No. 850
Memorandum by the Chief of the Joint United States Military Group in Spain (Kissner) to the Chief of the Spanish Military Negotiating Team (Vigon)1


The findings made by General Spry, coupled with the receptive attitude and splendid cooperation of the Spanish authorities, have led the United States to seek from Spain authorization to develop, equip, man and utilize certain military facilities in Spain for the use of United States forces.

These facilities would be used in furtherance of the announced policy of the United States to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and mutual defense. In order that the United States may contribute effectively, advance preparation for individual and cooperative defense becomes requisite. Arrangements to develop and maintain in constant readiness military facilities in Spain will facilitate employment of United States strategic air and naval power in support of those forces in Western Europe resisting aggression.

With reference to the base agreement which we discussed in general terms on the 8th of April,2 I should like to initiate negotiations at the military level to permit early development, equipping, manning and utilization of mutually agreed-upon facilities in Spain.

During our previous discussion, you asked me to elaborate on the subject of the integration of the Spanish forces into the Western European defense scheme. I am not authorized to respond to your query in detail except to reiterate that the use of the proposed bases in Spain by United States forces is intended primarily to [Page 1836] assist in carrying out the defense of Western Europe. Any strengthening of the defense of Western Europe would result materially in more security for Spain, and we can logically assume that it would be to the mutual benefit of both our countries that this be done.

The next question upon which you asked me to elaborate is the question of supply and equipment for Spanish military forces. I am familiar with your views on this subject as expressed both to me and to General Spry. I am assuming that you are familiar with the fact that our Congress has appropriated one hundred million dollars for economic, technical and military assistance to Spain. The breakdown of this fund is a proper subject for the economic negotiating team, but it is intended that a portion of the fund be allocated for military training equipment. Naturally, in the selection of this equipment, the desires and wishes of your staff will be given full consideration. I am presuming again that you are familiar with the fact that military aid to nations in Europe is dependent upon annual appropriations of our Congress. For that reason, it is not possible to state what the appropriations in future years may be. However, it would appear fair to assume that should we negotiate an agreement for the use of military bases in Spain by the United States, our Congress would desire that these bases be properly safeguarded by forces which would require such items as antiaircraft weapons, early warning systems, and communications facilities. Since a portion of the responsibility therefor will naturally rest upon the Spanish forces, we would hope that the indigenous production of Spain would increase to the extent required by those forces.

I am authorized to analyze and make recommendations on Spanish requests for military training equipment, and to continue the reciprocal exchange of information with Spanish military officials, as well as to furnish such appropriate technical advice that may be requested by the Spanish military authorities.

U.S. Military Facilities and Services Desired in Spain

For planning purposes, approved U.S. military requirements in Spain, stated in broad terms, include:
Early development of U.S. Air Force airbase complexes to permit some peacetime rotation and an eventual wartime deployment of six (6) medium bomb wings, one (1) strategic reconnaissance wing, one (1) fighter escort wing, two (2) fighter interceptor wings and supporting units.
Early development of a Navy aircraft off-loading dock with flyaway runway and a nearby Navy advanced airbase capable of supporting carrier air, marine air, anti-submarine warfare, reconnaissance and fleet logistic air wing operations to include peacetime rotation and a possible eventual wartime deployment.
Anchorage rights and utilization of port repair facilities.
Utilization of existing subterranean storage facilities.
Development of an Air Defense system adequate for U.S. installations.
Necessary improvement of Spanish air, maritime, and logistic facilities related to the above requirements.
Implementation of all U.S. Army responsibilities related to the above requirements.
Development, equipping, manning, and utilization of facilities as required for any projected U.S. army operations.
Development of Spanish military potential to the maximum degree possible within existing U.S. limitations, in order to support the above requirements and to aid in the defense of Western Europe.
Utilization of an amphibious training area.
Such additional facilities as may be necessitated because of developments in negotiations with other countries.

[Here follows a more detailed discussion of military facilities desired in Spain by the United States.]

  1. Transmitted from Madrid as Enclosure 1 to despatch 1067, Apr. 21, repeated to Paris and Rome.
  2. The conversation under reference was reported by Kissner in telegram Jusmg 6, Apr. 10, from Madrid to the Department of the Army. (752.5/4–1052)