Following consultations with the government of Qatar and
other states in southwest Asia, the Department of Defense
announced today that the Air Force will deploy 34 aircraft to
Qatar as part of an Airpower Expeditionary Force. The AEF,
scheduled to deploy beginning in late June, will include Air
Force support equipment and aircraft as follows: F-15s from the
4th Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina and the 33rd Wing,
Eglin AFB, Florida; F-16s from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB,
South Carolina; and KC-135s from the 319th Aerial Refueling Wing,
Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.
The AEF will provide additional land-based air forces to
augment regional assets while at the same time giving the Air
Force an opportunity to work and train with coalition partners in
the region. The AEF deployment is temporary and should be
completed near the end of August 1996.
This decision comes out of the detailed talks at the
Pentagon on Friday, May 10, 1996, between U.S. Secretary of
Defense William J. Perry and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad
bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani who jointly agreed on this important
expansion of the already extensive military cooperation between
the two governments.
In their meeting, Secretary Perry reaffirmed to Sheik Hamad
the United States' commitment to the sovereignty, security and
territorial integrity of the State of Qatar and its partners in
the Gulf Cooperation Council, and to continue to maintain a
substantial American military presence in the Arabian Gulf.
The AEF currently deployed to Jordan will return to the U.
S. by the end of June.