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Diego Garcia: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Diego Garcia, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.

Diego Garcia

Size--11 sq. mi. (28.5 sq. km.). Population--In 1974 there were 150 American military communications personnel based on the island, and the Navy had plans to raise that to 279 communications and 195 support personnel. In addition, 800 Seabees (naval construction) personnel were temporarily stationed there.

The largest island in the Chagos archipelago, in the center of the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia is officially a British Colony, part of the British Indian Ocean Territories. However, in 1966 the British signed an agreement with the U.S. allowing American military use of the Chagos group for 50 years. The Navy plans to expand their Diego Garcia facility into a major refueling spot for U.S. ships, including aircraft carriers and submarines. This plan has alarmed congressional doves and brought protests from the Governments of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the Malagasy Republic.

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