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Deployments in the Persian Gulf

Capt. Jason Green, an F-16 pilot from the Montana Air National Guard's 120th Fighter Wing, puts on his helmet before flying a mission out of Prince Sultan Air Base supporting Operation Southern Watch in October 2002.  
Prince Sultan Air Base

Location: Al Kharj, about 50 miles south of the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh.

Personnel: About 5,000 U.S. military, mostly Air Force.

Units: 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing, including 67th, 390th, 524th and 457th Fighter Squadrons; 363rd Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron; 38th Reconnaissance Squadron; 92nd Air Refueling Squadron; 99th Reconnaissance Squadron; and VWAQ 1 and No. 43 Squadron of Britain's Royal Air Force, according to military research group Global Security. Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia is also based here.

Aircraft: About 72, including F-15C, F-15E and F-16 fighters, KC-135 and KC-10 refueling tankers, RC-135, E-3 and U-2 reconnaissance planes, C-130 transports, HC-130 combat search-and-rescue aircraft, and C-21 passenger planes. Two Patriot antimissile batteries are also on post.

Role: Built on a temporary Gulf War air base, this large, isolated facility is home to the U.S. Combined Air Operation Center and was a key staging area for Operation Southern Watch, the allied patrol of the southern Iraq "no-fly" zone. Mission to patrol the no-fly zone are longer being flown with the fall of the Hussein regime in Iraq. The Pentagon said it is moving the air operations center, which oversees all U.S. air missions in Iraq and the Middle East, to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and most of the U.S. Air Force personnel and aircraft will depart Prince Sultan Air Base by the end of the summer.
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