In 2003 the base was occupied by the United States Armed Forces as part of the Iraq War and called both Balad Air Base by the United States Air Force and Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda by the United States Army before being renamed Joint Base Balad on 15 June 2008. Base in Iraq and today is home to the Iraqi Air Force's General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons.
The base was handed back to the Iraqi Air Force during December 2011 returning to be called Balad Air Base. Balad was formerly known as Al-Bakr Air Base, named in honor of Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, the president of Iraq from 1968 to 1979.
Until mid-2008 the US Army had been in charge of Balad but, when it was re-designated as a joint base, the US Air Force assumed overall control.
Balad was the central logistical hub for forces in Iraq.
In the interim they kept busy with a variety of odd jobs.
The base was a common destination for celebrities and politicians visiting US troops serving in Iraq on USO Tours including the Charlie Daniels band (2005), Vince Vaughn (2005), Carrie Underwood (2006), Wayne Newton, Gary Sinise, Chris Isaak, Neal Mc Coy, and Oliver North.
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The headquarters was at LSA Anaconda, a logistics support area about 12 miles from FOB Eagle.
An engineer company from the Florida Army National Guard, attached to V Corps, made a major contribution to the Corps' efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom by rebuilding a former Iraqi aviation academy into a logistics hub near Balad Air Base that was operated by the Corps's 3rd Corps Support Command.