The multibillion-dollar federal appropriations bill approved by Congress last month prohibits spending military construction funds to move a wing of U.S. supersonic F16 jets from Spain to another country.
If the U.S. Air Force's 401st Tactical Fighter Wing is forced to vacate its base at Torrejon outside Madrid and move to another country, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should pay relocation costs, according to the legislation.
President Reagan signed the spending measure Dec. 22, and details were published this week.
The vote against financing relocation came after Spain demanded that the United States withdraw the wing's 72 F16s from Torrejon.
The Spanish government said Nov. 10 that it would conclude a new defense accord with the United States only if all F16s were pulled out of Torrejon, along with five KC135 jet tanker planes from Zaragoza air base in eastern Spain.
The Senate-House conference committee that drafted the final spending bill included part of a Senate version barring use of U.S. construction funds for relocating the 401st from Spain.
Although "the conferees agree that all construction costs" for relocating the unit to another country should be borne by NATO, they excluded from the final bill the Senate's reference to NATO responsibility, the newly published conference report said.
In November, Spain rejected a U.S. offer to withdraw one-third of the F16s from Torrejon.