More Than an Air Base

The Air Force and Army have come together over the name of a key facility American and coalition military have been using in Iraq, deciding on Joint Base Balad, rather than just Balad Air Base. Balad has served as home to USAF’s only wing in Iraq and also as the Army’s logistics headquarters, Logistics Support Area Anaconda. At the same time, the Air Force took charge of base support functions. According to Lt. Col. Pat Ryan, the 332nd Expeditionary Mission Support Group deputy commander: “Balad is the hub for all Army logistics and is the base of choice for airpower. Being the senior airfield authority, it just makes sense for the Air Force to take the lead here.” The change in support ownership means the air expeditionary wing will handle such things as food service, lodging, vehicle operations, base upkeep, and construction projects, as well as base defense, for the more than 30,000 military members, civil servants, contractors, and third country nationals who live on the base. (Balad report by 1st Lt. Lisa Spilinek)