I last wrote about the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and its classified location. But this little news clip from the Air Force even more demonstrates the inanity of official secrecy, as the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, location classified, held an open house with the “host nation,” inviting families on the undisclosed location. Even the “host nation band” — that’s all the Air Force can say — played.
Secret Kuwaiti Military Band Playing at Classified Kuwaiti Location
According to the 386th Wing “Welcome Packet:”
“Due to host nation sensitivities, the 386th AEW is in a non-releasable location. It can’t be referred to by name, nor can you list the host nation. It must be referred to as a “deployed location” or an “undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.” It can also be referred to as 386th Air Expeditionary Wing or the “Rock.”
Wikipedia and other web sources readily identify the 386th as being deployed at Ali al Salem airbase in Kuwait, which is where it is, even stated in its own official Packet. Has anyone seriously examined what the cost is to us (or to Kuwait) of having these bases that are known to all and our adversaries but are official secrets?
A routine Air Force promotional release about a top chaplain visiting airmen at an “undisclosed location” in Southwest Asia got me thinking again about secrets, and about war with Iran. That’s because the location he visited used to be Balad air base in northern Iraq, home for a long time to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.
Brig. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander and the final commander of Joint Base Balad, relinquished command of Balad during a ceremony December 4th last year, the Air Force reported. An Air Force article about the final days of Balad said the once busy base was “transitioning to the next undisclosed location without missing a sortie.”
“Believe it or not, I deployed to this particular undisclosed location exactly 10 years ago this week–just six months after 9/11,” the chaplain remarked about the new location. “Just six months ago, this installation was literally covered in dust–several inches thick in many places, including the chapel interior,” he said.
So what base is it? In what country? My guess is Kuwait, particularly Ali al Salem airbase, but I don’t know.
I imagine Tehran knows. But otherwise, it continues to be a kneejerk official secret. I wonder if that secret, and the importance of that secret, is known even to Congress?