Al Taji Army Airfield
Al Taji Army Airfield is located approximately 27 kilometers northwest of downtown Baghdad, at the town of Taji (also written Tadji). According to the Gulf War Airpower Survey, there was a Sector Operations Center located at Al Taji. The airbase was served by a 5,500 foot long runway.
The Al Taji complex also repaired SCUD missiles and tanks. The Taji factory complex had doubled in size by 1985, and included a forge capable of producing 1,000 artillery barrels per year and armor maintenance and refit plants for the T-54, T-55, and T-62 tanks in the Iraqi inventory. The complex also included facilities for assembly of the T-72, and would eventually build armor and tank bodies. Iraq did import T-72 kits, which were intended to lead to a transition to production, though Iraq appeared to lack the industrial base for such production. T-72 production resumed in 1993, assembling tanks from kits provided before the Gulf War.
On the last night of Desert Storm, a pair of F-111F Pave Tack-equipped aircraft based at Taif Air Base in Saudi Arabia, carried newly developed GBU-28/B Penetrator Bombs to attack the Command Bunkers at Al Taji Air Base, north of Bagdad. This was one of 3 such bunkers utilized by Saddam Hussein during the War. Initially I-2000 Bombs were unsuccessful. Bunker #1 was hit with at least 3 weapons utilizing 7 second delay fuzes. This raid on Al Taji Air Base was considered by the Press to be an actual attempt to kill Saddam Hussein himself.
In the associated Al Taji Camp there was heavy damage, with 13 different targets in the Camp hit during the December 1998 Desert Fox air strikes. This area contained several weapons of mass destruction facilities, units of the Republican Guard, and the main repair shops of the Iraqi Army Armoured Corps.
As of February 1997, the Republican Guard Al-Madeena Al-Munawara Armored Division had one of its Armored Brigades deployed in Al-Rashdiya, while the others were at Al-Taji Military Camp. It was assigned to the protection of Baghdad.
The new Iraqi Army of 40,000 persons required basing facilities at 18 locations. Prospective Military Bases to re-construct include Taji (under construction as of mid-January 2004).
In January 2004, it was announced that work would start soon on a $28.3 million project to renovate the Taji Military Base and Iraqi Armed Forces recruiting stations. The Taji project included building renovation; renovation and construction of medical facilities; repair a wastewater treatment plant, and install sewage distribution lines. The project was funded through the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The PMO managed the $18.4 billion appropriated by the US Congress to support the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure. The project was important to the Iraqi security necessary to continue with the major task of rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. A key benefit of completing the project was to be to give the Iraqi Armed Forces the facilities they needed for the defense of their country. Helping Iraqis gain jobs and build industries would have a direct impact on their safety and security. The work was completed by early June 2004. The prime contractor, Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group of Pasadena, California, US involved Iraqi contractors, suppliers and labor.
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