Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base

Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base (IATA: XIJ, ICAO: OKAJ) is a Kuwait Air Force base that is home to 3 Kuwait Air Force F/A-18 C/D squadrons: 9 Squadron, 25 Squadron, and 61 Squadron. The base also has an area designated for operations by the U.S. Air Force and its allies.

Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base
قاعدة أحمد الجابر الجوية
Ahmadi Governorate in Kuwait
A Kuwait Air Force KAF-18C Hornet of the type based at Ahmad al-Jaber AB.
A Kuwait Air Force KAF-18C Hornet of the type based at Ahmad al-Jaber AB.
Ahmad al-Jaber AB is located in Kuwait
Ahmad al-Jaber AB
Ahmad al-Jaber AB
Location in Kuwait
Coordinates28°56′05.7″N 47°47′31.1″E / 28.934917°N 47.791972°E / 28.934917; 47.791972
TypeKuwait Air Force base
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defense
OperatorKuwait Air Force
ConditionOperational
Garrison information
Garrison
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: XIJ, ICAO: OKAJ
Elevation124 metres (407 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
15L/33R 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) 
15R/33L 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) 

HistoryEdit

When Iraq launched its invasion in 1990 on Kuwait, Iraqi Air Force jets dropped air scattered mines, preventing operations on the runways. This led to the Kuwaiti Air Force Mirage F1s and A-4 Skyhawks having to land on a road nearby.[1]

After the invasion, the US which was preparing for Operation Desert Storm feared that al-Jaber housed Iraqi chemical weapons mainly because the Iraqi army had deployed 30 howitzers and used the Kuwaiti hardened concrete hangars at al-Jaber for munitions storage. These howitzers known as GHN-45 were notable for being preferred for chemical munition delivery by the Iraqis.[2]

During the 1991 Gulf War, Ahmad al-Jaber Airbase was attacked several times by coalition aircraft due to the chemical munitions storage rumours. They also dropped anti-personnel mines to impede base operations.[2] On the first night of the war, three A-6E TRAM Intruder from VA-115 Eagles (Carrier Air Wing 5) based on the USS Midway attacked the airbase with six Mk.83 bombs each.[3][4] On the same night, 12 French Air Force SEPECAT Jaguars from EC 2/11 Vosges attacked Al-jaber with no less than four aircraft sustaining damage (three hit by IR-SAMs) although all returned safely.[5]

Sitting 75 miles south of the Iraqi border, the base has supported active duty United States Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter units, along with support individuals, rotated in and out. At Al-Jaber AB, the 332 ELS Commander and 10 personnel were on one-year tours; all others (1190 personnel) rotated every 90 to 120 days.

On 1 December 1998, the 4406th Operations Group (Provisional) at Al-Jaber Air Base inactivated and the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group activated.[6]

According to USA Today on 22 October 2003 the US Ambassador to Kuwait, Richard Jones, announced that the United States was reducing its presence at Al-Jaber with the intent of fully reducing its forces at that location. USAF assets remaining in Kuwait are primarily stationed at Ali Al Salem Air Base.

The U.S. side of the base was re-opened during 2014 sometime before October.[citation needed]

From 22 November 2014 four Panavia Tornados from 6º Stormo of the Italian Air Force deployed there for an unknown amount of time[7] along with a Boeing KC-767A from 14º Stormo.[8]

Between 15 October 2014 and 30 September 2015 the Royal Danish Air Force deployed seven General Dynamics F-16AM Fighting Falcons with four being operational and three others in a reserve capacity.[9]

Role and operationsEdit

Kuwait Air ForceEdit

The base is home to the Kuwait Air Force's entire fleet of fighter/attack aircraft. Two front-line (9 Squadron and 25 Squadron) and one training unit (61 Squadron) operate a fleet of McDonnell Douglas KAF-18C/D Hornets.[10] The aircraft is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft.

Military intervention against ISILEdit

 
A MV-22B Osprey of the type which has been operated by the United States Marines from Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base.

Ahmad al-Jaber hosts the United States Air Force's 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing (332 AEW), which moved to the base on May 2016.[11][12] The 332 ARW provides a wide range combat capabilities including aerial-refueling, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), space, combat search and rescue (CSAR), and precision strike, all in support of the military intervention against ISIL/ISIS (known by the US military as Operation Inherent Resolve) and wider military operations in the Middle East. A wide range of US Air Force aircraft have been deployed at Ahmad al-Jaber, including F-15E Strike Eagle, MQ-9A Reaper, and KC-135R Stratotanker as well as HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.[12] The United States Marines has also operated from the base, flying the MV-22B Osprey, EA-6B Prowler, AV-8B Harrier II and KC-130J Hercules.[13]

Based unitsEdit

Notable units based at Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base.[10][11]

Kuwait Air ForceEdit

  • 9th Fighter & Attack Squadron – KAF-18C/D Hornet
  • 25th Fighter & Attack Squadron – KAF-18C/D Hornet
  • 61st Fighter & Attack Squadron – KAF-18C/D Hornet

United States Air ForceEdit

Air Combat Command

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kuwait - Air Force". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  2. ^ a b "Al Jaber s03". gulflink.health.mil. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  3. ^ Morgan, Rick (2017). Ospey Combat Aircraft 121: A-6 Intruder Units 1974-96. Osprey Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4728-1877-5.
  4. ^ Pokrant, Marvin (1999). Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 14. ISBN 0313310246.
  5. ^ "Jaguar sur Al Jaber extracts". falkeeinsgreatplanes.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  6. ^ Globalsecurity.org, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, accessed January 2009
  7. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. February 2015. p. 35.
  8. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. January 2015. p. 27.
  9. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. December 2015. p. 17.
  10. ^ a b "Armed Forces Overviews – Kuwait Air Force". Scramble. Scramble / Dutch Aviation Society. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  11. ^ a b AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. June 2015. p. 23.
  12. ^ a b "332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Fact Sheet". US Air Forces Central Command. US Air Force. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  13. ^ "SP-MAGTF Commander Details ISIL Strikes; Notes 1st Marines 'Could Clear' Iraq". Breaking Defense. Retrieved 3 November 2015.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 28°56′06″N 47°47′31″E / 28.934917°N 47.791972°E / 28.934917; 47.791972