was partially dismantles and scientist where flown in from the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire, UK to X-ray the warhead. The released reports shot that they were worried about the stability of the conventional high explosives used to trigger the nuclear reaction and the appearance of a “Crack-like feature” on the X-Rays.

After 23 days the bomb was deemed safe to transport and was flown from RAF Brugger, Germany to Aldermaston, UK for decommissioning. According to new scientist, the Military of Defence board of inquiry concluded that the accident was caused by “wrongful act” and failing to secure nuclear weapons bomb container to the trailer. For their actions (mentioned above) six servicemen were disciplined.

Evidence to the inquiry revealed that regulation that contains must be secured when moved had been routinely ignored since October 1981. RAF Bruggen’s commander at the time, whose name shall not be named and whose name has been removed from the declassified report admitted the golf match and admitted the breach that almost become a standard operating procedure, though it was an “outrageously high risk practice”.

Now it was time for BirdieBarty to go back to RAF Bruggen and play West Rhine GC.