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H-3 Airfield
Al Walid Airbase

In response to Iraqi hostile acts against coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to strike an air defense command and control facility at a military airfield 240 miles west and slightly south of Baghdad, at approximately 2:30 a.m. EDT on 05 September 2002. Aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs on the H3 airfield. The strikes were carried out by nine American F-15 Strike Eagles and three RAF Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft flying from Kuwait. The attack on the air defence command and control facility was the first time that a target in western Iraq had been attacked during the patrols of the southern no-fly zone. According to press reports, about 100 US and British aircraft took part in the attack, making it the biggest single operation over the country in four years. [COALITION FORCES STRIKE AIR DEFENSE COMMAND AND CONTROL SITE]

The H-3 Southwest airfield is one of three dispersal airfields in the H-3 base cluster located 435 kilometers from Bagdad in western Iraq. The main H3 airfield was originally built to support the H-3 oil pumping station. H-3 Main is supported by two dispersal airfields, H-3 Southwest, and H-3 Northwest, and a Highway strip, 42 kilometers to the west. H-3 Southwest is served by a single 9,700 foot runway and has a parrallel taxiway that could be used as an alternate runway. There are at least 6 hardened aircraft shelters, and 6 revetments.

Chemical weapons were stored at the H-3 airfield (main) during Desert Storm according to declassified U.S. intelligence reports which describe Iraqi efforts to disperse chemical weapons by truck to other locations. The S-shaped bunker located at H-3 airfield (main) and the four at the H-3 ammunition storage facilty were damaged or destroyed during Desert Storm. Of the 22 S-shaped bunkers located across Iraq, 10 had been destroyed as of 8 February 1991. It is not known whether the rest were subsequently destroyed.

NIMA CIB imagery as well as Ikonos browse imagery taken as of November 2000, reveal no apparent change to the airfield since 1995.

Camp Korean Village / "Camp KV"

Camp Korean Village (also known as Camp KV) is located in a remote stretch of Iraq's western desert, close to the Syrian-Iraq border, and near the highway that connects Jordan with Baghdad. Ar Rutbah is the closest town to Camp Korean Village. Camp Korean Village is believed to be located at one of the H-3 facilities. Camp Korean Village got its name because it once housed Korean laborers who paved the Amman-Baghdad highway during Saddam Hussein's regime.

The camp is surrounded on all sides by miles of sand, and as of late-March 2004, did not have access to satellite television.

As of July 2004, Camp Korean Village served as a base camp for elements of 1st Marine Division's Regimental Combat Team 7, which helped the Iraqis run checkpoints along the Syrian and Jordanian borders and patrol western Iraq.

The small collection of concrete buildings, intermingled with Marine Corps tents has also been home to detachments from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, who provide air and communication support to the infantry units based here.

All together, the camp population, though often fluctuating, has frequently exceeded several hundred troops, with only a few dozen 1st FSSG Marines supporting them. These are tasked with providing amenities like a post office, post exchange and disbursing office to the camp. These 1st FSSG Marines are sent out to camps such as Camp Korea and are expected to operate without daily supervision from their higher headquarters.

While the post office delivers Marines' cookies and brownies, the small post exchange stocks basic necessities, such as toiletries, and nice-to-haves, such as snack food and tobacco. Unfortunately, a thanks alone doesn't pay the bill. To shop at the PX, Marines need to be able to get access to their money, a task that can be difficult in the desert. The Marines do have the camp disbursing office, though, where they can go to get their money, and which is staffed by 1st FSSG Marines. These 1st FSSG disbursers are also taked with purchasing items from the local Iraqi merchants for use on camp. The money is also used to pay contractors who are helping to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure as part of the Marine Corps' mission to conduct security and stability operations.

Regular convoys are used to continually supply the camp, including fuel. Camp Korea's fuel farm was, as of early July 2004, run by five 1st FSSG Marines.

In addition, a small detachment of 1st FSSG sailors, including a general surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a trauma doctor, a nurse and several corpsmen, have been located at the facility to provide vital medical care to anyone who needs it. Shock Trauma Platoon 7, along with Forward Resuscitative Surgical System 3, stabilizes patients from the local area for transfer to higher-level medical facilities, such as those located at Camp Al Asad or in Baghdad. The facility serves as the first point of treatment for soldiers suffering from trauma for the region surrounding the camp.

On August 9, 2004, Camp Korea serverd as the location for the first combat zone landing for airdropped supplies using the Sherpa GPS-guided parachute system. Programmed with the drop zone's coordinates, guided by the Global Positioning System, and maneuvered by motor-tugged lines, the units each sat atop a pallet of rations for Marines based at Camp Korea and steering themselves from nearly two miles high to within less than 200 meters of their target.

A United Press International story from late July 2004, mentionedh the existence of a U.S. detention facility northwest of Camp Korean Village.

Conditions at Camp Korea Village are difficult. There is no running water and electricity is provided by diesel generators. Troops are only able to shower every few days, and they have to rely on using porta-potties. Troops live either in solid buildings or in large tents with wooden floors and air conditioning. At first troops at Camp KV could only eat MREs but now they enjoy a dining hall with freshly cooked food.

Airdrop marker positioned in the desert in the vicinity of Camp Korean Village

FOB Buzz

On 05 May 2003 2/B/54(+) Engineer moved to FOB Buzz, located between the town of Ar Rutbah and H3 Airfield. While on the road they conducted a route reconnaissance of route 1 to include two bridge reconnaissance.

Imagery of H-3 Airbase (Main)
Click on the small image to view a larger version

Overview of the Middle East with Iraq in the center

CIA Map of Iraq

Tactical Pilotage Chart of the H-3 Base Cluster

Russian 1:200,000 scale map of H-3 Airbase (Main)

NIMA CIB imagery of H-3 Airbase (Main), 1995

NIMA CIB imagery of H-3 Airbase (Main), 1995

Ikonos browse imagery of the H-3 Airbase (Main) as of 28 June 2001

Ikonos browse imagery of the H-3 weapon storage area, as of 28 June 2001

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:48:19 ZULU