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F-16s-torrejon

General Dynamics F-16A Block 15H Fighting Falcon Serial 81-0788 of the 612th TFS. After the 401st was transferred from Torrejón, this aircraft was sent to AMARC in 1996.

DataEdit

Torrejón Air Base\Madrid–Torrejón Airport.
Category. Statistic.
Location. Spain.
Opened in. 1953.
Closed in. 1992, but reopened in as Madrid–Torrejón Airport in 1996.
Operated by. The Spanish National Institute of Aeronautics (1953), USAF (1953-1992), Spanish military zone= Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) and Spanish civil zone= Aena.
Owned by. The Spanish National Institute of Aeronautics (1953) and Spanish MoD (1953 to date).
Outside links. http://www.cafepress.com/airbasestore/4296626, http://www.torrejonairbase.com/, http://www.torrejonairbase.com/, http://www.aena.es/madrid-torrejon/en, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid%E2%80%93Torrej%C3%B3n_Airport, http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Torrej%C3%B3n_Air_Base, http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html, http://www.lucky-devils.net, http://www.torrejonairbase.com, Torrejón Air Base images, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrej%C3%B3n_Air_Base, Featured hotels near Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base, http://us.when.com/vertical?q=spain%20afb%20torrejon&type=content&s_pt=source2&s_it=content&s_chn=14 and us.gratefulgoose.com.

HistoryEdit

Torrejón Air Base (IATA: TOJ, ICAO: LETO) (Base Aérea de Torrejón de Ardoz) is both a major Spanish Air Force base and the collocated Madrid–Torrejón Airport, a secondary civilian airport for the city and metropolitan area of Madrid.

USAF baseEdit

Torrejón Air Base was originally the home of the Spanish National Institute of Aeronautics, however following the Pact of Madrid of 26 September 1953, construction began at Torrejón on a new 13,400-ft concrete runway to replace the existing 4,266-ft grass airstrip and on a massive concrete apron and other necessary maintenance and shelter facilities to accommodate the largest United States Air Force bomber aircraft in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) inventory, with the base intended to support SAC Reflex missions.

Prior to 1966, Torrejón AB hosted TDY squadrons of tactical aircraft rotating from CONUS TAC bases which would perform 30-day rotations to Aviano Air Base Italy and Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Zaragoza Air Base was one of 3 major USAF Cold War airbases in Spain, the others being Torrejón Air Base near Madrid and Morón Air Base near Seville.

With the USAFE takeover of the base, Tactical Air Command transferred the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing from England Air Force Base, Louisiana to USAFE on a permanent basis to Torrejón on 27 April to perform host functions at the base and to support the rotational TDY duty to Italy and Turkey for NATO alerts.

Since its creation, Torrejon Air Base was also the base of a Spanish Air Force fighter wing, an aerial firefighting group and the flight test group of the Spanish Air Force. The three Spanish units were using the base jointly with the USAF. Following the withdrawal of USAF, the Ala 12 of the Spanish Air Force, the 54 Flight Test Group and the 43 Grupo dedicated to aerial firefighting, which had always been based in the Spanish part of Torrejon Air Base, continued using the base. Currently the Ala 12 of the Spanish Air force operates two squadrons with McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, the 54 Flight Test Group operates with a very diverse range of airplanes and the 43 Grupo operates with Bombardier 415 and Canadair CL-215. In order to fill the space left by the withdrawal of USAF, the Spanish Air Force moved into Torrejon Air Base the following units that were not based there before: the 45 Grupo dedicated to VIP transport and the 47 Grupo dedicated to electronic warfare. The outcome of the 1986 referendum on membership in NATO committed the Spanish government to negotiate the reduction of the United States military presence in Spain. Spain insisted that the F-16 aircraft be removed from Torrejón as a condition for renewal of the base agreement, and the Spanish government threatened to expel all United States forces in Spain if this demand were not accepted. The United States felt that even though Italy subsequently agreed to station the F-16 wing at Aviano Air Base, the cost of transfer would be high, and the unit would be in a more exposed position to Warsaw Pact forces. Implementation of this agreement was delayed by the 1990-91 crisis in Kuwait, when the 401st TFW was one of the first American fighter wings to respond, with the 612th TFS deploying to its wartime base at Incirlik Turkey and the 614th TFS becoming the first US Military unit to deploy to the Persian Gulf State of Qatar. Both squadrons flew a large number of operational missions during Operations Desert Shield and Storm.

After the 1991 cease-fire in Iraq, plans proceeded to close Torrejón Air Base. On 28 June, the 613th TFS was inactivated and its aircraft sent to Air National Guard squadrons in the United States. The 612th TFS inactivated on 1 October and the 614th TFS on 1 January 1992.

In accordance with the 1988 agreement, the USAF portion of the base was turned-over to the Spanish government on 21 May 1992, with the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing being transferred to Aviano Air Base, Italy without personnel or equipment.

Civilian airportEdit

Base aerea torrejón de ardoz

Airport in Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.

Madrid–Torrejón Airport (IATA: TOJ, ICAO: LETO) is a commercial airport in Spain. It is a joint-use facility between the Spanish Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Works. The civil part is dedicated primarily to executive and private aviation. The airport is located 24 km (15 mi) northeast of Madrid, 5 mi (8.0 km) west of Alcalá de Henares, and 1 mi (1.6 km) NE of Torrejón de Ardoz. The military part (Base de Torrejón) is the base of several combat, logistics and electronic warfare units of the Ejército del Aire, the Spanish Air Force, among them the 12 Combat Wing with F-18 planes and the official planes of the President of the Government of Spain and the King of Spain. It is also the base of the European Union's Satellite Centre (EUSC). The airport was formerly home to US Air Force Torrejón Air Base.

As the time approached in 1987 for the renegotiation of the existing base agreement, which had entered into force in 1983 for a five-year period, pressures mounted for a reduction of the United States military presence in Spain. Communist political groups and elements of the PSOE had campaigned against the bases. Moreover, the base agreement had become a symbol of United States cooperation with the former Francisco Franco regime. It was important to many Spaniards to eliminate vestiges of this history by converting Spain's long-standing bilateral relations with the United States into a multilateral undertaking through NATO.

The outcome of the 1986 referendum on membership in NATO committed the Spanish government to negotiate the reduction of the United States military presence in Spain. Spain insisted that the F-16 aircraft be removed from Torrejon as a condition for renewal of the base agreement, and the Spanish government threatened to expel all United States forces in Spain if this demand were not accepted. The United States felt that the Spanish military contribution was minimal and the Spanish government was permitting domestic factors to dictate a weakening of NATO defenses. Even though Italy subsequently agreed to station the F-16 wing at Aviano Air Base, the cost of transfer would be high, and the unit would be in a more exposed position to Warsaw Pact forces.

In January 1988, Spain and the United States announced jointly that agreement had been reached in principle on a new base agreement with an initial term of eight years, essentially meeting the conditions demanded by Spain. The F-16s were to be removed from Torrejon within three years, by mid-1991. It was expected that this step would reduce the number of United States personnel in Spain by nearly one-half.

Implementation of this agreement was delayed by the 1990–91 crisis in Kuwait, when the 401st TFW was one of the first American fighter wings to respond, with the 612th TFS deploying to its wartime base at Incirlik Turkey and the 614th TFS becoming the first US military unit to deploy to the Persian Gulf State of Qatar. Both squadrons flew numerous operational missions during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

After the 1991 cease-fire in Iraq, plans proceeded to close Torrejon Air Base. On 28 June, the 613th TFS was inactivated and its aircraft sent to Air National Guard squadrons in the United States. The 612th TFS inactivated on 1 October, and the 614th TFS on 1 January 1992.

In accordance with the 1988 agreement, the USAF portion of the base was returned to the Spanish government on 21 May 1996, with the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing being transferred to Aviano Air Base, Italy without personnel or equipment.

In the mid-1990s Torrejón Air Base was opened to civilian traffic (mostly charter and executive traffic) and was given the name Madrid–Torrejón Airport. Prior to the completion of Barajas terminal 4 it was used on several occasions to reduce congestion at the overloaded old terminals. In 2010, it handled 28,888 passengers and 12,417 flight operations and is operated by AENA.

See alsoEdit

  1. Noteworthy Air bases
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