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Qatar Facilities

An extremely advantageous (for the U .S.) Defense Cooperation Agreement governs the U.S. military presence in Qatar, which as of 2008 hosted approximately 9,000 U.S. forces, some 100 U.S. and Coalition aircraft, as well as the CENTCOM Forward Headquarters, the Combined Air Operations Center, SOCCENT Forward Headquarters, and other important DOD facilities. Qatar had no objection to stationing B-1 bombers and Patriot missile batteries here, and regularly sent military personnel to the U.S. for training.

The State of Qatar is situated halfway along the west coast of the Persian Gulf, on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula. The present population is estimated at 600,000 inhabitants most of whom reside in Doha, the capital city. It is a Peninsula that extends northward covering an area of 11,437 sq. km. as well as a number of islands in the coastal waters of the peninsula. The terrain is generally flat. However, there are some hills and sand dunes which reach an altitude of 40 metres above sea level in the areas of Dukhan and Jebel Fuwairit in the western and northern parts of the country and Khor Al-Udeid in the south.

The capital, Doha, is located on the central east coast on a sweeping (if shallow) harbor. Other ports include Umm Said, Al Khawr, and Al Wakrah. Only Doha and Umm Said are capable of handling commercial shipping, although a large port and a terminal for loading natural gas are planned at Ras Laffan, north of Al Khawr. Coral reefs and shallow coastal waters make navigation difficult in areas where channels have not been dredged.

Undoubtedly one of the most scenic of places to visit in Qatar is Khor Al Udeid - or the inland sea which penetrates the country in the southeast. Khor means inlet in Arabic. Here the sea surges in a wide channel dividing Qatar from Saudi Arabia and then curves to create a vast, shallow tidal lake. The Khor Al Udeid is not, despite its name, a real landlocked sea, but is a long, narrow channel of the Gulf on the borders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. A huge tidal lake is formed at the inlet between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It is a surreal place, with white sand dunes on one side of the inlet facing the pink cliffs of Saudi Arabia on the other. It is long way off the beaten path and you will need either a boat or a four - wheel drive to get there. The government is particularly keen to preserve the beauty of Khor Al Udeid, and it has been agreed that no construction is to take place in the region. As a result, the area is pristine, and attracts wildlife, such as the migratory birds which gather there in abundance. The area is vast and affords plenty of opportunity to drive over both sabkha, or salt flats, and an astounding variety of sand dunes of all shapes and sizes. The area contains many magnificent, unspoiled beaches and is perfect both for day trips and for overnight (or longer) camping trips.

Bilateral relations are cordial and expanding. The U.S. embassy was opened in March 1973. The first resident U.S. ambassador arrived in July 1974. Ties between the U.S. and Qatar are excellent and marked by frequent senior-level consultations in Doha and Washington. Qatar and the United States coordinate closely on regional diplomatic initiative, cooperate to increase security in the Gulf, and enjoy extensive economic links, especially in the hydrocarbons sector. Qatar sees the development of a world-class educational system as key to its continued success. As a result, hundreds of Qataris study in the United States. Cornell University plans to establish a degree granting medical campus in Doha, and the State of Qatar is in talks with leading U.S. universities to also establish engineering, business, and other faculties there.

USAF Prepositioned War Reserve Materiel (WRM) provides support to bare base systems, medical, munitions, fuels mobility support equipment, vehicles, rations, aerospace ground equipment, air base operability equipment, and associated spares and other consumables at designated locations. Responsible for asset receipt, accountability, serviceability, storage, security, periodic inspection and test, maintenance, repair, outload, and reconstitution of prepositioned WRM. Current WRM operating locations include Seeb, Thumrait, Masirah, Oman; Al Udeid, Qatar; and Manama, Bahrain. United States Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF), the designated air component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), uses prepositioned war reserve materiel (WRM) to support apportioned combat forces deployed to Southwest Asia (SWA). Prepositioning is a force multiplier for providing bare base systems; medical; munitions; Tanks, Racks, Adapters, and Pylons (TRAP); Fuels Mobility Support Equipment (FMSE); vehicles; rations; Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE); Air Base Operability (ABO) equipment; and associated spares and other consumables at designated operating locations. Prepositioning also mitigates transportation requirements and time/distance realities involved in moving like assets from the continental United States (CONUS) to SWA. The Contractor is responsible for asset receipt, accountability, serviceability, storage, security, periodic inspection and test, maintenance, repair, outload, and reconstitution of prepositioned WRM in the USCENTAF Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Services under the War Reserve Materiel (WRM) contract are performed by DynCorp Technical Services at Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) bases at Masirah, Thumrait, and Seeb; Al Udeid, Qatar; Manama, Bahrain; and Shaw AFB, SC. DynCorp provides support to bare base systems, medical, munitions, fuels mobility support equipment, vehicles, rations, aerospace ground equipment, air base operability equipment, and associated spares and other consumables at designated locations. Responsible for asset receipt, accountability, serviceability, storage, security, periodic inspection and test, maintenance, repair, outload, and reconstitution of prepositioned WRM. This is a one year contract with an option to renew the contract. Total length of contract is seven years.

Services include maintaining war reserve materiel (WRM) stored in the Sultanate of Oman, State of Bahrain, and State of Qatar. In Oman, contract performance is on Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) government installations, and all access to the installations is controlled by the RAFO Security. In Bahrain, performance is in an area controlled by US Navy and Bahrain Port Authority. In Qatar, the Host Nation controls access to the work site.

War reserve materiel includes medical and munitions, warehousing of rations, and various other supplies. The contractor shall be responsible for performing all or any specifically designated portions of the functions accomplished under this contract during any wartime operations. Wartime operations are those actions, including contingency planning, which would be required to support current or any future United States Air Force wartime requirement. Emergency situations (i.e., accident and rescue operations, civil disturbances, natural disasters and military peacetime contingency operations and exercises) may necessitate the Contractor provide increased or reduced support as indicated below when required by Contracting Officer. Military contingency operations may necessitate military personnel assistance be provided to the Contractor. Should this occur, the Contractor will be relieved of responsibilities and accountability for the phase of the contract taken over by the military. Optional WRM sites may be exercised at any time during the performance of this contract. In the event the Government adds a new site to the contract, both parties to this contract hereby agree to negotiate in good faith the applicable price necessary to account for the change.

As of October 2000 there were fewer than 50 US troops in Qatar, who manage a large stock of prepositioned Army war-fighting equipment.

Qatar is a country on the southwestern side of the Arabian Gulf. And what many military personnel don't know is that there are soldiers stationed there. Soldiers in Qatar get the best of both worlds. On the installation, Camp As Sayliyah, the soldiers have many of the same amenities that Camp Doha soldiers have. Meanwhile, in Doha, the main city off post, soldiers can do all of the same things that are available in Kuwait City, plus more, with a little less crowding.

Known as the "Pearl of the Gulf," Qatar mixes classic architecture with modern structures. The roads in downtown Doha are all lined with parks and fountains where natives and guests stop to catch their breath or enjoy a picnic. Al Corniche Street runs along the coast from one end of the city to the other. All along Al Corniche are mosaics, tall office buildings, and women in abayas. At night, after the sun has set Doha really comes to life. Some of the fountains get crowded with barefoot children cooling off under their parent's watchful eye. Gaggles of young men face off in soccer matches on the plush grass.

Some other places that soldiers like to frequent are the Souqs. Souqs are markets that are open late into the night. Vendors sell things like food, clothes, jewelry and carpets, as well as home furnishings. They will barter with shoppers to find an agreeable price. As in America, the malls are also a popular place to hang out. One mall features five floors that wrap around an ice skating rink. From the upper levels, shoppers look down on the ice, watching the skaters as they glide across the surface.

Qatar is a peninsula, 11437 sq. km in area, that projects from the Arabian mainland. It is approximately 160 km in length and 80 km in width at its widest point. Overall, the country is very flat, rising to only 110 m at its highest point, and the land mass largely consists of scrubby desert terrain, covered in sand and loose gravel. The country is largely formed of limestone deposits and clays, laid down in various geologically defined areas. A broad North-South arch dominates the structure of the land, with the Dukhan anticline to the west, while the coastal areas are mostly characterized by salt flats, with an area of high sand dunes in the southeast. Lying in the path of strong prevailing south-easterly winds, the peninsulas owes many of its features to wind erosion, in addition to significant fluctuations in the level of the sea-bed. The latter is responsible for the fact that Qatar is now separated from Bahrain and from the small islands that surround the peninsula, all of which, at one time, formed a complete land mass. There are several small islands dotted around the coastline of Qatar. The most significant of these are Halal, located 90 km off the east coast and used as an oil processing, storage and export terminal, and the Hawar Islands to the west, which are currently the subject of an ownership dispute between Qatar and Bahrain. The resolution of this conflict is in the hands of the International Court of Justice.

In the 1950's, the main developments for the foundation of a modern state were begun. Schools began to be built, along with roads, power stations and a hospital. After the abdication of Sheikh Abdullah in 1949, Qatar was ruled first by Sheikh Ali Al-Thani, then by his son Ahmad until 1972, although Khalifa, the son of Hamad, Sheikh Abdulla's oldest son, was de facto ruler for much of this latter period. During this time the British announced their intention of withdrawing from all their treaties of protection and defense commitments in the Middle East by 1971. The Gulf States, which had all effectively been guaranteed by these treaties, decided to unite and form a federation of Arab Emirates. This was due to consist of Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm All Qawain and Fujairah. Lengthy negotiations ensued and ultimately Qatar and Bahrain opted for independence from the other states, which subsequently formed the United Arab Emirates in December 1971.

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