The American Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar
In December 2002, the United States and Qatar signed an agreement that formally allows the Americans to use the Al Udeid Air Base, which is located about 20 miles outside of Doha, Qatar. The US$1.4 billion base has the longest runway (2.8 miles) in the region and can accommodate up to 120 aircraft; the runway is particularly necessary for planes used for midair refueling, which is one of the roles of the base. The base is strategically important for operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Al Udeid Air Base is home to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing is the largest, most diverse expeditionary wing in the US Air Force with more than 90 combat and support aircraft, with aircraft coming not only from the US military, but from those of the UK, Singapore, and Australia. There are several thousand American personnel in Qatar.
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