The main exercise of 2014 for the German Armed Forces was JAWTEX, the Joint Air Warfare Tactical EXercise. After almost three years of preparation and planning JAWTEX 2014 was held from the 12th of May until the 23rd of May. Besides the German Army, Navy and Air Force also 10 other countries took part with aircraft and servicemen. Amongst them were the Netherlands, Slovenia, Turkey and Italy.

About the exercise

JAWTEX took place over the northern parts of Germany. Almost 4,500 soldiers trained on all aspects of joint operations as well as the coordination between air, land and navy aspects of military defence. The main areas of concentration were Air Surface Integration, Airmobile Operations and Joint Fire Support. Therefor the most advanced weapon systems were used during JAWTEX.

The German and Italian Air Forces provided several Eurofighters. Italy also took part with the AMX. Hungary took part with their Gripens, Finland with F-18's and Turkey and the Netherlands with F-16's. JAWTEX was supported by one NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft, operating from the Norwegian Air Force Base Orland. Furthermore, German A310 tanker aircraft and C-160 and Dutch C-130 transport aircraft supported the exercise. Also several helicopters from Germany, Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic were part of the multinational exercise.

JAWTEX also involves ground-based air defence systems like the German Patriot and the French SAM P-system, as well as the SAM Operations Centre that operated at the Altengrabow training area east of Magdeburg. Last but not least to mention, was the large-scale air assault operation and airborne operation, which involved almost 500 soldiers from the German Airborne Brigade 31 and 11th Air Mobile Brigade from The Netherlands. Navy forces included two frigates, a combat support ship as well as an auxiliary ship in the North Sea.


One of the supporting units during JAWTEX was the Flugbereitschaft des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung (FBSBMVg, Flight Department of the German Ministry of Defence). The Flugbereitschaft was founded in February 1st, 1957. Initially, this unit provided for transportation flights for small groups of military personnel. Nowadays she provides for all the strategic transportation of personnel and goods for the German Armed Forces over great distances, like the past years to and from Afghanistan. Special tasks are to conduct humanitarian flights, Medical Evacuation flights (MedEvac) and Air to Air Refueling (AAR). The unit is based at the military part of Cologne-Bonn Airport.

To perform AAR-missions, the Flugbereitschaft flies with the Airbus A310-304 Multi Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) aircraft. The unit normally flies an average of three AAR-missions a week. During operational deployments and exercises like JAWTEX two refueling missions per day is a normal routine. On the 13th of May, Global Air Power Media joined the afternoon AAR-mission onboard of 'COBO32'. The mission took us to the Gini tanker track, which is located over the north-western part of Germany. The actual AAR-mission lasted approximately 90 minutes. During that time in the refueling track five of the Eurofighters operating from Laage Air Base were refueled, three from the German Air Force and two from the Italian Air Force.

Global Air Power Media would like to thank Captain Biedermann and Captain Weihe of the FBSBMVg, and the German Air Force Press Office, for their help and hospitality which resulted in this article.