US military bases in Spain on map

Road atlas of East US and Canada

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4 U.S. Base(s)


Major post-WWII presence during/after Franco's dictatorship at Rota, Moron, other bases; expanding presence now focused on Africa.

US military bases in Spain. Map of the Spain with military bases of the United States

 Naval Station Rota Naval Base in Rota, SPAIN US Military Bases in Spain


Compared to other military bases in Europe, Naval Station Rota, Spain is way different. If other bases are mostly operated by the US government under the strict regulations of other governments, this one is actually operated by the Spanish Vice Admiral. The connection with the United States of America comes with the money. In other words, the base is fully funded by the USA. The base is located in Rota, a small town close to El Puerto de Santa Maria. The base inhabitants form the largest US community on the Spanish territory. It hosts sailors, Marines, US Army troops and US Air Force experts. Most of the inhabitants are American. The base is fully operational and run by both countries through a mutual agreement. This means it is a co-base.


According to the US government, the base is said to be the gate to the Mediterranean. It includes an airfield and a port. The location is very useful and strategic. The base is placed close to the Straits of Gibraltar. At the same time, it is in the middle of the distance between Southwest Asia and the United States of America. It used to cover over 6000 acres and provides support for most other bases located in Europe. At the same time, it is an excellent “ally” for NATO.


NS Rota dates since 1953. It is the result of a Spanish dictator’s work. Francisco Franco decided to improve the Spanish relationships with the United States, half a century after the bloody war. The new connections were meant to improve the local economy. He provided the Americans with one of the most strategic points on the Spanish map, well known in the history for previous operations – Cadiz.


The first important submarines joined the base in 1964. By 1980, multiple equipments were brought there, not to mention about the significant improvements. Some of the submarines left, while new ones were joining in a continuous replacement process. The base reached its peak in 1980, when it hosted over 16000 troops and their families, plus a few permanent squadrons. After the end of the Cold War, the popularity dropped a little, as well as the area covered. For instance, the station only covers 5200 acres these days and hosts not more than 4000 citizens.


One of the black spots in the history of Naval Station Rota took place in April, 2011, when the US Navy commander was relieved of command after a deep investigation regarding the use of drugs. Every year, more and more natives get together on the streets and protest against the presence of the United States troops on the Spanish territory. The marches are peaceful and support the freedom and peace.



The housing system at NS Rota is restricted to the workers and inhabitants. The newcomers will be taken over by a welcome committee and given a home, depending on their needs and possibilities. They can choose to rent or to buy. Their families can also be hosted at the base.


 Moron Air Force Base Moron De La Frontera, SPAIN US Military Bases in Spain


Spread over a large territory in Andalusia, Spain, Morón Air Base is one of the most strategic points controlled by the Americans in Europe. It is located in the southern part of Spain, about 50 km from Sevilla and 120 km from Rota. The name comes from a close town. The huge importance of this base stays in its location. It is not too far from the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be considered to be a connection point for any American operation going east.


The base construction began in 1940. It was entirely built by the Spanish forces and exclusively used by the local Air Force. It took almost 13 years for an agreement to be set between Spain and the United States. The Americans pumped some money in the Spanish base, enlarging and upgrading it. The whole process took about 3 years to complete. The first operations started in 1958, with the first American tests and surveillance operations.


The camp status was constantly changed throughout its history. It was first a reflex base, then it hosted fair weather operations. By 1971, it was also used as a caretaker. After 1983, the Spanish Army allowed the US bombers to get in the air space and land at the base after a 17 years long ban. The ban occurred after an unusual accident near Palomares. Two hydrogen bombs caused a lot of trouble in the area then. One of them spread radioactive content over the human communities in the area, while a second one was lost 20 km off the coast in the sea. It took more than 12,000 military trained personnel and 90 days of searching until it was found. Believe it or not, the troops were actually guided to the bomb by a local fisherman.


2001 was the most important year in the history of Morón Air Base. It was the most active base during the Afghanistan invasion. 2003 was also a very busy year for the inhabitants, as a new invasion of Iraq was started.


The base was also part of NASA in 1984, while helping in a few space shuttle programs.


The life at Morón Air Base is very attractive not just for the soldiers living there, but also for their families. The place is located in a quiet area with a mild climate. It is within a few hours from plenty of historical and touristic attractions. Other than that, Sevilla is famous for the flamenco festivals and the bullfights. In other words, the area comes with a new lifestyle and culture for the American families. When it comes to the entertainment, there is always something to do tomorrow.


Other than that, the health care system is very professional, as well as the multiple offices dealing with the various needs of the citizens.


The off site housing system in Morón Air Base is privatized, so you will need to discuss with an agent to find a place to stay. If you are there for a short period of time, a hotel may be the most appropriate option.