Torrejon Welcome Booklet

1961 Madrid B Flight CDF
Richard W. Thomson 2nd from the right in the first row.
Flight Commander SSGT Lloyd Pedesclaux far left standing with sunglasses

1961 Madrid C Flight CDF
Submitted by Ernest Santos

Kneeling first row: SSgt Blackwell, AlC Coleman, A2C Smith, A2C Weirzbicki, A3C Miller, A2C Dean, A2C Hicks, A2C Foose, A2C Cunningham.

Middle Row: Flt Chief SSgt Estenson, AlC Hubbard, A2C Walker, A2C Inaone, A3C Sink, A2C Shevock, A3C Creedon, A3C Czyzwski (Ski), AB Johnson.

Back row: AlC Forbis, A2C Homan, A2C Coffelt, A2c Andrews, A2C Atkins, A2C Morris, A3C Shafer, A2C Horinka and Ernest Santos.

Fine Dining Menu

Torrejon AB 1959

Former USAF Hotel Madrid, Hotel Balboa Taken May 2010


This is and was our ration card in order to prevent excessive purchases of booze, cigarettes, tea, coffee, and gasoline.
We each were rationed and when you made those purchases the BX would cross one off.

Chow Hall Card

Swim Team 1962

AB Movie Schedule 1963

Photo Credit: Sidney P. Beck CMSGT Ret. - Stationed at both Nouasseur and Moron from 1962 to 1965

Madrid - the biggest city near Torrejon

Torrejon,  Spain 

Location:   20 miles NNE of Madrid

Date of Current Name: 15 Dec 55

Previous Names:  Aeropuerto de Torrejon

Date of Establishment:  1 Jun 57

Date Construction Began: 27 Sep 53

Date of Beneficial Occupancy: 	1 Jul 56

Base Operating Units: 1 Jul 56 - 1 Jul 57   7600 ABGp
                        Sep 57 - 1 Jun 59   3970 ABGp
                      1 Jun 59 - 1 Jun 64   redesignated as 3970 CSGp
                      1 Jun 64 -   Jun 66   redesignated as 3970 Strat Wg			
                     15 Apr 66 - 4 May 92   401 CSGp
                      4 May 92 - 1 Oct 94   600 ABGp

Major Units Assigned: 8 Jan 57 - 1 Jan 65   871 AC&W Sq
                     15 Sep 57 - 1 Jul 71   21 Wea Sq
                      1 Oct 57 - 1 Jan 65   65 AD
                      4 Oct 57 - 30 Sep 92  1989 AACS  Sq
                                            redesignated 1989 Comm Sq
                                            redesignated 1989 Comm Gp
                      1 Feb 58 - 10 Aug 92  16 AF
                     21 Jun 58 - 18 Jun 64  497 FIS      F-86, F-102
                      1 Mar 60 -  7 Jan 71  Spanish Comm Region (ECD)
                      8 Jan 66  - 96?       625th Military Airlift Support Group (MAC)
                                            redesignated Det 1 625 AMSS  (MAC)
                     27 Apr 66 -  4 May 92  401 TFW       F-100, F-4, F-16
                     25 Jun 66 - 31 Dec 76  98 Strat Wg   KC-135
                      8 Jan 71 - 30 Jun 72  Mediterranean Comm Region
                      1 Apr 83 -  1 Oct 84  2186 Comm Sq
                      1 Oct 84 -  1 Nov 86  redesignated 2186 ISS
                      1 Nov 86 -        92  redesignated 2186 Comm Sq
                     15 Jan 84 -  4 May 92  7116 Tac Control Flt

Disposition:  Returned 30 Jun 98

26 May 2000

Torrejon, Spain

	Approval for US bases in Spain came as part of the Defense Agreement of 26 Sep 53.  
	In return for basing rights, the US agreed to provide Spain with an air defense force.   
	Built primarily for SAC bombers, Torrejon was one of three bases built in Spain.   
	The test and development center of the Spanish Air Force was located about 20 miles NE 
	of Madrid and the site was chosen for the base.   Construction was carefully planned, 
	took over 4 years.  Torrejon was activated  on 1 Jun 57 and was ready for B-47s by 
	Sep 57, however, Spanish officials were concerned about conflicting air traffic 
	between the base and Madridís airport (a persistent problem for Torrejon) and the
	 base was not opened for flying until 1958. 

	 SAC reflux operations began in Apr 58 and B-47 bomber units rotated through the base.  
	 The 497 FIS , a SAC unit operating F-86s and later F-102s was assigned to Torrejon 
	 in 1958 to provide air defense.  The agreements between SAC & USAFE & the different 
	 countries were complex,  constantly changing and sometimes inconsistent.  USAFE 
	 provided air defense units for Morocco but SAC provided them for Spain. In an 
	 attempt to streamline operations  16AF was reassigned from HQ USAF to SAC along 
	 with the recently created 65 AD in July 57.  However, in Jul 1960 the 65AD was 
	 transferred to USAFE and in Apr 66 Hq 16AF was assigned to USAFE and the 401TFW 
	 came to Torrejon.

 	Project Clear Water was a series of reductions in the 60s of overseas bases and 
 	manpower.  It effectively ended SAC operations in Spain.  The interceptor squadron 
 	left Torrejon in 1964 and SAC ceased reflux operations in Mar 65 but retained the 
 	KC-135 wing at Torrejon until it moved to RAF Mildenhall in Jan 76.  

	The host unit at Torrejon became the 401 TFW however the Spanish Air Force retained 
	ownership of the base and had an active wing there.  The 401 TFW had three squadrons  
	flying F-100s, then F-4 and then F-16s.  The 625 MAS handled MAC traffic and passenger 
	service and Torrejon became the main terminal for the Mediterranean area after French 
	bases were closed in 67.  The 1989 Comm Gp maintained a nationwide net of 8 comm sites 
	and provided air traffic control and comm support.  In Jan 88 the US and Spain signed a 
	new agreement on Defense cooperation which required the 401 TFW to leave Spain by May 92.  
	Studies began on finding an alternative base for the unit.

	During the Gulf  War the 401TFW sent a squadron to Qatar and one to Incirlik to support 
	Allied operations.  Torrejon Air Base supported 10,000 MAC sorties carrying 85,000 troops 
	and 130,000 tons of cargo through the base to the Gulf. Torrejon handled 80 percent of 
	the airlift missions. During the buildup and war, the base pumped 200 million gallons 
	of fuel to transiting aircraft.

	During 1992, USAFE withdrew most of its forces from Spain. the 401st began inactivating 
	its squadrons and redeploying aircraft to other USAFE bases and to the US in July 1991. 
	The last F-16 aircraft left Torrejon on 24 March, ending 26 years of Air Force fighter 
	presence in Spain.   On 4 May, in formal ceremonies, the 401st transferred to Aviano 
	without personnel or equipment. Headquarters Sixteenth Air Force also moved to Aviano AB 
	from Torrejon during 1992.

	Torrejon AB drew down quickly once the fighter squadrons inactivated and by early April, 
	the base was a virtual ghost town. Air Force base operations closed on 1 Apr 92 and 
	thereafter USAFE air traffic control information was given only in Spanish. Throughout 
	the spring and summer, the Air Force continued to turn over buildings and facilities to 
	the Spanish Air Force. The 600ABGp was activated on 4 May 92 to continue the drawdown 
	and support the remaining personnel.   The 1989th Communications Wing inactivated on 
	30 Sep 92. 

	 After the inactivation of the 600th Air Base Group on 1 Oct 94, the only permanently 
	 stationed US personnel at Torrejon were 10 members of Air Mobility Command plus five 
	 local nationals to provide a limited enroute capability for airlift operations which 
	 would soon move to Rota NAS, Spain. 

	The runway and taxiways at Torrejon had been heavily damaged by US transport aircraft 
	during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991. In 1993, USAFE returned the runway and taxiways 
	to the Spanish Air Force without a US commitment or Spanish request for repair or 
	restoration. But without repair, they would continue to deteriorate and would 
	eventually become unusable for USAF contingency requirements. In June 1994 a joint 
	agreement was signed and repairs were made. These repairs would keep the runway 
	operable at least through 1997, when the current Agreement on Defense Cooperation 
	with Spain expired .  On 20 Feb 97 Air Mobility Command concluded that Torrejon was 
	no longer needed as an enroute support base.  

	The base was officially returned to the Spanish Air Force on 30 Jun 98 and remains 
	an active Spanish Air Force base.

Airforce Map of Madrid

Slide Show of Early Madrid.


webmaster - email: