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Busy U.S. Base Unsettles Some in Spain

What was once a sleepy little airbase in southern Spain is now the busiest base in the U.S. Air Force. The Moron base is the main transit point between the United States and Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands of tons of war supplies, tanker planes and squadrons of fighters now pass through Moron.

The base is a vital link in the U.S. supply chain -- but it's not very popular with many Spaniards. The Spanish public is vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq. As a result, the increased activity by American forces has sparked protests.

Spanish troops out of Iraq, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has made opposition to the war in Iraq a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Zapatero has given no indication of wanting to close the bases. And despite local protests and the far left's campaign to close them, most Spaniards seem resigned to their presence.

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Jerome Socolovsky is the Audio Storytelling Specialist for NPR Training. He has been a reporter and editor for more than two decades, mostly overseas. Socolovsky filed stories for NPR on bullfighting, bullet trains, the Madrid bombings and much more from Spain between 2002 and 2010. He has also been a foreign and international justice correspondent for The Associated Press, religion reporter for the Voice of America and editor-in-chief of Religion News Service. He won the Religion News Association's TV reporting award in 2013 and 2014 and an honorable mention from the Association of International Broadcasters in 2011. Socolovsky speaks five languages in addition to his native Spanish and English. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and graduate degrees from Hebrew University and the Harvard Kennedy School. He's also a sculler and a home DIY nut.