AL UDEID AIR BASE, QATAR
Story by Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick
When many people picture or reminisce on deployments, they visualize rugged conditions. While outposts in austere environments do still exist, many other locations such as Al Udeid Air Base have seen significant development in the past 20 years. The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing leads the way on installation upgrades here.
With a multi-billion dollar commitment from the host nation of Qatar, future joint and coalition service members at AUAB will soon see completed projects. With 10 state-of-the-art dormitories, two dining facilities, and three mission support facilities slated for completion in the near future as well as over 170 projects in the next decade, these new buildings will improve the quality of life for service members and improve the effectiveness of operations.
“The expeditionary facilities at Al Udeid Air Base have exceeded their expected service life,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Coffee, deputy director of AFCENT forward’s program management office. “These facilities were not intended for renovation, they were intended for use during their service life, then to be replaced by permanent structures.”
“Qatar has already started construction of new dormitories and dining facilities that will improve living conditions for U.S. and coalition Soldiers and Airmen to a level commensurate with the best air bases worldwide,” Coffee said.
The transition from expeditionary to enduring, modern facilities will improve the standard of living, alleviate stress, and provide safer hardened facilities for service members here.
“Demolishing temporary structures like transient trailers and upgrading outdated living and mission supporting facilities to more modern living conditions designed around force protection will improve the overall quality of life for Airmen assigned to AUAB,” Coffee said.
With top notch amenities, service members will be able to focus on building and shaping partnerships, delivering lethal and precise airpower, and providing deterrence and stability in the region.
“I foresee the U.S. Air Force having a more enduring presence with modernized facilities that will meet the needs of the Air Force’s current weapon systems,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Lance, deputy director of AFCENT A7 forward. “The base will have an increased surge capacity, making it a better power projection platform to support the U.S. and our allies’ interests in the region for years to come.”
With slated savings, funds can be used for other upgrades across the AFCENT area of responsibility.
“This investment will enable commanders to make smarter, faster decisions to operate across the area of responsibility, transforming AUAB into the base of the future through innovations in planning, design, construction, maintainability, sustainability, and resiliency,” Coffee said.
The U.S. – Qatari relationship represents a prime example of the National Defense Strategy’s “by, with, and through allies and partners” strategy and the Qatar led, funded, and executed build-out of AUAB presents a unique cost deferment for the U.S. government.
“Qatar is a committed host to the coalition forces and their operational headquarters. AUAB 2040 reinforces this commitment by transforming AUAB into a state-of-the-art air base that supports a shared vision of the future,” Coffee said. “AUAB 2040 enhances partnerships, capacity building and interoperability and is a base designed and built for the challenges of today and of the future.”