Four U.S. B-52 Bombers Have Just Landed In Spain For A Bomber Task Force Deployment

MACE 22 about to land at Moron AB on May 17, 2021. (All images: Ethan Ferro)

B-52H Stratofortress bombers have arrived at Moron Air Base, Spain, for a European deployment.

Four U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers of the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, arrived at Moron Air Base, in southern Spain, approximately 35 miles southeast of the city of Seville, on May 17, 2021.

The first B-52, MACE 21, serial 61-0012, landed in Spain around 08.10 Local Time. MACE 22, 61-0015, followed at 14.30LT. The last two aircraft, MACE 23 and 24, 60-0013 and 61-0010, landed shortly after 20.30LT.

Ethan Ferro was at Moron AB and took the photos of the BUFFs you can find in this article.

According to an official USAF release, “the mission highlights the U.S. military’s ability to conduct integration training with partners and allies. This deployment of strategic bombers to Moron Air Base, Spain, helps exercise U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s capability to operate bombers out of a variety of forward operating locations.”

“Training with joint partners, allied nations and other units enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.”

“Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate the U.S.’ commitment to the collective defense of NATO and contribute to stability in the European theater. Our ability to quickly respond and assure allies and partners rests upon the fact that we are here, in Europe, forward and ready.”

As usual with all the BTF deployments, the B-52s which have just arrived in Spain are scheduled to carry out joint and allied training in the U.S. European Command theater and U.S. Africa Command theater to improve bomber interoperability.

Side photo of MACE 22 on final approach for landing at Moron AB.

It’s not clear whether the B-52 bombers currently at Moron AB, Spain, are going to play a role in Astral Knight 2021, a multinational exercise currently underway in the Adriatic Sea region. However, while the official releases about the drills mention only U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, HH-60 Pave Hawk and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft; Italian Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft; Hellenic Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and Emb-145 Erieye aircraft; and Croatian MiG-21 BisD/UMD aircraft; both in 2020 and 2019, USAF B-52s have taken part in Astral Knight missions.

BTW, Moron AB is a strategic airbase that can be used by any American plane moving eastbound from the U.S. It is often used as a stopover by all the U.S. tactical aircraft going to or returning from Afghanistan (whose standard route is a r/t CONUS – Moron – EAU – Afghanistan) or the Middle East along with Lajes field (Azores), Sigonella (Sicily) and Souda Bay (Crete).

It was also one of four Space Shuttle Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) sites in Europe even though it was never used for such purpose during the entire NASA’s program.

H/T to David Parody for connecting us with Ethan Ferro!

B-52 Spain
MACE 22 landing at Moron.
About David Cenciotti 4357 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.