The Joint Base Balad Joint Operations Base that is located near Balad and is 64 km north of Baghdad, Iraq, was one of the US military installations that were maintained and used by the US troops in Iraq. It was known in various names such as Camp Anaconda, Balad Air Base, LSA Anaconda, and Al Bakr Airbase – and among the many bases that the American troops have maintained, it is the widest one. The vastness of the base allows it to host more than 36,000 individuals at the same time. And during its peak, the Ballad Base host about 28,000 military troops as well as more than 8,000 civilian contractors, including the employees. Compared to the facilities of the US military installation in Iraq, it has the most advanced facilities that it attracts politicians, officials, authorities and celebrities to visit this base.

Cost of Living: United States is 151.19% higher than in Iraq

Automated Telephone Attendant Number:  N/A

Base Population: N/A

City/Area Population: 42, 088

Child Development Center:

Baghdad College

Baghdad, Iraq

http://www.baghdadcollege.net/

Youth Program:

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program

Baghdad, Iraq

http://www.worldlearning.org/what-we-do/iraqi-young-leaders-exchange-program/

Employment:

  • 23.4% Agricultural Sector
  • 18.2% Industrial Sector

Medical Services:

AL MOOSAWI Private Hospital

Iraq / Basra

074 0 0053850

http://www.almoosawi-hospital.com/

Jordan Medical Center

Baghdad,Iraq

+964 07503151010

http://www.jor-med.com/

History

The Joint Balad Base has a little history, but it used to be an Iraqi base and was formerly known as al-Bakr AB in honor of the Iraqi president from 1968 to 1979 which is President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. For the Iraqi Air Force, it is the most important Iraqi military airfield where it operated at least a brigade level force and two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighter squadrons. And during the Iran-Iraq War in the mid-1980s, the Al-Bakr AB becomes especially well known for the huge number of hardened aircraft shelters (HAS) that been built by the Yugoslavs troops. Each of these hardened areas can be found either at the end of the main runways that has approximately 30 aircraft shelters.

However, in April 2003 the base was captured in the heat of the Iraq war. The 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) as well as the Air Force’s 332d Air Expeditionary Wing used the Joint Balad Base as their headquarters. Even though there are many occupants, it was decided that the facility should share one name. When the base went “Joint” in the mid-2008 and the US Air Force took overall control, the JBB became the central logistical hub for the troops in Iraq.

It become an ideal base because it can house 28,000 military personnel and 8,000 civilian contractors with several amenities including a movie theater, two post exchanges, six fast food courts, an Iraqi bazaar, fitness centers, dance studios, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Because of the advanced amenities that can be found in JBB, it became a popular destination for politicians and celebrities who are visiting the US troops deployed in the area – including Gary Sinise and Carrie Underwood in December 2006.

When the American forces left Iraq, the Balad Base was given to the Iraqi government under the command of Iraqi Air Force in December of 2011. Yet, in late June 2014, the base was under attacked by the ISIS militants, where insurgents launched mortar attacks and surround the base in three sides.

Units

The Joint Balad Base hosts the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Iraqi Air Force. Aside from this, it is comprised of two military forces that are composed of the ground and the aviation forces, and a hospital. The ground forces that have used the base as their home are the 532nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, 411th Engineer Brigade, the heavy 463rd Engineer Combat Battalion, the 63rd Ordnance Company, the 77th Sustainment Brigade, the 103d sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 100th Infantry Battalion and the Task Force 34.

On the other hand, the aviation forces is composed of 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, 64th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, 332d Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, 362d Reconnaissance Squadron and the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron.

The base used to fire several mortar rounds and rockets each in 2003, where it usually it the in-between space of the runways. But, in mid 2006, the rate of firing mortars and rockets had dropped by 40%. Other than this, it also has a burn pit operation that commences in the late summer of 2008 where breathing difficulties and headaches were reported after the burning of 147 tons of waste per day incident.

The Joint Balad Base is also the home to the Air Force Theater Hospital that has a level I trauma facility that boasts 98% survival rate.

Housing

The Joint Base Balad is a popular destination to many celebrities and politicians because of its almost luxurious installation and facilities. The military troops that are deployed in this base were given access to the swimming pools, movie theaters, dance studios, American restaurants and to name a few – while the housing facilities were advanced.

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