In case you're just wondering where is Diego Garcia. It is marked with A
|The real picture of the island(s)|
A British Territory, Leased to the United States
The Portuguese explored Diego Garcia in the 1500s (it is named for a Portuguese navigator). Between 1814 and 1965 it was a territory of Mauritius. It then became part of the Chagos Archipelago, which belonged to the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory. In 1970, the island was leased to the United States, and developed as a joint U.S.-UK air and naval refueling and support station during the cold war. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean and out of cyclone range, it was ideal for keeping an eye on the Soviet Union.
A Strategic Air Base
Diego Garcia proved to be critically important as a refueling base during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and during Operation Desert Fox, it served as a base for B-52 bombers, which on Dec. 17, 1998, launched nearly 100 long-range cruise missiles aimed at Iraq. Beginning on Oct. 7, 2001, the United States again used Diego Garcia when it launched B-2 and B-52 bombers attacks against Afghanistan. In the current British and American-led war against Iraq, Diego Garcia has once again played a crucial strategic role.
The fact that Diego Garcia is more than 3,000 miles south of Iraq, and just a shade closer to Afghanistan, has not posed the logistical problems one might expect. According to the U.S. Air Force, B-52s have an "unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles.":)