Diego Garcia is an atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is a tropical island that is 17 square miles. The British had sole possession of it after it was separated from Mauritius in 1965, and in the following year, they leased it to the United States on a 50-year contract for use as a naval base.
Between 1968 to 1973, the people, who lived on this atoll, were removed so that an American naval base could be built. Presently, there are between 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. and British military and civilian personnel on this naval base.
Garcia Diego is off limits to journalists and most other civilians. The island is in a very strategic location, which allows the U.S. to supply naval and air power to areas like the Middle East. Diego Garcia was instrumental as a launch pad for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq by American forces.