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MOB 3 - Florennes, Belgium
Gryphon (GLCM) Main Operating Base 3 (MOB 3): Florennes AB, Belgium. The 485th Tactical Missile Wing (TMW) was the third GLCM wing, activated about two years after the first one and a year later than the second. The airfield at Florennes was established in 1942 by the German Luftwaffe, and this wing’s roots stretch back to World War II also, when it was activated as the 485th Bombardment Group, redesignated a couple times, and then inactivated after the war. In 1983 it was consolidated with the 585 TMG, an inactive former Matador unit, and then reactivated in August 1984 as the 485 TMW. Unlike the first two GLCM wings, this one had two tactical units assigned, but not at the same time. The 405 TMS existed at Florennes for a mere two weeks before being redesignated the 71 TMS. Of the five GLCM units that received missiles, this squadron had the least amount--only 48--the first of which was delivered on 28 August 1984 by C-5A aircraft, just a few weeks after the wing had been activated. A GLCM squadron was divided into several flights. Each flight had two Launch Control Vehicles (LCCs) and four Transporter Erector Launchers (TELs), each of which could carry four missiles, so each flight was armed with 16 missiles. Readers good at math have already calculated that the 71 TMS had three flights. The wing and its base were the target of periodic peace movement protests near the main gate, but these paled in comparison to those at Greenham Common. Following implementation of the INF Treaty, the 485 TMW was inactivated in 1989 with the withdrawal of American forces from Florennes.
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