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Massive New Hangar Opens at Taji: The Iraqi Army Aviation Command has opened a new $9.8 million aircraft maintenance hangar at Taji Air Base. "At more than 240 feet long and 50 feet tall, the hangar is the largest maintenance hangar in Iraq and the largest clear-span building in the entire Middle East," said USAF Capt. Christopher Beaver, 321st Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron Advisory Group chief, who worked closely with the Iraqis during the construction. The hanger can hold multiple airframes and can accommodate simultaneous maintenance activities. It supersedes a hangar that could only fit one aircraft. The US Army Corps of Engineers managed the hangar's construction, which began in 2009. Taji is also scheduled to get a new air traffic control tower, a bulk fuel station, and a squadron operations building before the end of the year, when all US troops are expected to withdraw from Iraq. (Taji release)