US Air Forces in Europe’s 496th Air Base Squadron runs a transient aircraft operation at Moron AB, Spain. Capt. Erin Dorrance reports that, in 2006, the 496th ABS provided safe harbor and services for 966 aircraft. And, its 11,180-foot runway, the longest in USAFE, serves as an emergency space shuttle landing site. The self-sufficient unit comprises 130 personnel spanning 47 specialty codes, from airfield operations to medical and civil engineering.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.