Entry into Diego Garcia is restricted, requiring area clearance by U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia. Only unaccompanied military and DoD civilian personnel, or authorized contractors may be assigned to the island. Neither military nor DoD couples are allowed concurrent assignments to Diego Garcia. As a British territory, all military and civilian personnel residing on the island come under BIOT law and administration. These laws differ from those in the United States.
Tours in Diego Garcia are one year long. Extensions may be available for both officer and enlisted personnel. Some civilian personnel have been in DG for more than 15 years.
Allowances payable while stationed in Diego Garcia are as follows:
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) with Dependents - Payable for members with dependents residing in CONUS. The rate is based on either the member’s last permanent duty station or the dependent's location in accordance with the JFTR Volume 1 Chapter 10.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Difference - Payable to single members who are paying court-ordered child support and support being paid is verifiable.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) partial - Payable to single members occupying government quarters (barracks) who are not entitled to either BAH W/Dependent or BAH DIFF.
Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) - Payable for members with dependents residing OCONUS. Requires a valid lease agreement, and a completed DD FORM 2367 signed by the appropriate Housing Office and the Regional approval authority. For example, a member with dependents in the Philippines would be approved by the Housing Office in Yokosuka, Japan and CNRJ.
Family Separation Allowance (FSA) -- Paid to members with primary dependents and members married to another member. The current monthly amount is $250.00.
Hardship Duty Pay -- for all members stationed in Diego Garcia. The current monthly amount is $150.00.
Only members with dependents are entitled to BAH when assigned government quarters. Single members are only entitled to BAH Partial or BAH Difference when paying child support.
Diego Garcia is not a tax-free zone.
SCUBA Diving and Spear Fishing
British environmental protection laws prohibit scuba diving and spearfishing in the waters of Diego Garcia. Snorkeling is permitted and offers an excellent way to see the fabulous marine life and beautiful coral formations in the lagoon. There are more than 700 varieties of fish in the water. Fins, mask and snorkel may be checked-out at the Marina or purchased from the Ship's store.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 315 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial 719-567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
For immediate emergency assistance, call the BIOT police at 911 or contact the Security Office at 315-370-4611 (non-emergencies).
For the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate, call 011-246-381-4605 or dial 106 from any landline on the island.
For the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), contact 011-246-370-4626 or the 24/7 duty cell: 011-246-381-4023.
From on-island you can also dial "0" for the Operator who will contact you with anyone or any place on-island.
MISSION: U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia's mission is to provide critical support to U.S. and allied forces forward deployed to the Indian Ocean, while supporting multi-theater forces operating in the CENTCOM, AFRICOM, EUCOM, and PACOM areas of responsibilities in support of overseas contingency operations.
VISION: To continue providing top quality logistic support to operational forces forward deployed to the Indian Ocean and AOR’s in support of national policy objectives. Navy support facility Diego Garcia occupies a critical part on the "tip of the spear" for U.S. Military forces by supporting a multitude of unique and challenging mission requirements. Our motto is: "One Island, One Team, One Mission!"
The atoll of Diego Garcia is in the Chagos Islands located on a large shoal area known as the Great Chagos Bank. Diego Garcia is the largest of 55 islands that form the Chagos Archipelago within the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and is known as the "Footprint of Freedom" for its shape, regional location, and strategic importance. The island is located seven degrees south of the equator very close to the geographic center of the Indian Ocean. Diego Garica was discovered by Portuguese explorers in the early sixteenth century and its name is believed to have come from either an early explorer's ship captain or its navigator. Under the Treaty of Paris of 1814, many of the islands in the Indian Ocean under the control of the French were ceded to Britain, including the Mauritius and the Chagos Islands. In 1965, these islands became the British Indian Ocean Territory (B.I.O.T.). During the 19th Century, the islands were used as plantations, producing copra and coconut oils. Plantations on Diego Garcia were closed in 1971, following a decision to establish the U.S. Navy Support Facility based on the 1966 Exchange of Notes between Great Britain and the United States. In January 1971, U.S. Navy Seabees were transported to the island by landing ship to begin building the U.S. military presence on Diego Garcia. Today Diego Garcia is home to 15 separate commands, including the U.S. Navy Support Facility, which functions as the host command.
The island stretches about 38 miles tip to tip and has an average elevation of four feet above sea level with a maximum elevation of 22 feet. The lagoon varies in depth from 10 to 100 feet. This lush, tropical island is home to an international population consisting primarily of Filipino and Mauritian contractors, and British and U.S. military.
Seasons are reversed compared to the United States and vary little, with year-round temperatures in the high 80's during the day and lows at night in the 70's. Diego Garcia boasts one of the highest precipitation rates in the world. It rains often with an annual precipitation of more than 100 inches, most occurring during the summer months of December through February.
Shallow reefs surround the island on the ocean side and are scattered inside the lagoon. Waters surrounding Diego Garcia are home to a vast variety of sea life with more than 800 species recorded. Snorkeling and water sports are available for recreation.
Wildlife on the island consists mainly of coconut, land and warrior crabs; small lizards and geckos; feral donkeys; a myriad of tropical birds, and many insects. All residents make every effort to maintain the ecological integrity of Diego Garcia and as a result, all life forms on the island, including live shellfish, are protected by British law.
Entry into Diego Garcia is restricted, requiring area clearance by the Commanding Officer of Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia for all military and civilian personnel. Only active duty, unaccompanied military personnel, and Department of Defense (DOD) civilians are assigned to Diego Garcia. There is also a large population of contractors. Active duty military and DOD civilian couples are not allowed simultaneous assignments to Diego Garcia. There is a total of about 2,400 people on the island, 396 joint forces military and over 2,000 DoD civilians and contractors.
Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory is located at 7 Degrees South Latitude, off the tip of India. Diego Garcia is exclusively a military installation located on a small host country atoll in the Chagos Archipelago. The heavily vegetated island has an area of 6,720 acres. The average elevation is four feet above sea level. The maximum elevation is 22 feet. This island is horseshoe shaped with a perimeter of approximately 40 miles.
Diego Garcia is a living coral atoll; the coral reefs and island are made up of trillions of living organisms. Once an ancient volcano, all that is left is the atoll surrounding a central lagoon. Thanks to its tropical location and heavy rainfall (about 100 inches per year), the island is heavily vegetated with coconut palm and ironwood trees.
Diego Garcia has limited resources; they do have a base operator but it's only accessible on base. Security is available 24 hours a day at DSN 315-370-4600 or internationally at 011-246-370-4600 or on our homepage.
Personally owned vehicle are not allowed on the atoll. The primary means of transportation are buses, bicycles, and old-fashioned foot power. There is a free shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes 5:00 a.m. - midnight and every 20-30 minutes from midnight. - 5:00 a.m. Buses travel at regular intervals throughout the inhabited areas of the island. Base taxis and government work vehicles also travel the island but are for official use only. Bicycles are very popular but there are certain rules you need to know. Bells or horns are required on bikes, as well as a front white and rear red light when riding after dark. Helmets with the chin strap fastened are required when riding at all times.