On Saturday 23 August 2014 the German Air Force/Tactical Air Force Wing 73 “Steinhoff” opened its gates. The event marked the 55th anniversary of Taktishes LuftwaffenGeschwader 73 (formerly known as JG73) and 10 years of flight operations of the Luftwaffe with the Eurofighter.
Laage lies in the former East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) and is one of the very few airbases that the Luftwaffe took over from the NVA (Nationale Volks Armee) after the merge of the two Germanies in 1989. It is a relatively new airbase: construction started in 1979 and the base became operational in 1984 when the East German NVA started using it. Jagdbombenfliegergeschwader (Fighterbomberwing) 77 and Marinefliegergeschwader (Naval Air Wing)28 flew from Laage with Suchoi SU-22M aircraft. The base was closed for a few years after the collapse of the GDR, but in 1993 the Bundeswehr reactivated it. In 1993 Laage became home-base for JG73 (equipped with MIG-29s and F-4F Phantoms). In 2004 the unit re-equipped with Eurofighters, becoming the first German Wing to use the type.
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