The United States, happens to maintain its biggest concentration of military personnel in the Middle East at Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base. The sprawling base 20 miles southwest of the Qatari capital of Doha is home to some 11,000 US military personnel.
The US Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, provides command and control of air power throughout Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and 17 other nations.
The base, which boasts one of the longest runways in the Persian Gulf at 12,500 feet, is a strategically important facility that can accommodate up to 120 aircraft.
Construction of the $60 million CAOC facility, which the Air Force says “resembles the set of a futuristic movie,” was completed in 2003. At that time the US moved the CAOC from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan Air Base, where since 1997 it had overseen operations during the war in Iraq.
The 379th Air Expedition Wing is “the largest, most diverse expeditionary wing” in the Air Force. It has more than 100 aircraft currently at the Qatar base, including combat planes like the B-1 bomber as well as planes for airlift, refueling and intelligence, the website says.