Tag Archives: Moron Air Base

Cockpit footage from Rafale over Mali

The French Ministry of Defense has been releasing some really interesting footage of French forces in action in Mali.

On Feb. 15 cockpit footage of a Rafale taking off and what appears to be a backseater in a two seat Rafale searching for targets using a targeting pod was released.

The footage finishes with two Rafale taking on fuel from a US Air Force KC-135 of the 100th Air Refueling Wing, normally based at RAF Mildenhall (UK) but are operating out of Moron airbase Spain.

Richard Clements for the TheAviationist.com

Rafale Cockpit

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U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowlers on the move: “Death Jesters” returning to CONUS

On Oct. 3, three EA-6B Prowler jets of the Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) “Death Jester” landed at Moron airbase, in Spain, for a stopover of their return trip to CONUS from Afghanistan.

The U.S. Marine Corps electronic warfare planes, using callsign “Trend 91-93” are normally based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

The VMAQ-2 Prowlers seen arriving at Moron were examples 163406/CY-03, 161242/CY-00 and 163033/CY-01.

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

VMA-211 mourns its Commander as it pushes forward to complete deployment in Afghanistan

Although it suffered the worst hit to enemy fire since WWII, enduring not only the loss of eight AV-8B+ Harrier jets in the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion’s airfiled, Marine Attack Squadron 211 remains fully operational and continues to fly in Helmand province, to provide support to ground troops in Southwest Afghanistan area of operation.

Coalition Forces attend a memorial service in honor of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan Sept. 19, 2012. Raible, commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3D Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), was killed in action while repealing an enemy attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.

The insurgent attack that cost the life of the squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, and wiped out the majority of the American jump jets operating “in theater”, has not prevented the U.S. Marine Corps unit to fly the daily close air support missions for the infantry battalions or the patrol owerwatch sorties, aimed to spot typical ambush positions.

In fact, on Sept. 26, the squadron received six new airframes, both in the VMA-211 “Avengers” and in the VMA-231 “Ace of Spades” markings, to continue the deployment.

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier sits on the flight line at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan Sept. 26, 2012. The Harrier was one of six relocated to Camp Bastion to increase the overall readiness level of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 and is painted in memory of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, who were killed during an attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.

One of the aircraft is painted in memory of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, who were killed during an attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

U.S Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet jets deploying to the Middle East

On Sept. 24, 12 U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet jets arrived to Morón airbase, in Spain, coming from Lajes, Azores.

Belonging to the VMFA-314 Black Knights, from MCAS Miramar, California, the aircraft arrived in two waves as “Trend 61-66” and “Trend 71-76”.

Although someone speculated they were deploying to Afghanistan, where the U.S. has recently suffered a deadly attack at Camp Bastion’s airfield, where six Harriers were destroyed and two severely damaged, the VMFA-314 Hornets were enroute to an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

An exercise or a build-up in the Libya, Mali region?

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

Another OEF rotation: 18 South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets return from Afghanistan

Between Aug. 19 and 21, a total of 18 F-16CJs belonging to the 169th FW / 157th FS “Swamp Fox” of the South Carolina Air National Guard arrived in Morón, Spain on their return leg from Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The aircraft have been replaced in theatre by the Minnesota Air National Guard F-16CJs belonging to the 148th FW “Bulldogs” from Duluth International Airport that made a stopover in Spain on Aug. 10.

The three 6-ship flights respectively used callsigns “Mazda 31-36”, “Mazda 41-46” and “Mazda 01 -06” and were each supported by two aerial refuelers.

Once again The Aviationist’s contributor Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta was there and took the following picture on an arriving F-16.

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

Noteworthy, in the span of a month, two South Carolina Air National Guard pilots reached 4,000 hours in the F-16 while deployed  in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.