The Army Flight Operations Detachment, located in Wiesbaden, Germany is a unique support organization in the US Army. Organized in 1957 in Heidelberg, Germany, the AFOD was created to provide centralized flight services to all US Army aircraft operating in Europe. In 2014 AFOD relocated from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden. Today, AFOD provides flight service support for the US European Command whose area of responsibility includes 93 countries and territories, which span over 21 million square miles from the North Cape of Norway to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. As an extension of the USAEUR/7A Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3 Aviation Office, the AFOD supports all USAREUR/7A’s aviation training exercises and contingency missions during deployments and re-deployments and acts as the central point of contact for aviation related matters.
The detachment is commanded by a Chief Warrant Officer Five, and staffed with 2 warrant officers, 6 noncommissioned officers, and 17 local national civilians. It is organized into the following sections: Flight Operations, Flight Data Processing and Notice to Airmen.
Coordinate US Army Aviation Operations with the Department of Defense, US Air Forces-Europe, NATO military agencies, and civil aeronautical authorities. Coordinate Search and Rescue Operations for the Commanding General USAREUR/7A. Operate the European Theater's Department of Defense Internet based Notice to Airmen System. Provide aeronautical services to USAREUR aviators involving notice to airmen, flight data processing, and flight data coordination. Interpret and explain aviation regulations and procedures for US Army aviators with regard to European Theater procedures.
The flight operations section maintains a military interface with the local national employees who operate the aeronautical information and processing sections. As the coordinating element for all operational issues, it provides centralized control for emergency actions and notification of all precautionary landings and aircraft mishaps to USAREUR’s Command Center and Safety Office. Additionally, flight operations investigate alleged aircraft violations and near-miss reports, provides technical assistance to USAREUR aviators in mission planning, conducts briefings for newly assigned USAREUR aviators, and performs website management.
Flight Data Processing (FDP)
The flight data processing section serves as the primary interface between airfield base operations and aircrews.Flight plans and related operational messages are routed through this section for processing and dissemination to the appropriate international military or civil air traffic authority. Civilian specialists provide preferred instrument flight routes to aviators and deconflict departure slots with the Eurocontrol’s Central Flow Management Unit. This section receives and transmits an average of 2,000 operational messages daily and provides assistance in the search for missing aircraft.
Once an aircraft becomes airborne, flight data processing establishes monitoring and procedural tracking of the aircraft’s progress. All messages relating to the status of a flight are relayed to this section. If an aircraft should become overdue at its destination, the civilian specialists will initiate a communications search. This section also coordinates departure/landing slots at international airports. Service is provided 24/7.
Notices to Airmen (NOTAM)
AFOD operates a central NOTAM facility for the USAREUR NOTAM System. AFOD NOTAM compiles and distributes NOTAM information on U.S. AAFs and AHPs and on activities conducted by aviation units.
The AFOD will also receive and file NOTAM information from national and international NOTAM systems. This information will be partially reissued in USAREUR NOTAM summaries (NOSUMs) and made available for NOTAM briefings. USAREUR NOSUMs are specifically tailored to the needs of Army aviation. These summaries will be designed to be used for self-briefings at airfields with e-mail accounts or online (NOSUMs are posted at https://www.notams.jcs.mil. Select 'AFOD Europe Notices' under 'Custom DINS Services' in the middle of the page).
Information on airports and facilities not covered by NOSUMs can be obtained by contacting AFOD NOTAM. On request AFOD NOTAM provides briefings according to the intended route of flight. In addition AFOD NOTAM provides information published in aeronautical information publications.
Service will be provided MON-FRI 0600-2200 lcl, SAT&SUN 0800-1600 lcl.
A central figure in the US Army’s flight operations in Europe since July 1957, AFOD’s reputation for excellence is widely recognized within the European aviation community. AFOD’s flight services have been instrumental in maintaining the safe and expeditious conduct of aviation operations US European Commands area of responsibility. No other unit provides such extensive and professional flight services as does the Army Flight Operations Detachment.