Military


King Khalid Air Base / Abha AB
Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia
1818'23"N 4243'45"E

Khamis-Mushayt is the Headquarters of the Southern Area Command and home of the Field Artillery and Infantry Schools and King Khalid Air Base. King Khalid Air Force Base is a large installation that handles military air traffic in the Khamis area. Commercial air traffic is routed to Abha Airport, a 35 minute drive from the base. The city, located in the mountainous southwest, is a thriving market center with a population of around 35,000. Khamis provides products and services to support the large military installations and a market for the extensive agricultural production of the area.

The United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a joint training mission under the command of Headquarters, United States Central Command, (USCENTCOM) MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The Chief of USMTM also serves as the United States Department of Defense Representative for Saudi Arabia. The USMTM Air Force Division has supporting detachments at Taif, Dhahran, Khamis Mushayt, and Jeddah. Personnel work directly with their RSAF Headquarters counterparts on all logistics, operational, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) issues. In addition, E3A/KE-3A Extended Training Service Specialists (ETSS) personnel provide training and assistance to the RSAF in a variety of flying operations out of Riyadh Air Base. F-15 operations are supported by US Air Force personnel at Dhahran and Khamis Mushayt. RF-5 operations are supported at Taif, while C-130 operations are supported at Jeddah and Riyadh. Detachment Commanders (DETCO) serve as advisors to Saudi Air Base Area Chiefs and supervise ETSS personnel in the area.

The USMTM Air Force Section, F-15 TAFT, LSG, and Peace Shield personnel work at the Air Base. Khamis has a very small military community consisting of USAF and Army personnel. The PS-1 Compound is shared with the civilian community which is made up of personnel from such companies as BDM, Lear Siegler, Pratt and Whitney, and McDonnell Douglas. Fully furnished quarters are available for military personnel on the PS-1 Compound. Even though the quarters are fully furnished, personnel may want to bring wall hangings and personal/sports equipment. The ranch style houses are approximately 2,000 sq. ft in size, have 3 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half baths, living room, dining room, with attached carports and large fenced-in yards.

Those assigned to Khamis Mushayt are fortunate for its climate is the best in the Kingdom. At an elevation of 6,700 feet, conditions are moderate. The months of March and August are known for their afternoon rains and thunderstorms. The rest of the year is dry and sunny with temperatures ranging from the 70s in the spring to the 80s and 90s during the summer. Coats are a necessity in the evenings during the chilly winter months, when early morning temperatures can easily drop to freezing.

Khamis offers many recreational activities. There is swimming, tennis, racquetball, basketball, softball and bowling leagues. Within three hours driving is snorkeling and scuba diving at the Red Sea. (Scuba certification classes are available from qualified personnel). Within a short driving distance of the city, one can sightsee, picnic, trace old camel caravan routes, visit the Empty Quarter or just drive and appreciate Saudi culture in the many picturesque villages which dot the countryside.



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