[ Baden Soellingen ]

4 WING Intelligence
In 1963, a number of remustered servicemen were posted to Germany as clerk/Intel personnel to support the CF- 104 STARFIGHTER role in NATO.

3 Fighter Wing Zweibrucken and 4 Fighter Wing Baden-Soellingen sections were expanded with these new arrivals and a training program was commenced with personnel being sent on Temporary Duty to American bases.

The few Int personnel already "on the ground" at the two German bases were largely engaged in the analysis of reports from attaches at eastern European capitals; ordering, filing and updating maps that would be used by CF- 104 pilots.

Aside from Ottawa, the main source of maps were the American units in Germany. Their INTKEPS, maps, etc. were vital to the Mission Planning Section. In the early 1970's when Canadians pulled out of the nuclear role, this support diminished. There were over 200 US air force personnel on the base who controlled the access and issue of weapons in the Restricted Area. An American Major, a Captain and a Sergeant were permanently attached to the Intelligence Section at Baden.

The main task of the Intelligence Section was support of the pilots. As targets were assigned, a mission planner worked directly with a pilot in building his strip map. Experimenting in the early 1960's with various sizes of strip maps reduced a 9" bulky article down to a usable 5" map that contained all the information he needed to complete his mission. Later, a radar prediction strip was added. This helpful addition was initiated and developed at 4 Wing Baden.

In 1972, with the change in roles from nuclear to conventional, the American unit pulled out of Baden. The Photo Reconnaissance role performed by 439 Squadron was eliminated shortly thereafter and Canadians assumed a straight conventional attack role.

During the 1970's, Group Intelligence (GINTS as it was known then) became increasingly better connected to its sources and closely monitored activities and movements in East bloc countries. GINTS services were also employed in the STARFIGHTER exercises conducted by the base throughout the 1970s and 1980s. GINTS continued to participate in STARFIGHTER exercises until the onset of the Gulf War in 1990. Although the STARFIGHTER exercises continued briefly after the Gulf War, they were canceled entirely in 1992 upon announcement of early closure of Canadian Forces Europe. Although there were no Intelligence Sections in the three squadrons during the 1970's, a group of five Int NCM's were present in each squadron and their primary role was recognition training. Mission planning matters were then shifted from GINTS over to them.

As Eastern European weapons technology advanced, pilots became more interested in weapon capabilities, and a fully operational Squadron Intelligence Section was established in each of the squadrons in 1985. This change also meant the addition of Intelligence Officers to the existing staff in each squadron. Int tasking's and duties were then added to the already established assignments of recce training and mission planning.

With the arrival of the CF-18 HORNET in I985, GINTS adopted more of a headquarters intelligence function and started producing the "Cockpit Guide to Soviet Air Tactics" in 1986. This publication was well received within the NATO Intelligence community and subsequent updated versions were also released. Also in 1986, GINTS changed its name to Base Intelligence (BINTS).

In 1988, BINTS became fully automated. With its new automated data processing and graphics capabilities, the production of Intelligence Highlights, Air Intelligence Summaries and Special Intelligence Reports began. Another publication, the "Electronic Warfare Aide Memoire", was also released and widely distributed.

In 1990, when flight operations were placed under the jurisdiction of 4 Fighter Wing vice Base, BINTS became 4 Wing Intelligence. The section, with its new name, lent its expertise and its staff to OP SCIMITAR/OP FRICTION in the GulfWar with noteworthy results. Another publication similar to the Cockpit Guide to Soviet Air Tactics, but applicable to the Middle East, was produced in record time. It was appropriately named the "Q8 Guide".

In 1992, 4 Wing Intelligence played a significant role in supporting the UN airlift in the former Yugoslavia and supported Canadian troops in OP HARMONY.

December 1992 will regretfully see thc closure of 4 Wing Intelligence as Canadian bases in Europe withdraw but its legacy and spirit will live long in the hearts of those who have worked within it.


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