Our Bureau
08:09 AM, January 30, 2016

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.