The last photocall,

NAS Eggebek, Germany

2 September 2004


On 2 September 2004, the German Naval Air Station of Eggebek organised the final annual Photocall. This event had become a tradition in which aviation enthousiasts were enabled to whitness flying operations by the sole remaining German Navy fast jet unit, Marinefliegergeschwader 2. Over the course of the final months of 2004 and the first half of 2005, the unit is to loose it's anti shipping tasked Tornado fighter-bombers. The last aircraft are set to leave during June 2005. Following the withdrawal of the last Tornados, MFG 2 will be disbanded and Eggebek closed. The current German government is cutting deeply into existing equipment in order to be able to pay for new hardware like the Eurofighter and the A.400M military transport and apparantly does not expect to have a requirement for a fast jet based anti-shipping force anymore.

A good moment to have look back.


MFG 2 (Naval Air Wing 2), was established as 2. Marinefliegergruppe at Kiel-Holtenau during April 1958. As Kiel Hlotenau was too crowded for operations to start, the unit moved to Schleswig-Jagel during the same year. Initial equpment consisted of Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk FGA.100 fighter bombers and FGA.101 variants for reconnaissance. The Gruppe was redesignated Marinefliegergeschwader during 1959.  Sea Hawk FGA.100 RB+363 still guards the gate at the unit's current home, Eggebek. MFG 2 moved here after a brief tenure from 1963 until 1964. 


1964 saw the conversion of MFG 2  to the Lockheed F-104G Starfighter, an enormous leap from the firmly subsonic Sea Hawk. The F-104G, later armed with Kormoran anti shipping missiles would remain MFG 2's equipment until 1986. That year saw conversion to the wings current mount, the Panavia Tornado.

The F-104G to the left was seen at the RAF Alconbury Open House on 21 July 1985.

Tornados, like their predecessors capable of being armed with Kormoran misilles, were the sole German Navy anti shipping assets since Schleswig/Jagel was transferred to Luftwaffe control in 1993. Simultaneously, based MFG 1 became Auflklärungsgeschwader AG 51 `Immelmann`  tasked with reconnaissance. Recently it was decided to withdraw the Tornado from service with the German Navy and to close down both MFG 2 and Eggebek. Tornado 45+66 was one of the first pair to leave Eggebek for an unknown destination when this picture was taken during the Photo Call on 2 September 2004.

The next months will see two Tornados depart Eggebek, which will mean that the final aircfraft leave during June 2005.

Eggebek´s paint shop produced a pair of specially marked Tornados during the last few years. One of the two is 46+20, which gained this scheme during 2001. 

During 2003, German Naval aviation celebrated it´s 90th anniversary. At the same time, MFG 2 had existed for 45 years. This lead to Tornado 45+30 being given this¨predominantly white with black/red/gold trim. 

With the disbandment of MFG 2, not just Germany, but Western Europe as a whole will loose their final land based fast jet anti shipping capability, the British Tornado GR.1B and the Swedish AJ-37 Viggen already having been reroled or retired. 

Thanks and all the best to the personell at Eggebek!

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink