Diego Garcia is also a key US base in the British Indian Ocean Terrirory on the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago. It is a key U.S. logistics, transport and signals intelligence and communications base. Australian forces engaged in operations in the Afghanistan theatre have been connected to Diego Garcia in a number of ways. One of the best documented was the acknowledged deployments of four FA18 Super Hornets for combat air patrol duty at Diego Garcia from February – May 2002. Over roughly the same period the RAAf operated monthly sorties of C130-H aircraft from 36SQN working in locations including Diego Garcia, Kuwait, Dubai, Kandahar, Kabul, Bagram, and Manas in Krygystan. It is likely that transport and logistics operations since then have also involved Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is also a key US signals intelligence and communications base. There have been allegations, denied by the US and the UK, that Diego Garcia has been used a secret CIA interrogation and prison centre for “ghost detainees” in US antiterrorism operations.
F/A -18 Hornet Squadron: Operation Slipper, Bastille And Falconer, ADF elements deployed to Operation Slipper, Operation Bastille and Operation Falconer, Department of Defence
Initial deployment farewelled Australia: 9 November 2001
Initial deployment returned to Australia:17 February 2002
1st Rotation returned to Australian: 21 May 2002
Based: RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW
Number of Hornets deployed: 4
Operated from: Diego Garcia
Role: combat air patrols”
RAAF C130 Hercules Transport Aircraft: Operation Slipper, Bastille And Falconer, ADF elements deployed to Operation Slipper, Operation Bastille and Operation Falconer, Department of Defence
Number of aircraft involved: One C130-H per month
Number of personnel: Crew of 11 per sortie from 36SQN plus support personnel.
Locations working: Diego Garcia, Kuwait, Dubai (UAE), Kandahar (Afghan), Kabul (Afghan), Bagram (Afghan), Manas (Krygystan).
ADF initial deployment into Diego Garcia, and the Persian Gulf.
VIP transport into Afghanistan and Manus. Special Forces and Hornet deployment resupply.”
Media Article About Australian F/A-18 Fighter Aircraft Operating From Diego Garcia, Media Release CPA 235/02, Department of Defence, 20 May 2002
“The RAAF F/A-18 contingent has provided air defence support to Diego Garcia since its deployment in early November, 2001. The Australian jets and air crew have been operating in the vicinity of Diego Garcia as part of Australia’s contribution to the international coalition against terrorism. No Australian fighter aircraft have been involved in operations over Afghanistan.”
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Detachment
Naval Pacific Metorology and Oceanography Detachment
US Navy Support Facility – [Google Earth*]
*Google Earth (free download) required.
Diego Garcia “Camp Justice” 7º20’S 72º25’E, GlobalSecurity.org
Comprehensive resource, including photos, maps and satellite imagery, and links to official US military Diego Garcia sites and civilian sites.
Diego Garcia, Wikipiedia
Records show Diego Garcia link to alleged torture flights, Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, January 4, 2007
“A CIA jet flew at least twice to Poland from Kabul in Afghanistan, where the US detained numerous terrorist suspects, new details about aircraft involved in “torture flights” show. The same aircraft flew from Washington via Athens to the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia, the logs show.”
Special Report: Diego Garcia US Military Base, Richard Tanter, Austral Peace and Security Net, 19 December 2005
“Nick Hordern in the AFR raises basic questions about the giant South Indian Ocean military base of Diego Garcia, regularly used by Australian aircraft throughout the Iraq War. Long-running legal challenges from Chagos islanders, dispossessed by Britain three decades ago to make way for the US base, pose a potentially serious problem for the US – and Australia. Meanwhile there are continuing Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch allegations that Diego Garcia is a CIA “black site” used for illegal ‘rendition’ and torture.”