Habbaniyah Airbase is located in Central Iraq approximately 80 kilometers West of Baghdad, Just South of the the town of Al Habbaniyah. The airbase is served by a single 7,800 foot long runway, according to the Gulf War Air Power Survey, there were 8 hardened aircraft shelters, at the base as a of 1991.
As of May 28, 2002, there is Ikonos imagery coverage of Habbaniyah from 25 July 2000, in Space Imaging's Carterra Archive.
Fort Riley soldiers of the Army 1st Brigade, operated out of two camps, Camp Manhattan and Camp Junction City. Both camps are in and around the city of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, which lies about 100 miles to the west of Baghdad. They were deployed in September 2003 and are not scheduled to return until fall 2004.
The Iraqi Police Service (IPS) of Ar Ramadi graduated its first class of 45 students 06 November 2003. The ceremony was held at the Al Anbar Security College located at Junction City. During the three-week course, the IPS personnel received training in the Iraqi Code of 1969, human rights, civil rights, community policing concepts and the rule of law. They also learned basic self-defense and marksmanship. Military police soldiers who are assigned or attached to the 82nd Airborne Division taught the new officers. The Coalition Provisional Authority and the 82nd Abn. Div. spent over $500,000 through local contractors to refurbish the college classrooms and dormitories. The same Iraqi contractors will continue to supply the college and to procure meals for future classes of officers. The IPS represents a significant step towards the transition of authority from U.S. Forces to the Iraqi people. Soon Iraq will police itself independently in the continuing effort to make the local communities safe and secure.
In early October 2003 the soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team arrived at their location in the Al Ander province of Iraq. Several modes of travel were used to transport the soldiers to Camp Junction City and Camp Manhattan. Several convoys traveled the three-day journey from Kuwait with soldiers and equipment. The soldiers who did not ride in the convoy were transported by C-130 to Baghdad International Airport and from there were flown in Chinook helicopters directly to the base camps. All the 1st BCT soldiers were on the ground within the week. The initial mission for the base camps is force protection, ensuring that the soldiers and equipment are safe from any outside forces or attack. The 1st BCT is working with local Iraqi contractors, National Guard units and soldiers from Brigade on various improvements to the base camps. Conditions are currently very basic, but are steadily improving things like showers, mess halls, air conditioning and electricity. In spite of the initial sparse living situations, the morale of the soldiers remains high, and many are impressed with the scenery of Iraq. The mobile kitchen trailer was up and running on Sept. 19, and the addition of hot 1st Brigade soldiers set up camps.
The First Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq from Fort Riley beginning on 4 September 2003, and took over combat operations from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Ar Rammadi and Habbiniyah area of operations on 26 September 2003. The Brigade Combat Team was fighting as part of the 82d Airborne Division and occupied three major base camps: Base Camp Junction City in Ar Rammadi containing the Brigade Headquarters, 1st Battalion 16th Infantry, 1st Battalion 5th field Artillery, 1st Engineer Battalion, D Troop 4th Cavalry, 331 Signal Company, and C Battery 4-3 Air Defense; Base Camp Manhattan in Habbiniyah containing 1st Battalion 34th Armor; and Forward Operating Base Ridgway near Al Taqqadam airfield containing the 101st Forward Support Battalion.
On 02 November 2003 fifteen US soldiers were killed and 21 were wounded when a coalition helicopter went down near the city of Amiryah, Iraq. This was the single deadliest attack on coalition forces since President Bush announced the end of major combat in Iraq. The helicopter, a CH-47 Chinook, was transporting personnel to the Baghdad International Airport when the incident happened. The aircraft was assigned to the 12th Aviation Brigade, which was operating in support of the 82d Airborne Division Task Force. The helicopters took off from an air base at Habbaniyah, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) northwest of the crash site.
By the end of 2003 Task Force 1/34 Armor, an 800-soldier battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Jeff Swisher that is part of the First Infantry Division was stationed a 90-minute drive west of Baghdad, at an Iraqi air base, not far from the city of Falluja, that is now known as Camp Manhattan. The main town in the battalion's area of operations is Khaldiya, a few miles from the base.
Camp Manhattan’s entrance discourages direct attacks from Iraqi insurgents. 100 yards from the front gate approaching cars must park in a dirt lot.. The car and all occupants must undergo a search before proceeding any further. Vehicle trying to reach the gate without stopping for a search must navigate through a slalom of concrete barriers that will slow the vehicle, and along the way it will be fired upon and eventually destroyed.
American soldiers train Iraqis at Camp Manhattan in classroom in a concrete airplane hangar in which Iraqi and American flags hang from the ceiling.
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