The US Air Force has awarded a $272 million contract to Sallyport Global Holdings in Virginia to run security and life support operations at Balad Air Base in Iraq over the next year.
Work is expected to be completed by January 31, 2017, the US Department of Defense announced Friday.
The Balad base was occupied by the US military during the 2003 Iraq war and was handed back to the Iraqi Air Force in December 2011.
During the Iraq War, Balad was the second largest US base in Iraq and today the Iraqi Air Force operates its US-supplied F-16 Fighting Falcons combat aircraft there.
An Iraqi Mi-35 helicopter crashed south of Baghdad due to a technical glitch Monday. A colonel in Iraq's Joint Operations Command was quoted as saying by AFP that an "Mi-35 training helicopter crashed as a result of a technical problem," but that the crew survived
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