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Air Force Tactical Command 1
Commando Tactische Luchtstrijdkrachten (CTL)

Part I
SHORAD420 Sq76 AFU523 Objbewsq [KL]504 Objbewsq [KL]503 Objbewsq [KL]502 Objbewsq [KL]501 Objbewsq [KL]40 LB SqLB pel (4x)Vlb VklSHORADOnhmatsqCTL221 Sq73 AFU510 Objbewsq [KL]Vlb SSB10 LB Sq312 Sq298 Sq511 Objbewsq [KL]311 Sq334 Sq306 SqSt CTLLB pel (7x)    
Unit Location Peace Strength War Strength
Staff Air Force Tactical Command [a] Zeist ?
(Staff) COMTWOATAF [b] Mönchengladbach-Rheindahlen (GE) ?
Unit Main Equipment Air Combat Role Peace Strength War Strength
Soesterberg Air Base [c]
32 (US) Tactical Fighter Squadron [d]
18 x F-15 AD ?
334 Squadron [e]
12 x F-27    
298 Squadron [f] 24 x Alouette III    
48/45/60 (153) 56/50/77 (183)
Maintenance and Materiel Squadron [f]
6/95/70 (171) 6/100/98 (204)
221 Squadron [g]
73 Assault Firing Unit3 x I-HAWK   
SHORAD flight 3 x Flycatcher, 9 x 40L70    
(30-35) (±100)
10 Air Force Security Squadron [h]  

2/21/110 (133)
5/19/143 (167)
Air Force Security Platoon x 7  

1/4/41 (46) x 7
510 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
511 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
Volkel Air Base [j]
306 Squadron [k]
9/18 x F-16(R) RECCE ?
311 Squadron [l]
18 x F-16 FBA/S?
312 Squadron [m] 18 x F-16 from 01.10.1985 FBA/S  
420 Squadron [g]
76 Assault Firing Unit3 x I-HAWK   
SHORAD flight 3 x Flycatcher, 9 x 40L70    
40 Air Force Security Squadron [n]  

4/49/263 (316)
5/22/155 (182)
Air Force Security Platoon x 4  

1/4/41 (46) x 4
501 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
502 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
503 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
504 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)
523 Object Security Squadron [Royal Army] [i]    
5/15/105 (125)


a. Peacetime organisation. Headed by Commander Tactical Air Force (Commandant Tactische Luchtstrijdkrachten, CTL). On mobilisation the staff of Air Force Tactical Command would merge with those elements of the staff of Logistic and Training Command that were responsible for logistic support, forming the Tactical Air Force War Staff (Oorlogsstaf Tactische Luchtstrijdkrachten, OS/TL). Commander Tactical Air Force would head the War Staff.2 
b. Commander Second Allied Tactical Air Force (COMTWOATAF) had operational control over all units and bases of Air Force Tactical Command in peace and wartime, unless noted otherwise. Operational control was delegated by Commander Allied Air Forces Central Europe (COMAAFCE), who held operational command.3 
c. Soesterberg Airbase (Vliegbasis Soesterberg, Vlb SSB) was a Main Operating Base (MOB) as well as a Collocated Operating Base (COB).4 Simplified organisation; for a more comprehensive, generic depiction of the air base organisation click the blue unit symbol in the organisational chart above.
d. 32 (US) Tactical Fighter Squadron was detached from US Air Forces Europe (USAFE) and fell under operational command of COMTWOATAF in peace and wartime. The squadron operated with sixteen F15C (single seat) and two F15D (two seat) fighter aircraft in a tactical air defence role (AD). Two aircraft were permanently, round-the-clock, on standby for all-weather quick reaction alert sorties (QRA). Accommodation and logistic support were provided by the Royal Air Force.5  
e. 334 Squadron operated with nine Fokker F-27 Mk 300M Troopships and three Fokker F-27 Mk 100 Friendships, primarily in a logistic support role. In wartime, after NATO General Alert, the squadron would for six days be busy flying national transport missions. If ACE Mobile Force (AMF) would be deployed, which would be in the early stages of an emerging conflict, preferably ahead of NATO General Alert, the squadron would transport personnel and war consumables for 314 Squadron, which was assigned to AMF. 334 Squadron would further fly transport missions for 1 (NL) Corps, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force air bases in the Netherlands and the guided weapons squadrons in West Germany. Depending the circumstances the transport tasks might include dropping paratroops (Whiskey Infantry Company and 104 Observation and Reconnaissance Company). After these six days the squadron would be made available to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). By 1985 the Fokker F-27 aircraft, though reliable, were becoming technically obsolete. Moreover their maximum operating radius and payload were hardly sufficient for the aforementioned tasks. The transport requirements for 314 Squadron in its AMF-role for example "could only be marginally met". Pilots were mostly experienced former fighter or helicopter pilots who chose to end their flying careers with 334 Squadron.6
f. Peacetime organisation. Part of the Light Aircraft Group, 1 (NL) Corps. Under operational control of Commander 1 (NL) Corps in wartime.7
g. Simplified organisation; for a comprehensive depiction click the blue squadron symbol in the organisational chart above. SHORAD: short range air defence.
h. Peacetime and wartime strengths include a security dog group (hondengeleiders) of -/5/16 (21).8
i. Filled by mobilisable personnel from 14 Armoured Infantry Battalion (RIM) after their fourteen to sixteen-month RIM period in that unit had expired, up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.9 
j. Volkel Airbase (Vliegbasis Volkel, Vlb VKL) was a Main Operating Base (MOB).4 Simplified organisation; for a more comprehensive, generic depiction of the air base organisation click the blue unit symbol in the organisational chart above. 
k. 306 Squadron was the Royal Air Force's tactical photo reconnaissance squadron. The aircraft of the squadron were regular F-16A/Bs, not specialised reconnaissance versions, hence the designation F-16(R). Under the fuselage, on the centerline pylon, they carried the Orpheus day/night reconnaissance pod developed by Oldelft (Oude Delft) and built by Fokker. The self-contained pod had five TA-8M photo cameras, an infrared line scanner and a radar altimeter. With the pod the aircraft could still carry air-to-air missiles and the squadron operated in pairs for increased self defence. Besides the reconnaissance role (RECCE) the squadron also trained the air defence (AD) and fighter-bomber attack (FBA) roles, the latter presumably without the Orpheus pod. Because of this 306 Squadron dubbed itself "NATO's Only Fighting Eyes" and it was the first squadron to apply in advance the swing-role concept that the Royal Air Force would develop in the early 1990s. In 1985 the squadron was not yet fully operational, flying nine F-16(R)s (9 UE, nine units equipped) because the transition from the RF-104G Starfighter, which began in 1983, was not yet fully completed. In May 1986 the squadron was fully operational with 18 UE. In wartime the squadron would operate from De Peel Airbase.10   
l. 311 Squadron was dual capable in the conventional fighter-bomber attack role (FBA) and in the nuclear strike role (S). In 1986 the squadron was also meant to be operational in the clear weather intercept role (CWI), but this was not implemented due to personnel shortages, probably pilot shortages in particular. The US nuclear bombs for the squadron were stored at the airbase under custody of 7362 (US) Munitions Support Squadron (7362 MUNSS), which reportedly had a strength of about 100 men. The nuclear bombs were probably of the B61 type with a variable yield of 0.3 to 170 kilotons (Mod 3, produced since 1979), or 10 to 150 kilotons (Mod 2, since 1975), or 10 to 340 kilotons (Mod 1, since 1969). The number of nuclear bombs stored at Volkel Airbase was estimated to be between thirty-six and seventy-two. The squadron, but probably 311 and 312 Squadron together, reportedly had three F-16 aircraft on permanent, round-the-clock standby, each armed with one nuclear bomb (Quick Reaction Alert, QRA). The nuclear release sequence was probably similar to that of the dual capable artillery of 1 (NL) Corps; ultimately the decision to deploy any US nuclear weapon lay with the President of the United States.11  
m. 312 Squadron was not operational ("non-ops") up to 1 October 1985 due to the transition from the F-104G Starfighter, which began on 1 July 1984. From 1 October 1985 the squadron was dual capable in the conventional fighter-bomber attack role (FBA) and the nuclear strike role (S). For the nuclear role, see note k above.12  
n. Peacetime and wartime strengths include a security dog group (hondengeleiders) of -/8/28 (36).8  

1. Organisation: NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, Concept krijgsmachtdeelplan Koninklijke Luchtmacht 1987-1996 d.d. 20 december 1985, 88-89. NIMH 430, inv. nr. 54 (Slagorde KL stand 1 juli 1985), Blad S2. NIMH 723, inv. nr. 75, Organisatie en organisatieschema's m.b.t. de KLu d.d. 1 augustus 1984, 22. HTK 1983-1984, kamerstuknr. 18169 ondernr. 2 (Defensienota 1984-1993), 133. Air base ground-based air defence units: NL-HaNA, 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, op.cit., 53-54. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), passim. Van Loo, Crossing, 342. De Winter, Een eeuw, 160. Air Force Security and Object security units: NL-HaNA 2.13.113, inv. nr. 814, Indeling LB/OB-eenheden d.d. 18 februari 1980, Bijlagen A, C, D en E. NIMH 430, loc. cit.
2. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, op.cit., 85.
3. Ibid., 85, 86, 88-89. 
4. Ibid., 55-57. Main Operating Base (MOB): airbase permanently housing one or more NATO-assigned aircraft squadrons. Collocated Operating Base (COB): airbase that could accommodate one or more allied combat aircraft squadrons in times of crisis or war. This was laid down in bilateral agreements (Netherlands-US and Netherlands-UK). Ibid.
5. Ibid., 60, 117. Helfferich, Nederlandse Koninklijke, 157, 158. De Winter, op.cit., 204-205. 
6. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, op.cit., 55, 112. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), 209, 212. Van Loo, op. cit., 356, 358.   
7. There is a difference in presentation regarding the exact command arrangement in wartime: the Royal Army order of battle says under command, the 1985 Royal Air Force plan says under operational control. NIMH 430, loc. cit. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, op.cit., 88-89. 
8. NL-HaNA 2.13.113,  inv. nr. 814, op. cit., Bijlage E. 
9. NIMH 205A/10, Aflossing van mobilisabele eenheden en -aanvullingen d.d. 11 november 1983. 
10. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), 130-132. Relocation to De Peel in wartime: Helfferich, Nederlandse Koninklijke, 36.
11. NL-HaNA 2.13.182, inv. nr. 663, op.cit., 50. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), 135-138. Anonymus, Opslag en transport, 4, 30, 70. Website The Nuclear Weapon Archive, Complete List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons. Wikipedia, B61 nuclear bomb. Dual capable: "A nuclear certified delivery unit capable of executing both conventional and nuclear missions." US Department of Defense Dictionary, 139. For reference: the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of 15 to 16 kilotons.
12. Helfferich, Squadrons (1994), 140-142.