Ozerne Air Base
Ozerne, Zhytomyr Oblast in Ukraine
Ozerne air base during June 2013
Ozerne is located in Zhytomyr Oblast
Ozerne
Ozerne
Shown within Zhytomyr Oblast
Ozerne is located in Ukraine
Ozerne
Ozerne
Ozerne (Ukraine)
Coordinates50°9′30″N 028°44′18″E / 50.15833°N 28.73833°E / 50.15833; 28.73833
TypeAir Base
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorUkrainian Air Force
Site history
Built1933 (1933)
In use1933 - present
Battles/wars2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: UKKO
Elevation83 metres (272 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
11/29 3,050 metres (10,007 ft) Concrete

Ozerne (ICAO: UKKO) is an air base of the Ukrainian Air Force located near Ozerne, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine.

The base is home to the 39th Tactical Aviation Brigade flying Sukhoi Su-27UB and Aero L-39C Albatross aircraft.[1]

Ozerne (Ukrainian: Озерне, given in source material under the plethora of names: Zhytomyr Ozerna, Ozernyy, Ozernoye, Oziernoye, Ozernoe, Ozernoye, Ozyornoye, Ozyornaya, and in US intelligence as Zhitomir/Skomorokhi).

History

The airbase was erected 1933 by the Red Army and expanded 1942 by the German Luftwaffe and was called Flughafen Hegewald. Nearby were the headquarters of Heinrich Himmler and the base was surrounded by the settlements of the new German Hegewald colony. 15th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Division was stationed at the base from 1945 to 1994.[2] In 1965 Ozerne began receiving Tupolev Tu-22 (Blinder) aircraft. By 1967 it had 31 Tu-22 aircraft, and in 1968 it received Tu-22PD aircraft.[3] A Tu-22 crash-landed here in 1969 due to a stall during the landing flare; this incident was captured by a movie camera and used in the motion picture Tenderness for the Roaring Beast.[3]

In December 1989 the 251st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast) with Tu-16K were transferred under the control of the 43rd Center for Combat Employment and Retraining of Personnel of Long Range Aviation, located in the Russian SFSR. In 1990 the division comprised the:

With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the two regiments in Belarus were transferred to other commands and the 251st Regiment rejoined the division. Units stationed at Ozernoye include the:

Currently the airfield is home to about 15 advanced fighter aircraft visible in Google Earth high-resolution imagery. The north airfield appears to contain a huge army salvage yard.

Since 2018 the base is the home of the 39th Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force.

A Sukhoi Su-27 crash landed on December 15, 2018, while approaching the airfield during a training flight. The pilot, Maj. Oleksandr Fomenko, did not survive the crash.[5]

During the opening hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, a Su-27 and refueling vehicle were destroyed at apron as a result of Russian missile strike.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Ukraine Air Force - Ozerne (UKKO) Zhytomyr (Skomorokhi)". Scramble.nl. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  2. ^ "15th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Division". Ww2.dk. Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  3. ^ a b c d Gordon, Yefim (1999). Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder' Tu-22M 'Backfire'. Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-065-6.
  4. ^ a b "Dal'nyaya Aviatsiya". Aviabaza KPOI.
  5. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Accident Sukhoi Su-27 55 blue, 15 Dec 2018". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  6. ^ "Пожежники загасили пожежу на аеродромі біля Житомира" [Firefighters extinguished the fire at the airport near Zhytomyr]. Galychyna (in Ukrainian). 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022.