Bagram Air Base is operated jointly by the United States Army and Air Force. Occupying forces include the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Coalition Forces and civilians complete the constitution of the base.
Bagram airfield was used by Soviet troops between 1979 and 1989. Between 1999 and 2001, the Taliban and the Northern Alliance struggled for control of the base, but it was finally secured by British Special Forces at the time of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. In December 2001, the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army camped on the field. Since then, the base has grown and expanded its mission.
There have been constant improvements in the living quarters for troops. The tents are gone, and the over-crowded B-huts are continually been replaced by permanent, more comfortable accommodations.
The Craig Joint Theater Hospital provides excellent care to U.S. service members and coalition forces. It is fitted with technologically-advanced medical equipment. The facility has 50 beds, a trauma bay, three operating theaters and a modern dental clinic.
Education & Communication
There are opportunities for those who wish to continue their education online. Internet connectivity is provided and maintained by airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Communication Squadron Network Control Center.
The connectivity makes it easy for troops to keep in touch with friends and family back home: Telephones, Skype and emails all improve the quality of life for everyone. This is especially great for deployed parents. They are able to maintain daily contact with their children.
No direct hiring is conducted on the base. Civilian workers are employed abroad and brought in by contractors. There are also some Red Cross employees, and local nationals are hired for building projects that use locally-sourced materials.
Dining / Shopping / Recreational Facilities
There are numerous dining facilities. Troops and civilians now also have other dining options that include Burger King, Popeyes, pizzerias, a Thai restaurant, Dairy Queen and coffee shops.
The base has two exchanges, and other shops house local vendors that sell a variety of products.
There are air-conditioned fitness centers for working-out. Additionally, a recreation room, a library and a post office have been constructed by airmen that volunteered their time to the projects.
The United Service Organizations maintains a presence in the Pat Tillman USO Center. It is named for the former NFL player. He was killed by friendly fire while on active duty. The NFL funded the construction of the center.
The center is right next to the Bagram airport. It provides a welcoming place for incoming troops, as well as a comfortable lounge for those waiting to depart. The two-story center has video game stations, large-screen televisions and telephones. Drinks and snacks are available from the cafe.
The Hindu Kush mountain range creates a severe climate that varies between arid and semi-arid, but weather conditions and temperatures can fluctuate widely in any one day. Precipitation is most likely between the months of October and April. Dust storms and sand storms occur frequently during certain times of the year.
Summer temperatures can reach as high of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures can get as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bagram Air Base continues to undergo improvements and expansion. Even though it is in a combat zone, the base is actually a safe environment.