The United States envisions a long-term military
presence in Qatar.
U.S. officials said the Defense Department has drafted plans and
contracts for a significant U.S. Army and Air Force stay in Qatar until the
end of the decade. They said the Al Udeid air force base would be the
leading facility for the deployment of U.S. military personnel and aircraft.
The United States expanded its military presence in Qatar in 2002 in
preparations for the war in Iraq in March 2003. The two countries signed a
long-term military cooperation agreement to facilitate the U.S. presence
after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Middle East Newsline reported.
So far, the Pentagon has awarded at least one contract that envisions a
significant U.S. fighter-jet presence in Qatar until at least 2010. The
Pentagon has awarded a U.S. firm a contract to provide fuel and
related facilities to support the U.S. aircraft presence at the new Qatari
air force base at Al Udeid.
The Al Udeid base was completed in 2003 and meant to house the air
force's mobile command and control headquarters. The facility was located in
A-Sayliyah army base during the Iraq war and early 2004.
Al Udeid has a 15,000-foot runway, the largest in the Middle East and
is meant for the B-2 strategic bomber.
The Pentagon has awarded a $112.5 million contract to Fueling Systems
Contractors for supplying fuel facilities and equipment and fuel services to
support the U.S. Air Force in Qatar. The work will take place at Al
A Pentagon statement said 20 contractors were solicited and three
responded. The statement said the contract will be completed in 2010.