The Wall Street
Journal reported in July 2015 that the U.S. was looking for a drone base in a North African country to supplement the drones that already based at Sigonella, Sicily. Drone flights from Sicily were frequently cancelled due to poor weather over Mediterranean. Sidi Ahmed
is about as far from Libya as one can get within Tunisia. It's approximately the same distance to the Libyan border from Sidi Ahmed
as it is from Sigonella. Sidi Ahmed
is Tunisia's largest air base and home to the country's fleet of 12 F-5 fighter aircraft. There are military and civilian airfields that are closer to the Libyan border, but they would require the U.S. to invest in costly security upgrades in order to house drone operations. Sidi Ahmed
Air Base is already a restricted facility, and the base is large enough to accommodate the U.S. troops and aircraft.