The withdrawal

Some 300.000 troops and their equipment had to be pulled out in just four years. Amazingly, the withdrawal went nearly perfectly on schedule. At first, they made it look like they withdrew, by relocating aircraft to other airfields. Later, complete units evacuated their home bases in just one day. Lots of An 22's, Il 76's and some An 124's were seen on the airfields, usually a sign that it wouldn't be long ..

The appearance of Aeroflot (actually VTA) Il 76's was very common. This Il 76MD (RA-78789, c/n 0083490706) was on display at the Wittstock open house. Photo by Theo van den Boomen, 19 March 1994
An officers appartment building near the Finow gate. The small containers in front of the building was another indication that a move was to take place. Photo by Theo van den Boomen, 14 April 1993

The schedule - very incomplete!

Unit Airbase Aircraft Date
357 ShAP Brandis Su 25 28 April 1992!! (L 39 March 1992)
787 IAP Finow MiG 23/29 11 May 1993
368 ShAP Demmin Su 25 15 June 1993 to Templin for refuelling
16 June 1993 to ...
.. Falkenberg MiG 29 15? June 1993
11 RAP Welzow Su 24MR 15 June 1993
The Mahlwinkel Mi 24 fleet lined up along the runway, ready for the withdrawal. Photo by Theo van den Boomen, 19 March 1994

The following pages show some withdrawals in greater detail.

At some air bases the shelters and sometimes the runways were broken up, and reportedly transported to Russia (!). This picture shows the remains of some shelters at the north side of Wittstock. Photo by Theo van den Boomen, 19 March 1994

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