by Senior Airman Damon Kasberg
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
6/1/2015 - MORON AIR BASE, Spain -- Thousands
of people flocked to the flightline of Morón Air Base, Spain, as the
Ala 11th, Spanish Air Force welcomed them to attend an open house from
The event was held to celebrate Morón's 75th anniversary.
"The local populace in the cities surrounding the base such as Utrera,
El Coronil, Morón de la Frontera, and Arahal have been talking about
this event for months," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Katherine Plichta,
496th Air Base Squadron Operations Support Flight commander. "The
support from all air base partners as well as aircraft from all over
Spain makes this a once in a lifetime celebration. The range of
activities and demonstrations that are being offered this weekend also
make this event special."
Participating units included the Spanish Air Force, U.S. Air Force 496th
ABS and Marine Corps Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force
Crisis Response-Africa. Visitors had the opportunity to see static
displays from both countries' armed forces, such as the Eurofighter
Typhoon, P-3 Orion and MV-22B Osprey.
"Everyone has been extremely nice here," said U.S. Marine Capt. Matthew
'Flame' Shaw, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 226th SPMAGTF-CR-AF
MV-22B Osprey pilot. "We've had a steady stream of people come up to
ask questions, take picture next to the Osprey and tour the inside.
Getting this close to an aircraft with the Osprey's capabilities is a
once in a life time opportunity for some of these people."
When attendees looked to the skies they were treated with a show from
the Spanish Air Forces' Patrulla Águila, Casa C-101 Aviojets
demonstration team and Patrulla ASPA, EC-120 helicopter aerobatic
"I'm proud to visit Morón and feel what it's like to be around the
military," said Jose Jimenez Garcia, open house attendee. "We don't get
to do this often, get to see who they are. Being here helps us
understand the military life."
In its 75-years, Morón has had a long history of working side-by-side
with the United States. It hosts U.S. Air Force and Marines units, and
supports operations throughout Europe, Africa and Central Asia.
"The relationships between Spain and the U.S. has been magnificent and
we've been able to help other friendly, allied countries," said Spanish
Air Force Lt. Juan Sanz Penalver, Ala 11th historian. "The American
presence in this base is very important, logically. They've given us
security, jobs and employment. In exchange, we've offered them our
support with the installation. The reality is that today we are friends,
allies and we work together. Defense is our shared interest."
While it's uncertain what the next 75 years has to offer Morón, it's
clear by looking across the flightline during the open house, Morón has
built a heritage of U.S. and Spain partnership.