A series of images that were taken by American military personnel

The best photos from the US National Archives about the Spanish Air Force

The air forces of Spain and the United States have been collaborating as allies for many years, even in combat operations.

Spanish and US F-4 Phantom II fighters in the CASA hangars in Getafe in 1980
The Air Arm of the Spanish Navy in old photographs of the US National Archives

The National Archives of the United States preserve many photographs that bear witness to that past in common. Some photos have very good quality (and I say this as a photography fan) and others reflect curious and even funny moments, which show the camaraderie between the military aviators of both countries. I have selected fourteen photos that I thought were especially good. These are photos that were taken by the US military. I hope you like them.

Descending from the green giant. Members of the Spanish Air Force and the USAF descending from a US HH-53C Jolly Green Giant heavy helicopter on April 13, 1987 during the exercise special operations Flintlock 87 at Zaragoza Air Base (source).

Spanish paratroopers in England. Spanish Air Force paratroopers launching from the rear ramp of a USAF HH-53C Jolly Green Giant heavy helicopter during the Flintlock 87 special operations exercise on April 13 1987at RAF Bentwaters Air Base, England (source).

Intervention in the former Yugoslavia. A Spanish EF-18, the C.15-65 12-23, belonging to the 12th Wing based in Torrjón de Ardoz, takes off from the Aviano Air Base, in Italy , on September 6, 1995 during a NATO air operation against the Bosnian Serbs. The aircraft carries an AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missile under its starboard wing and an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile on its marginal mount (source).

Remove before flight. A Spanish Air Force sergeant covers the engine inlet of a CN-235 transport plane on June 16, 1998, after landing on the McChorc AFB, Washington, during Airlift Exercise Rodeo 98 (source).

Flying in formation in Zaragoza. Two Spanish EF-18s from the 15th Wing and two F-16Cs from the USAF 510th Fighter Squadron, based in Aviano, return in formation over the Zaragoza Air Base on February 7, 2002. Below are four EF-18s from the 15th Wing parked on the base platform. (source).

Flying over the snowy mountains of Afghanistan. A Spanish Air Force gunner with an MG-3 machine gun aboard an AS-332 Super Puma helicopter on January 22, 2011. The Spanish helicopter was carrying Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff, of the British Army, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (source).

A song for his girlfriend from Kabul. Two USAF sergeants sing into the phone of an Air Force aviator at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, on October 27, 2011 . The Spanish airman asked the USAF rockers to sing a song to his girlfriend during a call to Spain (source).

The band reflected in the horn. An Air Force musician at the commemorative events of the 75th anniversary of the Morón Air Base on May 30, 2015. His fellow musicians appear reflected in his horn (source).

Giving the canary a drink. A Spanish EF-18A fighter, the C.15-95 46-23, belonging to the 46th Wing based in Gando (Canary Islands) on March 29, 2016 , during a refueling flight with a KC-130J of the Marines in Gran Canaria (source).

Elegance. A Spanish EF-18M fighter prepares to take off from Nellis AFB, Nevada, during exercise Red Flag 16-4 on August 17, 2016. Spanish aviators and other allied nations often go to these combat aircraft exercises in the United States (source).

A caress on the nose. A pilot of a Spanish EF-18M fighter does a pre-flight inspection before taking off from Nellis AFB, Nevada, during exercise Red Flag 16-4 on < strong>August 17, 2016 (source).

Cockpit for two. The crew members of an EF-18B(M) of the 12th Wing, the CE.15-08 12-71, climb into the cockpit of this two-seat version of the Hornet at the air base of Nellis AFB, Nevada, during exercise Red Flag 16-4 on August 17, 2016 (source).

Drinking at dusk above the clouds. A two-seat Eurofighter Typhoon from the 11th Wing during a refueling flight with a Marine KC-130J near Morón Air Base, on November 14, 2019 (source).

Scaring away the birds. A Spanish A400M Atlas transport plane, part of the 31st Wing, lands at the Aviano Air Base, in Italy, on September 28, 2020 , transporting USAF personnel after a deployment to RAF Lakenheath, England. In the image you can see a flock of birds flying near the Spanish plane (source).


Main photo: NARA. An EF-18A from the 462 Squadron of the 46th Wing, based in Gando (Canary Islands), during a refueling flight with a KC-130J of the Marines on March 29, 2016.

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