US Seeks to Base More Aircraft in Spain

The US has asked Spain for permission to expand operations at Morón Air Base for operations in North Africa, reportedly moving helicopters from Afghanistan to conduct anti-drug operations. Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo said this week the move is likely but there is no timeline just yet, according to Europa Press. The move would broaden the United States’ reach into countries in North Africa, expanding on the build-up of the base with a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey contingent outlined in a May 2015 deal between the two countries. The US initially planned to base the aircraft in Morocco, but instead moved the aircraft and troops to Morón, García-Margallo said. Morón is home to the Air Force’s 496th Air Base Squadron and has hosted airlift and tanker aircraft in missions across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.