Abu Suweir Air Base

Summary

Abu Suweir Air Base is an Egyptian Air Force (Arabic: القوات الجوية المصرية, El Qūwāt El Gawwīyä El Maṣrīyä) base, located approximately 17.1 kilometres (10.6 mi) west of Ismaïlia and 116 kilometres (72 mi) northeast of Cairo. It is positioned for strategic defence of the Suez Canal waterway.

Abu Suweir Air Base
Roundel of Egypt.svg
Near Ismaïlia in Egypt
Abu Suweir Air Base is located in Egypt
Abu Suweir Air Base
Abu Suweir Air Base
Shown within Egypt
Coordinates30°34′20″N 032°05′45″E / 30.57222°N 32.09583°E / 30.57222; 32.09583Coordinates: 30°34′20″N 032°05′45″E / 30.57222°N 32.09583°E / 30.57222; 32.09583
Site information
OwnerEgyptian Armed Forces
OperatorEgyptian Air Force
Site history
Built1942 (1942)
In use1942-present
Airfield information
Elevation14 metres (46 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
09/27 2,972 metres (9,751 ft) Asphalt
11/29 2,960 metres (9,711 ft) Asphalt

Second World War and Suez CrisisEdit

During the Second World War the airfield, then known as RAF Abu Sueir or Abu Sueir Airfield (LG-205) was used as a military airfield by the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom and the American United States Army Air Forces during the North African Campaign against Axis forces.

USAAF Ninth Air Force units which used the airfield were:[1]

512th Bombardment Squadron, 9 November 1942-10 February 1943
513th Bombardment Squadron, 8 November 1942-10 February 1943
514th Bombardment Squadron, 8 November 1942-10 February 1943
515th Bombardment Squadron, 8 November 1942-6 February 1943

In the mid-1950s, the base was the last station to be handed over by the RAF to the Egyptians. This was despite the fact that Abu Sueir and Fanara were the two bases to be retained, to be maintained by civilian contractors.

The main body of 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, the last British Army fighting unit remaining in Middle East Land Forces amid the Suez Crisis, left on 24-25 March 1956 by ship; they had been located at Golf Course Camp in Port Said. The last remaining rear-guard company of the battalion left by air on 2 April 1956 from Abu Sueir.[2]

Abu Sueir was handed over to Egypt on 14 April 1956.[3]

Twenty-first centuryEdit

Today, the airfield is an active Egyptian Air Force Base. Its Second World War configuration is still evident in aerial photography. It houses the 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 262nd Tactical Fighter Wing, flying General Dynamics F-16C/D Block 40s Fighting Falcons.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4; Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
  2. ^ "British Army units from 1945 on - 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards".
  3. ^ David Lee (RAF officer), Wings in the Sun, pp49-50.
  4. ^ Scramble.nl
  • Royal Air Force Airfield Creation for the Western Desert Campaign