U.S. expands air force base
in Qatar

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

WASHINGTON The U.S. military continues to enhance a key air force base in Qatar.

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 Udeid.

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 Qatari base.

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.

Copyright 2007 East West Services, Inc.

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