The US Air Force has admitted this week that they have been secretly basing an entire US air wing out of the al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. The site is used as a battle-management command and control center since 2002, and is presently involved in the ISIS air war.
Though the US has been known to use the al-Dhafra base in the past, this is the first revelation of where the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing is hosted. It’s not at all clear why the location of this wing, formed in 2002, has been so secret.
Officials have been very serious about keeping this secret, however, as they allowed Military.com to speak with members of the 380th only on condition that they neither mention the names of any of the personnel nor of the base they are at.
The US Embassy in the UAE recently worked out a deal with the Emirati government that involved the disclosure of the basing of the 380th out of their country. This wing apparently is heavily involved in the ISIS air war, though overall ISIS war operations for Iraq and Syria are still run out of Central Command, based in neighboring Qatar.