Boulhaut Air Base
|Boulhaut Air Base|
|Located near Boulhaut, Morocco|
Location of Boulhaut Air Base, Morocco
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Built in 1954 by French contractors, the base was opened on 15 April 1955. The base was one of four Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases (Sidi Slimane, Nouasseur and Ben Guerir being the other three), that were constructed in Morocco in response to the heightened Cold War fears by NATO after the Korean War. Its base host unit was the 3936th Air Base Squadron which reported to the SAC 5th Air Division. SAC assumed jurisdiction of the base on 1 June 1955. The base included housing, code rooms, radar, a cold-storage plant, a glass-walled servicemen's club and a movie theater, along with a 10,000-foot runway, all at a cost of $23 million.
The base was used for forward deployment of B-47 Stratojet bombers and support units.
Boulhaut was closed in about 1963 and turned over to the Moroccan government. Analysis of aerial imagery shows that the condition of the runway, taxiways and parking apron indicate that the facility is still in use, most likely as Ben Slimane Airport. Several small transport aircraft are parked on the apron.
A small hangar and control tower is visible, with most former USAF facilities having been removed. Some buildings to the southwest of the runway are in a state of abandonment, possibly after USAF use, along with several water towers and streets which are the only remains of the American presence.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- 3973d Combat Defense Squadron's Webpage for the SAC's 16th Air Force Units and Bases, Boulhart AB, Morocco