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Rasheed Air Base

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Title: Rasheed Air Base  
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Subject: List of United States Air Force installations
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Baghdad, Closed Facilities of the United States Air Force in Iraq, Iraqi Air Force Bases
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Rasheed Air Base

Rasheed Air Base
Camp/FOB Falson; Camp Loyalty
Camp Al-Saqr; Camp Muleskinner
Camp Cuervo; Camp Rustamiyah
Camp Redcatcher/Redcatcher Field
Engineer Base Anvil
Rasheed AB is located in Iraq
Rasheed AB
Rasheed AB
Location of Rasheed Air Base, Iraq

Rasheed Air Base is a former

  • Rasheed Air Base

External links

  1. ^, Rasheed Air Base
  2. ^ The National Archives UK AIR 28/330 et al
  3. ^ MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT, Iran Secretly Sending Drones and Supplies Into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say, New York Times, June 25, 2014.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.


In the weeks since ISIS swept across northern Iraq, Iran set up a special control center at Rasheed Air Base in Baghdad and flew a small fleet of Ababil surveillance drones over Iraq, according to U.S. officials interviewed by The New York Times.[3] An Iranian signals intelligence unit was also reportedly deployed at the airfield to intercept electronic communications between ISIS fighters and commanders, said another American official.

2014 Iranian use

On 15 April 2003 the Marine's 7th Engineer Support Battalion moved to the outskirts of Baghdad where they set up camp in the compound of the Iraqi Republican Guard Headquarters and named the area Engineer Base Anvil. The camp in Baghdad was an Iraqi Republican Guard training base (like boot camp). Once there the 7th ESB linked up with 1st and 2nd Combat Engineer Battalions and also 8th Engineer Support Battalion EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). They set up camp in the middle of their obstacle and ropes course. For the next four days they collected unexploded ordnance from the base as well as the nearby town.

Engineer Base Anvil

As the soldiers of 2ACR began their seventh month of work in Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, precious but important time was taken to identify the Non Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year for 2003. Starting on 16 September 2003, the three-day event tested the nominated soldiers in a number of events. The competition began with a timed 5 km ruck march around the aviation squadron at Camp Redcatcher. At the finish line, with barely any time to recover from the grueling ruckmarch, was a mystery event waiting for the competing soldiers. They knew there was an event, but did not know what it would entail. As it turned out, the event was a weapons assemble/disassemble station. The conclusion of this event signaled the end of the first day's competition.

"Redcatcher" field is named for the former call signs of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment's aviators.

Camp Redcatcher/Redcatcher Field

Additional security is reportedly provided by former members of the South African Army and will be tasked with securing that part of the camp.

Camp Cuervo is also home to the Camp Cuervo Detention Facility. Surrounded by two chain-link fences with strands of razor wire, the detention facility serves as an initial processing and detention center with detainees being deemed of having taken part in anti-coalition activities being kept there for additional periods of time before being transferred to the Abu Ghraib Prison. The detention facility, a converted indoor pistol range, is located on the back portion of Camp Cuervo and consists of an air-conditioned building with 24 cells, each capable of housing two detainees. Ceiling fans are located over each cell, while each cell holds a bunk bed. A hot-and-cold shower facility is located directly ourside the fronr of the building. The new Camp Cuervo Detention Facility replaces an old detention facility located on the back side of Camp Cuervo. That back half of the camp was, as of mid-July 2004, due to be handed back to the New Iraq Army.

Camp Cuervo is also equipped with a small PX, a dining facility, a laundry facility, a 24/7 internet café, a kick boxing/aerobic room and two restaurants, one of which has become famous for its fresh fruit smoothies, while the other serves "cookouts", including baked fish or lamb kabob. Both restaurants serve local cuisine along with American favorites such as pizza, hot dogs, burgers, and fries. The 24/7 internet café fields 22 computers while allowing individual, personal laptop connectivity and is staffed by two civilians. Internet usage there is limited to 30 minues.

Camp Cuervo is home to four two-stories barrack facilities, built at a cost of $2 million, each of which is composed of rooms equipped with air conditioning, beds, and wall lockers and can house two soldiers each. These are to be eventually equipped with a flat panel commputer connected to the Internet. A carpeted dayroom, located on the ground floor, is equipped with a big screen TV with satellite, a pool table, couches, as well as other comforts. Both floors of each building have a large restroom with eight showers, sinks, and toilets. These other barracks will house soldiers from 2-8 and 1-15, our sister battalions from Ft. Hood.

Eight civilians and four Iraqi police officers were killed 13 June 2004 in a car bombing outside Camp Cuervo, a joint US-Iraqi military base in eastern Baghdad. Twelve people were injured in the attack.

In an urban landscape like Baghdad, a place peppered with a variety of cars, buildings, people, and animals under the ever-present sheen of neon lighting, the tracked monster that is an M1A2 Abrams tank doesn't make for the most inconspicuous or mobile of vehicles. So when the tankers of White Platoon, "Cobra" Company of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), left the gates of Camp Cuervo the night of July 29 to patrol their sector in north-eastern Baghdad, they decidedly left their Abrams' behind them. Instead, White Platoon rolled-out in its more mobile, but still quite noticeable up-armored humvees. It wasn't long however, before they came to a stop, parked the vehicles, and threw open their doors to begin part of its patrol that is usually left to the Infantry: the foot patrol.

Camp Muleskinner, home of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment's support squadron was renamed in honor a fallen trooper 1 April 2004. The forward operating base was renamed "Camp Cuervo" in memory of Pfc. Ray D. Cuervo, Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd ACR, who was killed-in-action during a combat reconnaissance patrol in Baghdad, on Dec. 28, 2003. "Today we are here to pay tribute in honor of Pfc. Ray D. Cuervo, a fallen hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving here," said Lt. Col. John P. Curran, Regimental Support Squadron commander. Lt. Col. Mark E. Calvert, 1st Squadron commander and Col. Brad May, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment commander, also paid tribute to Cuervo's memory. "It's fitting today that we pay tribute to Pfc. Ray D. Cuervo - a soldier, a hero - by renaming this camp after him and his actions here in Baghdad," Calvert said "This is a tribute that will serve as a reminder to all, of his service and of his sacrifice for the security of our nation - and our world." Calvert said Cuervo developed a sense of responsibility for passing along his knowledge and experience. He shared his cavalry scout skills with Iraqi Civil Defense Corps soldiers. "Cuervo was one of many soldiers serving a cause greater than one's self," Calvert said. "A cause that often demands great personal sacrifice and, in Ray's case, the ultimate sacrifice." During the ceremony, a marble pyramid was unveiled in Cuervo's honor, officially declaring the camp "Camp Cuervo" in memory of the fallen cavalry scout.

Camp Cuervo is located six miles southeast of Sadr City, and was formally named Camp Muleskinner.

Camp Rustamiyah/Camp Cuervo

During the 140 hours spent at the ICDC Academy, the students learned a myriad of tasks—from basic rifle marksmanship to traffic control point operations. The new students arrived to the camp wide-eyed and full of anxiety. As they received their uniforms, one could clearly see the seeds of pride being sown. Brand new AK-47 assault rifles, still with plastic covers on them, were issued to each student. Smiles and excited words were exchanged by the new ICDC recruits about how they looked with their new uniforms on. The students were introduced to calling cadence, executing orders while marching and keeping in step. As the week progressed, the cadence calling was turned over to the students. During basic rifle marksmanship training, the students were taught how to load, charge, fire, and clear their weapons. The students went through a myriad of firing stances—standing to prone.

On January 9, 2004, the Iraq Civil Defense Corps Academy at Camp Muleskinner graduated its first class of guardsmen on Redcatcher Field. The ICDC School, run by noncommissioned officers and soldiers from the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Battalion, 1st Armored Division, put newly recruited individuals through a rigorous six-day course. The new ICDC recruits ate, slepped, and trained on the academy grounds, staying fully immersed in the military environment under the watchful eyes of the cadre.

By late January 2004 engineers from the 1st Armored Division were midway through an $800 million project to build half a dozen camps for the incoming 1st Cavalry Division. Army planners expected to finish by 15 March 2004. The new outposts, dubbed Enduring Camps, will improve living quarters for soldiers and allow the military to return key infrastructure sites within the Iraqi capital to the emerging government, military leaders said. "The plan is for the camps to last five to 10 years," said Col. Lou Marich, commander of the 1st AD engineers. "They will last longer if we take care of them." Moving to the outskirts of town will allow Iraqi police and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps to take a lead role in the city's security. In Al-Rastimiya, the former Iraqi officers war college sits on what troops called Camp Muleskinner. About 2,100 U.S. troops will share the base with the new Iraqi army.

Muleskinner base has been designated as one of the enduring U.S. compounds that will remain in Iraq. The soldiers in every troop have worked very hard and diligently in extremely hot weather to ensure that the new and upcoming base is well suited for all that live on the compound. The quality of life has improved greatly as all of the work areas and soldiers living areas now have air-conditioning. The shower trailers are complete and ready for operation and there are trash dumpsters located around work and living areas. There is weight-room underway and an Internet Café. The new consolidated dining facility that is being operated by Kellogg Brown and Root served its first meal on 21 August.

The 2nd Cavalry Regimental Change of Command occurred in Baghdad on 18 June at 0700 hrs at Muleskinner Base adjacent to Redcatcher Field in a little soccer field at the old Iraqi Republican Guard Training Facility (now occupied by RSS, 4/2 ACR, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry (2-6 INF), and 3-7 INF).

Camp Muleskinner was home to part of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The dining facility at Camp Muleskinner is also called the KBR, as it is built and operated by the company Kellogg, Brown and Root. The 411th Civil Affairs, was based here. It was also home for the support units of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The name comes from the days when the cavalry sometimes had to eat their own mules to survive. The 411th Civil Affairs was based at the Canal Hotel compound, where UN headquarters was. But it was the target of two bombings so they move.

Camp Muleskinne/Camp Cuervo

Camp Falcon uses multilayered defenses with high-walled perimeters and lookout towers to deter any threat. Like any military fortification, however, the gate relies heavily on manpower – U.S. and Iraqi manpower. Soldiers back at Camp Falcon need to be in full uniform and body armor before they leave the company building because of mortar fire.

The project is just one of many the Assault and Obstacle Platoon had taken on from Forward Operating Base Falcon's base operations. The platoon has built and demolished walls, supervised the construction of barracks, and made an array of other structures on post. However, from time to time to the soldiers have got to indulge in the job they joined the Army for. "Once we are done with this we will go on to something else. Maybe back to patrols," Grady said. "We don't mind doing the patrols. Infantry is like second nature to us."

During their time at Camp Falcon, Assault and Obstacle Platoon of Company B, 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division has 'enjoyed' much on-the-job training. A prime example is the installation of a sewage system, a task usually taken on by civilians or combat-heavy engineers. "We've been working this sewage system for a month," Bronx, New York, native Staff Sgt. Greg Grady explained. "We are all combat engineers and this is outside of our job description. I just happen to have civilian experience in surveying. We came out here and did it all. We surveyed the land, I drew out the plans." The sewage pipeline will allow the entire camp access to Baghdad's main sewage grid, eliminating the need for the current septic tank system, as well as the cost that comes with periodical pumping. With a total of seven weeks work, the pipe system was expected to be complete late January 2005.

As of late December 2004, Camp Falcon was also home to a spacious PX. For Thanksgiving 2004, meals were provided for 3,000 by Camp Falcon's canteen and kitchen staff.

Previous construction work at the Forward Operating Base Ferrin-Huggins site had been done fast and cheap. Soldiers later were assigned with the renovation of a series of concrete housing facilities that had been previously hurriedly constructed by the Iraqis. They were constructed so fast, in fact, that the landfill they were built on had not been properly compacted and allowed settlement time. After the buildings went up and weathered the rainy season, the floors gave, breaking all the water systems. The soldiers had to replace those systems and as well as restore the buildings, with Army engineers also providing input to contracting.

Some places of recreation are found in less likely areas. One such area lies outside in a corner of the Headquarters Company barracks next to the 5th Brigade Combat Team headquarters on Camp Ferrin Huggins. An I-beam lies on the cracked asphalt; its edges coated in wax. A dismounted handrail put in place by sandbags stands 10 inches off the ground. The sight might confuse bystanders, until its architects arrive. The sun begins to set and four friends convene with weapons slung as they cling onto wheeled boards before slapping them on the pavement, and this assembly of random objects begins to look more like a crude excuse for a skate park.

The 1st Cavalry Division's 5th Brigade Combat Team assumed the mission of securing Baghdad's Al Rashid District from the 1st Armored Division's Division Artillery Combat Team at a transfer-of-authority ceremony 6 April 2004. Col. Stephen Lanza was the 1st Cavalry's 5th Brigade Combat Team, or Red Team, commander. Since arriving in Iraq a year ago, the 1st Armored's DivArty Combat Team had completed a number of different missions. The DIVARTY Combat Team, the 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, and the 1st Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, led the force protection package at Baghdad International Airport. Later, the unit set up a counter-battery center to combat the mortar and rocket fire into the airport and 1st Armored's headquarters. In January 2004, they moved to Forward Operating Base Falcon. The 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and Task Force 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment were later added to the DIVARTY Combat Team and assumed responsibility of the city's Al Rashid District.

By late January 2004 at Camp Falcon, on the southern outskirts, a base camp for 5,000 was planned.

In mid-September 2004, as part of an Army-wide effort to give its facilities around Baghdad friendlier connotations, and try to resolve the issue of constantly changing facility names, Camp Ferrin-Huggins reverted to its previous name of Camp Falcon, with the Arabic translation "Camp Al-Saqr".

Camp Falcon/Camp Al-Saqr

On October 10, 2006, at approximately 10:40 p.m., a 82mm mortar round, fired by militia forces from a residential area in Abu T-Shir, caused a fire at an Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) at FOB Falcon. The ASP, containing tank and artillery rounds, in addition to smaller caliber ammunition, set off a series of large explosions. About 100 troops from the 4th Infantry Division were reported to be stationed at the base at the time, but no injuries were reported.

The 1st Armored Division Artillery accepted authority of the Al Rashid district in southern Baghdad from 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Falcon, 23 January 2004. The Division Artillery Combat Team looked forward to working with the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, specifically the 504th battalion and Alpha Company, 36th Battalion, which called Camp Falcon home.

In December 2003 paratroopers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division began Jumpmaster Refresher Courses, Jumpmaster Pretests and Air Movement Operations Courses at Camp Falcon. The classes were being conducted at the forward operating base in southern Baghdad to prepare the brigade for redeployment and assumption of their mission back at Fort Bragg, NC, early 2004. The brigade is part of Task Force 1st Armored Division. The Army's barracks included a full mess, high-speed Internet access, and Armed Forces television.

By late September 2003 the dining facility had opened. As a result, all of the soldiers could now have a hot breakfast, and a hot supper. Depending on the missions, a lot of days the soldiers actually get three hot meals. The Engineers had refurbished a number of buildings within the compound and added a force protection wall on the west side of the compound. Six new barracks were approximately 40% complete and the Engineers had started paving some new roads leading into the camp and also within the camp. The internet cafes had opened so the soldiers now had a more reliable connection to the rest of the world and their families. Unfortunately, the telephone service the soldiers had been using had degraded badly. The Engineers were working on the construction of the Camp Falcon permanent Forward Operating Base (FOB). It was still a few of months until the soldiers would have real barracks with real beds and mattresses, but the buildings were going up. Other projects in the area of water and sewerage are also continuing and the Engineers were doing additional work on the compound for the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.

In late September 2003 one major project for the 439th Engineer Battalion was the construction of Camp Falcon. The battalion delivered over 100,000 tons of gravel for the roads, and assisted with building the roads, walls, guard towers, and buildings for the Camp. They also finished repairing a compound for the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. The unit worked with many Iraqi contractors and vendors who were employed by the Army. The water and irrigation systems continued to improve, although much work is still needed and sometimes progress seems slow.

Camp Falcon/FOB Falcon/Camp Loyalty

Coalition military use

In mid-April 2003, U.S. Navy Construction Battalion forces ("Seabees") roamed through a hastily deserted Iraqi military academy, where the teapot in each barrack bedroom was still half full. The Seabees, from Port Hueneme's Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Task Force Mike, set up camp in the military academy's sports stadium. When Seabees arrived one of the sites they found the academy's ransacked museum. Mannequins had been stripped of their period uniforms, glass display cases were smashed and looted, and posters had been stripped from the walls. Each of the photographs of Iraqi forces framed on the wall had been smashed.

On 31 March 2003 American warplanes bombed the barracks of the main training center of the Iraqi paramilitary forces in eastern Baghdad's Rustamiyah area. Later the base was captured during the following 2003 invasion of Iraq in March-April 2003.

2003 invasion of Iraq

In 1957 Saddam failed the entrance exam at the Baghdad Military Academy (probably because he had not finished high school), which devastated him. Most of the enlisted soldiers described their officers as distant, but normally not as a threat. Iraqi officer training was described by a captured graduate of the Baghdad Military Academy as "on the Sandhurst model," suggesting a British influence and a subsequent separation between the ranks of officers and enlisted. Officers were often politically appointed and not regarded as tactically competent by their men.

The top military academy under Saddam Hussein's regime, called Rustumia College [Ar Rustamiyah], was in eastern Baghdad. The prestigious Baghdad Military Academy, Iraq's West Point, was also known as the Iraqi Military Academy or the Iraqi War College. The school included gyms, barracks, rifle ranges, offices, a pool, museum, library, grenade practice area, clock tower and a screening room where movie reels were unwound on the carpeted floor.

Ar Rustamiyah College

Al-Rashidiya prison on the Tigris River north of Taji, which reportedly had torture chambers, is unrelated to the Al-Rashid Military Camp.

By April 2002 the government moved several units outside Al-Rasheed military camp. A multi-story underground detention and torture center reportedly was built under the general military hospital building close to the Al-Rashid military camp. The Center for Human Rights of the Iraqi Communist Party stated that the complex included torture and execution chambers. A section reportedly was reserved for prisoners in a "frozen" state—that is, those whose status, fate, or whereabouts were not disclosed.

The Iraqi Military Intelligence Military Brigade stationed there included a rapid intervention battalion to respond to security threats in the Baghdad region. By early 1998 the 6th Special Republican Guard Battalion, stationed at al-Rashid barracks, was charged with responsibility to seal off the Shi'i "Saddam City" quarter and bombard it indiscriminately in case of mass revolt, as the Guard did in Najaf and Karbala in 1991.

Iraqi military use prior to 2003

It was originally a British Military base and airfield developed after World War I and from 1922 became the main base for the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and called RAF Hinaidi. When the RAF built their new base at RAF Dhibban (renamed RAF Habbaniya on 1st May 1938), the RAF began, in 1936, to leave RAF Hinaidi Cantonment and when the move was complete in 1938 it was handed over to the Royal Iraqi Air Force.[2]



  • History 1
  • Iraqi military use prior to 2003 2
  • Ar Rustamiyah College 3
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq 4
  • Coalition military use 5
    • Camp Falcon/FOB Falcon/Camp Loyalty 5.1
    • Camp Falcon/Camp Al-Saqr 5.2
    • Camp Muleskinne/Camp Cuervo 5.3
    • Camp Rustamiyah/Camp Cuervo 5.4
    • Camp Redcatcher/Redcatcher Field 5.5
    • Engineer Base Anvil 5.6
  • 2014 Iranian use 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

It is located approximately 11 kilometers southeast of downtown Baghdad. The airbase is served by an 8,300 foot long runway. According to the Gulf War Air Power Survey, there were 10 hardened aircraft shelters at Rasheed of 1991.

. Arabic language dependent on spelling transliteration from the [1]

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