|Iraqi Air Force Airfields|
|Al Sahra [Tikrit]||Military||10,000|
|Kirkuk Airbase SOC IOC||Military||10,719|
|Qayyarah West [Q-West]||Military||12,075|
|Tallil Airbase SOC IOC||Military||12,142|
|Iraqi Army Air Corps Airfields|
|Kut Al Hayy East||Military||9,843|
|Al Taqaddum Airbase IOC||Military||13,150|
|Al Taji SOC IOC||Military||5,500|
SkyLink would assess and manage the airports to insure that people, technical assistance, supplies, food and materials for reconstruction enter the country smoothly. Three international airports -- in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul -- are covered under the terms of the contract. SkyLink will provide international staff with management expertise to assess and operate the airports, vehicles and equipment. SkyLink would also develop plans to ensure smooth airfreight and passenger service and prioritize improvements necessary to insure that the airports operate in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. As the contract progressed, SkyLink worked with Iraqi staff in preparation for turning over management. The airport administration and management contract was one of eight initial procurement actions issued by USAID as part of its overall relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
To maximize the scarce resources of the IqAF, ITAM-AF recommended in early 2009 that the Iraqi Air Staff adopt a Main Operating Base/Forward Operating Base (MOB/FOB) strategy of four MOBs (Tikrit, Taji, New Al Muthanna Air Base - NAMAB, and Ali Air Base) and six FOBs (Qaiyara – Q-West, Al Asad, Al Hurriya – Kirkuk, Balad, Al Kut, and Basrah). The MoD and the IqAF accepted this strategy for basing. However, in December 2009, by order of the Minister of Defense, the IqAF added Habbaniyah as a FOB to support the IGFC.
On-going projects at Taji, Tikrit, and New Al- Muthanna Air Base would increase training capacity and adequately support the requisite growth in IqAF personnel through 2011. The New Al-Muthanna Air Base housing project (960 personnel capacity), hangar annex (maintenance back-shops and office space), and two 1MW generators were completed and turned over to the IqAF on April 22, 2010, 20 August 2010 which is IqAF Day. ISR assets from Basrah moved to Ali Base to establish the first Iraqi presence there in the summer of 2010. The IqAF Officers College began classes at Tikrit in 2010. A new air traffic control tower was completed at Tikrit in 2010. These two initiatives laid the groundwork for making Tikrit the primary IqAF training base.
Over the two years 2010-2012 , the IqAF planned to expand to four MOBs and seven FOBs. The Iraqi Air Staff completed their move from the IZ to Hawk Base on the Victory Base Complex at the Baghdad International Airport. On January 1, 2010, Hawk Base was transferred from USF-I control to IqAF control. ISR assets from Basrah moved to Ali Base to establish the first Iraqi presence there in the mid-2010. The IqAF also moved into Qaiyara (Q-West) in the spring of 2010. This established a small FOB that will serve as a refueling point for helicopter operations in northern Iraq.
U.S. turnover of key infrastructure, including aircraft parking ramps, hangars, and dormitories, is critical to growth, but the IqAF had limited capability to conduct infrastructure maintenance. The moves into Ali and Tikrit offered significant opportunities for operational partnership with the IqAF. ITAMAF planned to foster the relationship between the IqAF and U.S. forces to accelerate operational capabilities.
Construction on the Iraqi Air Operations Center (IAOC) at Hawk Base continued on schedule with the facility structure complete and work transitioning to the interior systems with completion by the end of 2010. Finally, a formal ground-breaking ceremony was held at the sector operating center construction at Ali in late April. Sector operating center construction began in February 2010, and was on schedule for completion in March 2011.
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