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The Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia is a US Navy installation located in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
NSF Diego Garcia provides logistic, service and installation support for the US and Allied forces forward deployed in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf regions. Diego Garcia is home to 16 separate commands. The base accommodates 360 military personnel, 1,800 base operation services contractor (BOSC) staff, 300 mariners (MSC), 220 civilians and 80 overseas government employees.
In December 1966, the US and the UK signed a formal agreement to use Diego Garcia for the defence needs of both the nations. In January 1971, US Navy Seabees, the construction battalions of the US Navy, were sent to the island to construct the communications station and airfield. The Naval Communications Station (NAVCOMMSTA) was completed by 1973.
The Naval Support Facility at Diego Garcia was established in October 1977. In addition to the primary tenant NAVCOMMSTA, a range of new facilities were also built. Other notable facilities commissioned were the expanded anchorage and mooring area, extended airfield and various tenants.
The US Navy established the Near-Term Prepositioned Force (NTPF) of seven ships in April 1980. The NTPF was renamed the Afloat Prepositioning Force (AFP) in January 1986 and a single command called MSC Prepositioned Group ONE was created. The grouping combined 12 of the original NTPF ships and the 13 Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) anchored in the lagoon. The Naval Air Facility was commissioned in 1981. It was decommissioned in 1987 and its roles were transferred to the NSF.
In 1982, the US Army transferred construction responsibilities of the facility from the Seabees to a consortium of civilian contractors. The new port facilities were completed in 1985. The USS Saratoga (CV-60) was the first aircraft carrier to berth at the facility. The base became fully operational when the $500m construction programme was completed in 1986. The Strategic Air Command deployed Boeing B-52 bombers and aerial refuelling aircraft at the newly completed airfield facilities in 1987.
NSF Diego Garcia operations
NSF Diego Garcia provides services for the vessels of the US Navy, British, MSC and Allied forces transiting through Diego Garcia.
The major tenant commands based at Diego Garcia are Military Sealift Command Office (MSCO), Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Two (COMPSRON TWO), Afloat Prepositioning Ships Squadron Four (APSRON FOUR), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Detachment, Mission Support Facility, FISC Yokosuka and 36 MXG Pacific Air Force. The base provides support for the US Navy and allied vessels assigned to these commands.
The ship handling facilities are primarily centred at the Waterfront, POL Pier, Small Boat Basin and Lagoon anchorage areas of NSF Diego Garcia. The POL Pier is situated on the inside west shoreline of the atoll and the anchorages are located across the lagoon. The base features maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities for the prepositioned ships.
The facility features a single 3,659m-long runway paved with concrete. The runway can handle a range of aircraft including C-130, C-141, C-5, KC-10 and C-17. The air traffic control (ATC) centre at Diego Garcia controls the traffic of the air mobility command (AMC) aircraft operating in and around the Indian Ocean region. The Ground Electronics Maintenance Division (GEMD) monitors the maintenance works performed on navigation and communication equipment.
Other facilities and services
The base has Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) and unaccompanied personnel housing units to accommodate the troops assigned to it.
It also features a galley, officers club, branch health and medical clinics, post office and NSF chapel. The recreation facilities offered are a swimming pool, a fitness centre, massage therapy, a bowling centre, and an outdoor theatre.
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