U.S. Base Rises in Qatari Desert

(Reuters/ABC News) Kedar Sharma - Construction work at Al Udeid in the Gulf state of Qatar, 28 miles west of the capital Doha, was switched into top gear in November after Saudi Arabia refused to let U.S. planes and troops heading to Afghanistan use the Prince Sultan base. The Al Udeid facility has one of the longest runways in the Middle East, that can accommodate up to 120 fighter jets, U.S. officials say. The airbase has three hardened concrete underground shelters which can each hold 40 aircraft capable of operating even if the base came under biological or chemical attack. Next to the base is a sprawling arms warehouse where Central Command has stored tanks, armored personnel carriers, and enough weapons to equip a whole brigade. Al Udeid hosts around 3,000 U.S. troops and 50 planes. Officials say once complete, it will be home to 10,000 troops.

2002-08-16 00:00:00

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