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The 615th AC & W Squadron

The arrival of the 615th AC & W Squadron commenced a decade long buildup of Birkenfeld Air Station and related activities.  The Rhein Upper Area Control Center on Erbeskopf was operated by USAF, German Air Force and BFS (German FAA) until 1968 when that operation was transferred to Frankfurt ARTCC.

The 412-L Air Weapons Control System was installed in Borfink Bunker and "Waterhole" became a high profile operation contributing to the 615th's growth into the 17th Air Force's largest AC & W Sq.

Constant training of assigned personnel and allied personnel was the order of the day.  The continued updating of the programs by System Programming and Test Site (SPATS) members to insure compatibility with other NATO operated systems was unending.

Allied Sector III, Sector Operations Center briefings to many visiting dignitaries both civilian and military were a part of daily life.

On August 29, 1969, "The American", the base newspaper announced "Birkenfeld to Close!"

Birkenfeld Air Station was turned over to the German Army (Bundeswehr) and was renamed "Oldenburg Kaserne".  For the next 10 years it was used as a Bundeswehr facility, then an AFCENT facility in 1979 and a NATO base in 1983, all in support of the Borfink Bunker.  Many NATO countries and USAF were assigned there until it was closed in 1994 and returned to the administrative management of the Town of Birkenfeld.

Commanders of Birkenfeld Air Base for the 615th were:  LTC Edward P. Langebartel (1 Jul 1962-Jul 1964); COL Thomas W. Blackburn (July 1964-20 Jul 1966); COL. John A. Green (20 Jul 1966-May 1967); LTC William H. Domke (May 1967-19 Jun 1967); COL Henly M. Ogburn (19 Jun 1967-31 Dec 1969)

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