Iraq F-16 program construction hits major milestone

Published May 3, 2018
F-16 inside the 75,000 square foot F-16 Aircraft Maintenance Hanger

F-16 inside the 75,000 square foot F-16 Aircraft Maintenance Hanger

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Balad Air Base in the Aircraft Maintenance Hanger that is a 75,000 square feet facility that can accommodate seven F16 aircraft.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Balad Air Base in the Aircraft Maintenance Hanger that is a 75,000 square feet facility that can accommodate seven F16 aircraft.

The ribbon cutting ceremony at Balad Air Base also marked the 87th birthday of the Iraqi Air Force on 22 April.

The ribbon cutting ceremony at Balad Air Base also marked the 87th birthday of the Iraqi Air Force on 22 April.

On 24 April, representatives from the government of Iraq, the Air Force Security Assistance Center, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division's Middle East District conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark a major milestone in the construction of facilities supporting the Government of Iraq’s purchase of F-16 aircraft from the United States.

The ribbon cutting for the F-16 bed-down facilities included 11 facilities and a power check pad at Balad Air Base was cause for celebration as the project had suffered several setbacks due to ISIS incursion in the region. The contract for the construction was originally awarded in January 2014 and scheduled to be competed in 2016. It came to a halt when contractors were evacuated as a security precaution.  The ceremony took place in the Aircraft Maintenance Hanger that is a 75,000 square feet facility that can accommodate seven F16 aircraft. 

The buildings, are modern and contain high quality equipment and materials to support and maintain modern aircraft.  The facilities provide the maintainers with facilities to make repairs of airframes, weapons systems, and avionics systems. 

“These aircraft require very precise power sources and extensive safety features to protect these assets.  They include high quality fire alarm, fire suppression, and fume exhaust systems and will ensure the aircraft remain in top shape,” said Chuck Wilburn, a Middle East District project engineer who helped oversee construction.    

The facilities also include a missile maintenance facility, a hydrazine facility, fire pump house, aircraft parking apron sunshades, a wash rack, bathrooms, a fuel Cell maintenance building; and a power check pad.

The initial $43 million contract was part of the overall F-16 foreign military sales case. A component of the Defense Department’s security assistance program, accomplished through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, FMS transfers defense equipment, services and training to allied nations to increase stability and capabilities for mutual benefit.

The ceremony had particular significance as the Iraqi Air Force celebrated their 87th birthday just a few days earlier on 22 April, the original date of the ceremony which was postponed due to weather.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division serves as USACE’s tip of the spear in one of the most dynamic construction environments in the world, STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS, BUILDING CAPACITY, and ENHANCING SECURITY for our nation, allies, and partners. 

We SAFELY deliver agile, responsive, and innovative, design, construction, engineering and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and other global partners to advance national security interests.

Transatlantic Division News

  • June

    USACE Expeditionary District welcomes new leadership

    The “Always Forward” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Expeditionary District conducted a combined change of command ceremony welcoming new leadership to the only forward-deployed district serving in the Central Command area of responsibility.
  • April

    Expertise at the Front: How USACE Experience Powers U.S. Army Success

    In the vast, dynamic landscape of the U.S. Central Command’s Area of Responsibility, the success of the U.S. Army's mission is intricately linked to the infrastructure that supports it. For more than 70 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played a crucial role in providing the critical engineering, design, and construction expertise that ensures operational readiness and resilience across the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Levant. The Transatlantic Expeditionary District, as USACE's only forward deployed district in support of contingency operations, continues this legacy by being the sharpest tip of the spear, strengthening partnerships, building capacity, and enhancing security for our nation, allies, and partners.
  • Empowering the Future: USACE Division CSM Visits U.S. Army Engineers in Kuwait

    In a significant event aimed at fostering professional growth among U.S. Army Engineer Regiment Soldiers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division Command Sgt. Maj. Clifton D. Morehouse held an open forum discussion with active duty and reserve component engineer Soldiers deployed to Kuwait. The engagement offered a platform for non-commissioned officers to engage directly with one of USACE’s division level senior enlisted leaders, exploring the pivotal role of engineers in achieving Army objectives and the value of mentorship and professional development within the NCO ranks.
  • Building Resilience and Respect: USACE’s Role in Sustaining Military Capacity at Camp Buehring During Ramadan

    Strategic Infrastructure is crucial for sustaining military capability, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a vital role in ensuring its effectiveness. As a part of monthly rotational site visit engagements, U.S. Army Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman, USACE Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander, along with a team of district engineers and the district Safety chief, traveled to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, to review two key projects: the Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility and the Udairi Landing Zone Transition Repair projects. These engagements exemplify USACE's commitment to operational excellence and project oversight.
  • USACE Strengthens Partnership for Global Infrastructure in Kuwait

    In a significant meeting held on March 17, at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, U.S. Army Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander, and Viet Nguyen, Expeditionary District deputy district engineer, engaged in strategic discussions with The U.S. Ambassador and the Economic Counselor from the American Embassy in Kuwait. The engagement centered around enhancing the role of USACE in the context of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, PGII, and its implications for U.S. and allied economic and national security interests.
  • March

    USACE Transatlantic Division employee embarks on Army Coaching Program journey

    A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division employee is undertaking an intense talent management program in order to help fellow employees in their careers; the first employee in the organization to do so.
  • February

    USACE Transatlantic Division: Setting Extraordinary Standards as ‘Partner of Choice’ in CENTCOM AOR

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division stands as a pivotal force in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Since the 1950s, the Division has actively shaped the landscape of engineering, design, and construction across the Middle East. Transforming from its initial focus on basic military construction, the Division now leads sophisticated, large-scale infrastructure projects, demonstrating a deep commitment to building capacity and enhancing security in the region. By setting and consistently upholding extraordinary operational standards, it has established itself as the ‘partner of choice.’
  • January

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division Commander Promoted to Brigadier General

    Col. William C. Hannan, Jr., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division commander, was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General during a ceremony here Jan. 16.
  • October

    On Solid Ground: Army Values are the Foundation of USACE Transatlantic Division’s Mission

    With a history of more than 70 years in the region, the Transatlantic Division oversees more than $5 billion in projects including military construction programs, force protection innovations, and security cooperation initiatives, strengthening Army readiness, enhancing vital infrastructure, and deepening global partnerships. Each action reinforces the Army's unwavering commitment to its service members and global partners.
  • USACE Innovation: The Key to 'Building Strong' in the CENTCOM AOR

    For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division, innovation is the essential energy that drives success. From the initial development phase of a project, through the design and construction, and well into the operational phase, innovation drives the relentless pursuit of excellence, supporting sustainable strategies and fostering the development of long-lasting, reliable solutions.