Reflex in España
Prepared in 1958 by Reflex Intel 307th Bomb Wing
Source: www.307bwassoc.org/ReflexinSpain.htm (per 3973cds.com)
"YOU ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE THE ZI FOR DUTY AT MORON AFB, SPAIN. BEFORE YOU DEPART THERE ARE SOME ITEMS OF INTEREST ON THE AREA YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. IN THIS BROCHURE SOME OF THESE ITEMS ARE COVERED TO GIVE A GENERAL ORIENTATION ON THIS ANCIENT COUNTRY.
THIS BROCHURE WAS PREPARED FROM INFORMATION GLEANED FROM SOURCES OF 16TH AIR FORCE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AND FROM ON THE SPOT OBSERVATIONS. IT IS DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOU IN HAVING AN ENJOYABLE TOUR WHILE IN SPAIN."
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SEVILLA AND MORON, SPAIN
Sevilla was a flourishing metropolis 2,000 years before Columbus discovered America. A city of size, power and influence in the known world of that time; today, present day Sevilla has approximately 403,000 inhabitants scattered in an area not nearly as large as that of Lincoln. It is the principal city of Andalucia, the capital city of the province of Sevilla) and is situated in southern Spain. Formerly the major portion of the city lay on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River, but in the years of development, it has grown until it now covers both sides of the river. It is through this river, the Guadalquivir, that Sevilla lays claim to being a seaport town, even though it is 55 miles inland. It is not an uncommon sight to see ships of fairly large size tied up to the wharf. Sevilla is only 32 feet above sea level.
This ancient city of Sevilla has a very colorful history and one that has left its mark on her. She is the heir to many civilizations that, one by one have left their traces in Andalucia. Its history, like that of Spain, begins with the prehistoric tribes called "Iberos". These people were later followed by the "Tartesia" and Celts. The first real foreigners to enter Sevilla were the ancient Phoenician sailors. However, of all the people it is the Roman domination of Spain in 218 BC that left the far greater imprint on the Sevillian culture. Julius Caesar called it “Julis Romula”. Sevilla, along with the near neighboring city of Italica still today bear witness to the importance of the region during the Roman period. One can travel to the Roman ruins at Italica, 12 miles outside of Sevilla, and still see the well preserved amphitheater ruins where once the gladiators fought among themselves and wild beasts. Located here also are the mosaic floors of the houses, however, most of the best mosaic floors have been moved into Sevilla for safekeeping. Sevilla herself bears silent witness to the Roman influence and construction through the long wall around the city. This wall and foundation stone of the Giralda were built by the Romans and today still stand.
The Romans, of course, were very instrumental in the early days of founding Spain but it was the Moors and their influence that remains today. Their civilization left full impact on Spain and is constantly being seen in the architecture and to a degree in the music and Flamenco dances of Spain. The most outstanding example of Moorish design is the Alhambra Palace located at Granada a few hours drive from Moron. The Moor built it but an American saved it! Strange to say but this is true, for it was left to deteriorate and to be torn down when Washington Irving, who was living in Granada at that time, successfully fought to save it.
The base of Moron is located nearly 40 miles outside Sevilla. Here has been established a rather small and attractive station with plenty of potential. The buildings that are already constructed are along the standard type identified with Spanish architecture. Not all of the construction is completed; but most of the very necessary buildings are and the others are in different phases of being built.
Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to the BOQ where you will be housed. The BOQ is very centrally located and has a very commanding view of the panorama that is Spain. This is one of the fine buildings that, has been constructed with you in mind. The rooms are attractive, the furnishings are very nice and designed for your comfort. Also provided for your relaxation are a large lounge-reception room in the foyer of the BOQ and a coffee room in the lower section of the hallway. Nearby are located the Officers Club, the movie and the PX. Not far away are the gym, swimming pool and bowling alley, all well equipped. The flight line is also close enough so that to answer any type alert takes only a few minutes.
The local climate resembles that of Southern California. The annual rainfall varies from 26 inches to 29 inches, however, during the period from June through September there is little or no actual rainfall. From April to October the average temperature varies between 80-98 and occasionally goes to the 100 mark. From October until April, average highs are 65 to 70 degrees, the average lows run from 45 to 50 degrees. The humidity is not too high during the summer months, but during the winter months it does increase to where the winter cold becomes quite penetrating and warm clothing is required.
Therefore, with such a climate in mind one must consider and chose the most suitable type civilian clothing to bring. Generally, clothing suitable for wear in our southern states will be found to be most comfortable. The appropriate off base civilian attire is considered to be either a suit or sport coat and slacks with tie. Sport shirts and slacks without tie are not accepted off base. The reason for the civilian clothing being emphasized is due to the agreement between the two governments that allowed the Air Force to maintain bases in Spain. This agreement, simply stated, is that no American personnel would wear uniforms off base. Further, it was desired that in keeping with the expectations of the station and reputation of the American personnel, that they should dress accordingly. This means dressing in accordance to a comparable class of the Spanish society. It is recommended that conservative clothing be brought: conservative in color and cut. The Spanish do not understand nor appreciate the loud colors of some of our clothing. For himself the Sevillano adheres to a rigid standard of dress even in the hottest weather. Mean wear the coat and tie and the women are always well covered in public. Shorts and. slacks on women are considered in poor taste.
As the ancient adage goes "when in Rome do as the Romans do" could well be used in Spain. Particularly, this is true with the language. Very few of the people that you will meet daily speak any English at all. So the effort of learning some Spanish is on you. You will find that there is little or no hesitation from the people to try to assist you in learning if you so desire. They are most helpful and very desirous in assisting you to speak their language. Any effort on your part will go a long way toward making your visit to Spain much more enjoyable.
Sanitary practices in the matter of food in Spain are not as complete as those of our country, therefore a word of warning is given. Because of the high rate of infection prevalent in the local dairy herds and different standards in processing, it is inadvisable to eat any of the local dairy products, including the ice cream.
Avoid eating leafy vegetables or fruits grown close to the ground and that are to be eaten raw. When eating out on the economy, care and discretion should be taken in selecting restaurants and the selection of well cooked items on the menu when ordering meals. Tap water off base should not be drunk. Drink only the bottled water that can be bought. Wine with the meal is good and is cheap and it serves as the substitute for water.
There are many wonderful sights to see and places to go that can be arranged for you on your R&R period of time. A natural limitation of distance is placed on you but that affords no problem. Within the spectrum of Moron there is Madrid, the capital city, Sevilla itself, Lisbon, the Balearic Isles and Gibraltar, which is but a stepping stone to Tangiers, to name a few that are available to you. Also the Service Club has conducted local tours that are very worthwhile.
Each Tuesday night has been established as the “get together” night for the steak fries out on the patio of the Club. Steaks are obtained and each individual cooks his own to his taste.
MONEY AND SHOPPING TIPS
On the local market one can find many good buys. The Spanish make some very fine products that give full value for the money. Some of these items are glassware, leather goods, jewelry, pottery, wrought iron, silverware, mantillas and ladies fine gloves. A trip to Sevilla’s Sierpes can be a shopper’s delight for most of these mentioned items. Also the rate of exchange is in your favor 'as the present rate is 60 pesetas to $1.00.
Money can be exchanged on the base at the Base Finance and at some hotels in town. However, the hotels have a slight charge for the transaction. Checks may be cashed at the Club and at Base Finance. A word of warning is make sure any checks cashed do not bounce.
The Spanish are probably among the most friendly people in the world today. The traveler to Spain needs only to be in the country for a few hours to find this out. The open warm friendly smile that goes with the warm greeting is infectious and seems to say “welcome to Spain”. Relations with the local population in this area are excellent and must be preserved. It is, therefore, very necessary for each individual to remain on his good behavior. This is not hard to do if one rule is kept in mind; treat the people as you would desire to be treated. You are not a conqueror nor are you engaged in a role of an occupier of a captive country. What you do and the way you act reflects directly upon you, your country and the Air Force. The mission of the United States Armed Forces is far too valuable to be placed in jeopardy by a careless, thoughtless act of an individual. Your duty assignment is vitally important., but just as important is the way you conduct yourself while in Spain. If Americans become known overseas as troublemakers with no respect for the rights of others, the only result will be devastating injury to our mission. On the other hand, if forethought consideration for others is shown, then the mission can be a huge success and make friends for us. In this day and age the United States needs all of its friends throughout the world in our struggle for "a free world. " Peace is our Profession!' is our motto but who will believe it if they first know us as troublemakers and disrespectors of the rights of others?