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Established1 September 1957
Current roleBomber
Current Type(s)EF 2000
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Though established at Büchel on 1 September 1957 it was clear that the unit, equipped with the F-84F Thunderstreak would move to Nörvenich very soon afterwards. This move took place on 20 January 1958 and the unit was declared the first operational German Air Force unit on 20 June 1958. The nickname 'Boelcke' was awarded to the unit on 21 April 1961. Oswald Boelcke was a German WW I flying ace.

A JBG31 Tornado in the lizard colour scheme
Also during 1961 the unit began its conversion from the F-84F to the F-104 Starfighter. After this transition JBG31 'B' was declared operational again, on the new type, on 20 July 1962.

The units 'codes', until the German Air Force changed to specific serials on their aircraft, were all in the DA-range (DA+101 etc.).

By 1973 the unit had already flown 100.000 hours on the Starfighter followed by 200.000 hours on this type by April 1982. During 1982 the unit was preparing for the next generation aircraft; the Panavia Tornado. From November 1982 the first crew started training on the new type with the TTTE at Cottesmore (United Kingdom).

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was officialy withdrawn during the Tag der Offenen Tür at the base on 29 April 1983. Apart from applying a special colour scheme to a two-seat TF-104G they also made sure that the first German aircraft of the type, 20+01, was present.

The keys to the first Tornado for the unit were handed over on 27 July 1983. Within just two years (on 22 July 1985) JBG31 had already accumulated 10.000 flying hours on the Tornado, followed by 125.000 hours during December 2000.

The next step is that the unit is receiveing the Typhoon. The first aircraft of that type was officially handed over on 16 December 2009. The Tornado was officially withdrawn on 25 June 2010.

Chronology of types

From/to Aircraft type
1957 / 1961 F-84F
1961 / 1983 F-104G
1983 / 2010 Tornado IDS
2009 / now EF 2000

Chronology of home bases

From/to Home base
1957 / 1958 Büchel ((West) Germany)
1958 / now Nörvenich (Germany)


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