Air Base 91 (Baza Aeriană 91) had been the home of the 91st Fighter Group (Grupul 91 Aviatie Vanatoare) before 2002, when flying operations ended at Deveselu airfield. At that time it was the only Romanian Air Base flying non-LanceR MiG-21s. 29 classic MiG-21s, comprising a range of variants (MiG-21F-13, MiG-21M, MiG-21PF, MiG-21PFM, MiG-21U-400, MiG-21U-600, MiG-21US) and a sole IAR-93 remain grounded from the time of the base closure. In an interview with the current Base Commander, Capt Cdr (Lt Col) Pintilie Brinzai, he said that they were trying to sell the remaining MiG-21s, which would be demilitarised prior to sale.
Apparently one has already been sold to a Japanese restaurant owner. Any aircraft not sold is to be scrapped by Aerostar at Bacau, probably in 2007, we were told. Brinzai, who has been here since 1983 and speaking with some nostalgia, said that Deveselu was; "Most powerful Air Base in Romania in the 1980s and now nature conquers the aircraft." Then it operated both day and night to protect Romania's air space, with four squadrons of aircraft flown by 100 pilots. By the 1990s its role was solely air defence, and the only unit flying at night.
The air base was originally built by the Soviet Union, the first MiG-15s arriving in March 1952, they were eventually replaced by MiG-19s. The first squadron of MiG-21F-13s arrived in February 1962. On June 30, 1982, the 91st Fighter Regiment operated from Deveselu with the 48th Fighter Squadron. The 91st Fighter Regiment comprised of two squadrons (91/1 Squadron with MiG-21 MF/UM and 91/2 Squadron with MiG-21 PFM/US. On June 30, 1986, the 48th Fighter Squadron became the 71st Fighter Regiment and on June 9, 1987 was transferred to Câmpia Turzii.
Deveselu is no longer under the control of the Romanian Air Force.