Étain-Rouvres Air Base - USAF Use


The first contingent of USAF personnel to Etain Air Base was Flight "C", 73rd Support Group (Depot) from Chateauroux-Deols Air Base on 1 February 1953. This advanced group was tasked with safeguarding USAF property and to coordinate construction activities. In addition, the 7005th Air Base Squadron was activated to bring the base up to operational status.

The design of the airfield was to space parked aircraft as far apart as possible by the construction of a circular marguerite system of hardstands that could be revetted later with earth for added protection. Typically the margueriete consisted of fifteen to eighteen hardstands around a large central hangar. Each hardstand held one or two aircraft, and allowed the planes to be spaced approximately 150 feet (50 m) apart. Each squadron was assigned to a separate hangar/hardstand complex. This construction can be seen clearly in the satellite image link at the bottom of this article.

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