Muwaffaq Salti Air Base
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|Muwaffaq Salti Air Base - Azraq|
قاعدة الشهيد موفق السلطي الجوية - الازرق
|Near Azraq, Zarqa Governorate in Jordan|
A RJAF F-16 landing
|Owner||Jordanian Armed Forces|
|Operator||Royal Jordanian Air Force|
407th Air Expeditionary Group
|In use||1918, 1981–present|
|Identifiers||ICAO: OJMS, LID: OJ40|
|Elevation||519 metres (1,703 ft) AMSL|
In 1918, during World War I, T.E. Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia) used the historic castle in Azraq and the plains at that site as a base for use as a landing ground for the aircraft which were supporting the column pushing north towards Syria. The main qualities of the area were its good visibility and fine weather for flying.
In 1976, the area was chosen by the Royal Jordanian Air Force for a major new air base. Construction started that same year and in November, 1980, No 1 (Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighters) and No 11 squadrons (F-5E/F Tiger II's) were deployed there.
The air base was officially opened on May 24, 1981. It was named after Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti who died in battle with the Israeli Air Force on November 13, 1966, during the Battle of Samou. It was initially home to Nos 1 and 25 Mirage squadrons. Between 1997 and 2007 Mirage squadrons were based here.
Between October 2014 and July 2015 the Belgian Air Component deployed six Lockheed Martin F-16AM Fighting Falcon's here as well under Operation Desert Falcon (later Operation Inherent Resolve) due to the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In 2019 the United States began a $143 million expansion of the airbase. The expansion includes a new airlift apron, a personnel recovery and special operations forces apron, and a close air support (CAS) and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) apron as well as a cargo marshaling yard.
Since 1997 No's 1, 2 and 6 (General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon) squadrons have been based there.
The American Government along with other countries has deployed various aircraft there due to the military intervention against ISIL. The base is reported to host several MQ-9 Reaper drones, based on satellite imagery. The base is partly operated by the 407th Air Expeditionary Group.
- AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. September 2015. p. 74.
- AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. May 2015. p. 56.
- "Reaper Drones Revealed to Be Operating from Jordan - bellingcat". bellingcat. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
- "Air Force identifies airman killed by storm in Jordan". Air Force Times. December 9, 2016.
- "USARCENT command team travels region to focus on enduring partnership". US Army. December 9, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
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