The U.S. military plans to maintain its forward command headquarters in Qatar.
Officials said Central Command has been satisfied by the facilities and
services provided by the emirate over the last year. They said Qatar served
as the mobile command and control headquarters for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
In 2003, Qatar hosted U.S. Central Command Forward Headquarters, which
directed the ground war in Iraq and provided a real-time situation picture
to military chiefs in Washington. The United States also deployed Central
Command's 9th Air Force Air Operations Center, which was transferred from
"Our staff will remain forward in Qatar extensively, especially during
this period of multiple transitions in Afghanistan and Iraq," Central
Command chief Gen. John Abizaid told the House Armed Services Committee on
Abizaid said Central Command will improve its facilities in Qatar. He
said the new Al Udeid air base will serve as the hub of U.S. military
operations in Qatar. The air base houses U.S. Air Force F-16 and other
fighter-jets for operations throughout the Persian Gulf.
"Eventually, the Centcom forward headquarters will move to Al Udeid
airfield from Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar," Abizaid said. "This will increase
our efficiency and allow us to reconstitute our mobile headquarters
capability for other contigencies."