***image1***It has been five years since Global War on Terrorism operations transformed Morón Air Base from a “sleepy hollow” base to a vital stopover point for aircraft “air bridge” operations.
Personnel at the air base in southern Spain, who operate as a geographically separated unit of the 38th Combat Support Wing, are using Air Force Smart Operations 21 to support contingency expeditionary air operations with less resources.
In support of the AFSO 21 call to maximize value and eliminate waste, Morón’s airfield operation hours have been reduced 33 percent. Since October 2006, Morón’s airfield hours were reduced from 24/7 to a 16-hour period between 8 and 12 a.m., saving the government an estimated $215,000 a month.
Col. Earl D. Matthews, 38th Combat Support Wing commander, emphasized that the commitment to efficient support is strong.
“In order to continue to support the warfighter and the worldwide expeditionary mobility requirements, we must continue to remain flexible and look for better ways to communicate, so that we can offer ‘just in time’ support to our customers versus the traditional ‘open all day, all night’ support,” he said.
Col. Steven Beatty, 712th Air Base Group commander and overall U.S. Armed Forces commander in Morón, said, “We are currently in a test phase to gauge the impact to the worldwide deployment requirements, and yet remain ready to respond to after hours requirements at a moment’s notice.”
Colonel Beatty added that each time an aircraft requests after-hours support, it costs an estimated $1,500, so the test phase would need to be carefully monitored to ensure a wise use of limited resources. This test phase will continue until the end of April.
“As mobility operations normalized since the war buildup, air traffic operations at Morón declined sharply,” said Lt. Col. Jerome Traughber, 496th Air Base Squadron commander. “This reduction in airfield hours is not only saving money, but also improving morale amongst our troops.”
(Courtesy of the 38th Combat Support Wing)