Bagram Air Base and Camp Leatherneck
Bagram Air Base
Bagram Air Base is a joint United States Air Force and United States Army airfield and housing complex located in Parwan Province, Afghanistan. The base is home to the 101st airborne infantry division, and it is a staging area for air missions throughout Afghanistan.
Bagram Airfield was first constructed during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but it has since been greatly improved after being taken over by the American occupation forces. Most of the buildings were constructed during the early period of Bagram's existence, but new barracks and office buildings are gradually being added by the American forces. The United States has spent more than $200 million improving Bagram, and the base now includes shops, restaurants, recreational complexes, and housing for thousands of personnel.
Insurgents periodically attack Bagram airfield because of its importance to the coalition mission, with the most recent attack in May of 2010 claiming the life of a US contractor.
Bagram Air Base
Camp Leatherneck is a United States Marine Corps base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Originally built for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Leatherneck has changed hands between several units. Currently, the camp is occupied by elements of the 1st expeditionary force and by associated combat service support brigades.
Camp Leatherneck is still under construction, but it has earned a reputation as one of the most rugged and austere bases in Afghanistan. The Marine Corps is attempting to expand and improve the Camp in preparation for using it as the primary center for Marine Corps combat operations in the area, but the base is still far less developed than its counterparts from the Army and Air Force.
The Marines on base currently live in 20 man tents, but plans exist to move in prefabricated barracks to provide a more permanent housing solution. There are few recreational buildings on the 1,550 acre Camp grounds, but construction has begun on several new gyms, a new chapel building, a new chow hall and base postal exchange, and a calling center to make it easier for deployed troops to call their families.
Marine Corps officials are opposed to losing the expeditionary nature of the base by improving it too much, and they have turned down proposals in the past to build coffee shops or shopping strips.
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For additional information about military bases, the Department of Defense maintains a quality database for soldiers and families making the transition overseas.
Additionally, returning soldiers can take advantage of websites and job boards, such as Jobs in the Air Marshals, to find opportunities to use their skills upon their reintegration to the states.