In July 1952, the 53rd Fighter-Bomber Squadron from the 36th Wing, from Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base a few miles west of Munich, arrived at the newly built base. Throughout the summer, elements of the 36th FBW moved into Bitburg, with the wing officially arriving in November 1952. With the end of the Cold War Bitburg was no longer needed as a military base, and it was turned over to the German government on 1 October 1994. Between June and September 1997 it was necessary to repair the Spangdahlem Air Base runway, and that called for a temporary location to accommodate the 52d Fighter Wing's three squadrons of F-15s and F-16s. Bitburg Airport was the most logical place—only 10 miles (16 km) down the road. The USAF departed for the second time in September 1997, and Bitburg Airport was returned to the civil aircraft which now call it home.
Tags: veterans, retired, retiree, vet, veteran