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Neu-Neu 70 years

Base Aerienne 118 BA Mont de Marsan "Colonel Rozanoff", France (ICAO code LFBM)

On September 14th, 2012, the 'Escadron de Chasse' EC 2/30 "Normandie-Niemen" (nicknamed "Neu-Neu") celebrated it's 70th anniversary.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
© Sentry Aviation News

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In 1942, this squadron was established in the Middle-East and on request by Stalin, they transferred to the Soviet-Union to assist in the airwar. Between 1942 and 1945 nearly 5500 missions were flown in 869 combat missions. One of the aircraft they flew, was the Soviet designed Yak-3. Being the first French soldiers to enter Germany in 1944, after the end of WW2 they returned to France in 1945.


In 2009 the EC 2/30 squadron of Dassault Mirage F1 aircraft was disbanded and in June 2012 it became operational again at BA Mont de Marsan , flying with the Dassault Rafale (F3). The F3 variant of the Rafale is the latest variant delivered directly from the Dassault factory. It can be used in the air-to-air role with the MICA rockets; in the air-to-ground role with conventional and nuclear ordnance; in the anti-shipping role with the Exocet missiles; in reconnaissance role with the new RECO-NG pod. This new RECO-NG pod is completely digitized and can be used for tactical and strategic reconnaissance missions, day and night. This recce-pod was used extensively during the French operation Harmattan, as part of NATO's "Unified Protector" operations in 2011.

Anniversary The anniversary of "Neu-Neu" took place on September 14th, 2012, at their homebase BA Mont de Marsan. Due to the connection with the former Soviet-Union, there were some distinct visitors from Russia: the Russian ambassador Alexandre Orlov and the Commander of the Russian Air Forces Lt-General Victor Nikolaevitch Bondarev. They were welcomed by the Commander of the French Air Force ("Armee de l'Air") General Jean-Paul Palomeros. A static show was set up with 2 Mirage F1's, 2 Mirage 2000's, a (civil) Yak-3, 1 normal decorated Rafale and 1 special decorated Rafale in a circle. During the official ceremony, 4 Rafales made a fly-past. Later a press-conference was held by General Palomeros and Lt-General Bondarev.


On Thursday evening (13th), a photosession was made with the Rafales, the Yak3 and the Mirage F-1s. 2photos are added to this report and when used, the copyright must be "Armee de l'Air" with these 2 photos.


A normal patch and a special 70 years patch of EC2/30 has been added to this report.

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