U.S. Central Command has been expanding and enhancing the Al Udeid air
base near the Qatari capital of Doha. The project began in 2003 and has
sought to accommodate the increasing U.S. Air Force and Army presence at Al
Qatar has been regarded as a leading Gulf ally of the United States. The
two countries have been conducting exercises as well as negotiating for a
major arms sale to the emirate, Middle East Newsline reported.
In the latest move, Central Command has authorized new facilities for
helicopters at Al Udeid. The Defense Department, in a project overseen by
the U.S. Army Engineer District, has awarded Contrack International a $38
million contract to build a rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft hangar at the
The contract also stipulated the construction of an operations facility
and other related support. The Pentagon said the contract would be completed
by March 2009.
In October 2006, 14 bids were solicited by the Pentagon and seven
bids were received. Officials said contract funds would not expire at the
end of fiscal 2007.