Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 299: Diego Garcia

This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

This might look like another idyllic island from the air, but on the ground it is a different story. Diego Garcia is located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 miles south of the southern coast of India.

"Diego Garcia is home to a military base jointly operated by the United States and the United Kingdom. Neither the U.S. nor the UK recognizes Diego Garcia as being subject to the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, though the rest of the Chagos Archipelago is included, suggesting they wish to maintain the freedom to base nuclear weapons there. The agreement between the UK and U.S. for the U.S. to use the island as a military base was made in 1966. It runs until 2036, but either government can opt out of the agreement in 2016. The base is part of the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, with a three-telescope GEODSS station, and is a NASA Space Shuttle emergency landing site..." Read more from wikipedia concerning the vital role this island has played in the Cold War, after September 11th, during the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the war in Afghanistan.

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