See that ring-shaped tropical island on the horizon, that’s, diego garcia, and it’s more than just an oasis in the middle of the indian ocean. It’s home to a one billion dollar u.s military base. That is off limits to everyone, except approved military personnel.
Even journalists and military spouses are banned from visiting. Today we’re, going to take you on a virtual tour of the diego garcia naval support facility. You’ll, get to see the anchorage area camp, thunder, cove and downtown diego garcia.
What you are about to see is highly classified, so let’s. Take the navy patrol boat through the main, pass and discover the secrets of diego garcia island. How about a quick history lesson as we float down the entrance channel into the anchorage area before diego garcia was a military base.
It was home to 3 000 chagosians. They farmed sugarcane and led peaceful lives, but that all changed in 1966, when britain and the united states signed an agreement that gave the u.s military the right to build a base on diego garcia island.
The government of mauritius was given 3.9 million dollars. After agreeing to the deal and locals were unceremoniously forced to leave the island in the 1980s, the uk paid approximately 5.2 million dollars to more than 1 300 former islanders, as long as they agreed to renounce their right to return to diego garcia in 1971 u.
s naval Construction battalions began building the island’s first, communication station and airfield a few years later. The u.s congress approved 28.6 million dollars in additional funding to expand the facilities.
Diego garcia is one of the us military’s, most vital bases because of its prime location, so it’s. No surprise. So much money was spent, transforming the island into a naval support facility. The island is still a part of the british empire, but the deal signed in 1966 allows the united states to lease the land, as we drop anchor in the middle of diego garcia island.
Take a look around at all the naval ships in the vicinity. There are more than 20 anchorages in this open water area and there’s, so much space that there’s; room for aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, cruisers destroyers frigates and various other naval ships.
If you look over there, you’ll, see a massive 13 billion dollar uss gerald r ford class aircraft carrier. If you look toward rambler bay on the east side of the island, you’ll, see a 1.59 billion dollar uss, los angeles-class nuclear submarine breaching the surface.
If you look toward eclipse bay on the west side of the island, you ‘ Ll see a gigantic strategic sealift ship filled with enough weapons and supplies for helicopters, tanks and 4 thousand marines.
The ship is very hard to miss, considering it’s. The size of the empire state building mps, squadron 2, operates five pre-positioned ships at diego garcia and they discharge cargo around the clock. Let’s head over to the turning basin and take the causeway over to camp thunder cove.
This is diego garcia’s, u.s navy and air force support facility. It’s home to a sophisticated radar space, tracking and communications installation, as well as two 3 700 meter, long runways that are almost always in use.
These parallel runways were built in the 1980s as part of a 400 million dollar expansion. It was a wise investment because the runways were frequently used shortly after 911 to launch attacks on taliban and al-qaeda forces in afghanistan, rockwell b-1, lancers, b-2 spirit bombers and b-52 stratofortresses were taking off and landing non-stop during the war’s peak.
Take a look over there at those expansive parking aprons filled with heavy bombers right next to that parking apron, you’ll, see a fueling area that is used by both the navy and air force. It looks like that 737 million dollar b2 spirit.
Stealth bomber is ready to take off perfect timing because there’s, a cargo plane about to land. Shortly, let’s, hop in a jeep and head over to downtown diego garcia, to see what everyday life is like on the base.
This is where u.s military service members can relax during their downtime. Airmen and sailors have a hectic schedule, but it’s, important to take a break once in a while downtown diego garcia is filled with amenities.
There’s, a swimming pool fitness center and even a spa troops here can enjoy some time on the links at the nine hole golf course or knock down some pins at the bowling alley. The outdoor theater shows the latest blockbusters and there are numerous bars in town where service members can enjoy a cold one.
Of course, it’s, not all fun and games. The town is filled with essential amenities too. There’s. A post office, chapel officers, club mess hall and a medical clinic in downtown diego garcia. If a service member wants to enjoy the beach he or she can head over to the short pier on the west side of the island.
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