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Just how bad are living conditions at Al Udeid?

It may be 70 degrees this time of year outside Al Udeid Air Base, Abū Nakẖlah, Qatar, but its the inside that has airmen and civilians complaining.

Recent reports and social media posts suggest the installation has been plagued by black mold, broken shower and toilet facilities, accumulated dust or rainwater, flies in dispensaries, and other problems. 

"Not to mention, we just had multiple confirmed incidents of salmonella," one Air Force Times reader reported, calling the conditions, "pathetic and abysmal" for his time at the base.

In short, readers say, it's a base coined by the term, "Where morale goes to die." 

Just how far this pestilence goes is unclear. The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, garrisoned at the base, is home to about 11,000 service members, according to the Air Force.  

The base looked for a quick fix over a five-year construction plan when it created the Blatchford-Preston complex dormitories, commonly known as BPC. The goal has been to move airmen from the older Coalition Compound complex, or CC, quarters to the newer BPC

The BPC II dormitory facility opened in April 2015. 

"Transitioning from the CC trailers to permanent facilities is a two-fold victory," Lt. Col. Tiffany Warnke, 379th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, said at the time of the opening. "First, our Airmen no longer have to reside in extremely dilapidated facilities without central latrine and showers. Additionally, the men and women that maintain [Al Udeid Air Base]'s infrastructure no longer have to limp along old facilities that are far beyond their useful life," she said in a release

But the problems are chronic: airmen past and present, or those who visited the base, say these conditions are a decades-old dilemma that seem to be on repeat, no matter what the Air Force tries to do.   

Airmen have taken to one Facebook group, "People of the Deid," to post their distaste for the unsatisfactory environment. Some posts parody a typical airman's SNAFU deployment at Al Udeid, while others succumb to it with brutal honesty.

"There are empty rooms in the BPC, high ranking has multiple rooms, single occupancy and everybody else is living doubled up in a room the size of a prison cell," one member of the group wrote. "The rotation of leadership is no excuse for this continuing s**t show."

"Deployed there since 2001 multiple times a year. The mold has been there as long as I can remember. The leadership never did anything for the troops except when the USO was visiting," wrote another. 

To sum it all up, one member says:

"Instead of doubling down & putting up proper dorms & housing in the first decade of operation the leadership have limped the [sic] facilities along to the point of failure... Hopefully this will force the hand of [C]ongress to open the purse strings & get the dorms in place before the 99 year lease ends."

If you've deployed to Al Udeid recently and have witnessed these rotten conditions, we want to hear from you. Email reporter Oriana Pawlyk at

Oriana Pawlyk covers deployments, cyber, Guard/Reserve, uniforms, physical training, crime and operations in the Middle East, Europe and Pacific for Air Force Times. She was the Early Bird Brief editor in 2015. Email her at

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