Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts
The two-story, brick-faced brick building was originally constructed in 1924 but was closed in 1988. It has been home to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the United States Army Special Operations Command since 2002.
A military base, the Navy has held the Guantanamo Naval Base Camp for 28 years. The Camp has a total of 9,000 military personnel and nearly 2,000 civilians, as well as more than 1,000 civilian contractors.
In the last year, the Navy has also made headlines for taking on a new job and starting construction on a brand new home.
The Camp was established by the United States Department of Defense on June 18, 2002, and remained open after the first American detainee, a Yemeni man named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was transferred there on June 30, 2002
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States – had been held at the Naval Annex facility at the Guantanamo Naval Base Camp for 10 years since his initial capture in Afghanistan on May 14, 2002. He was then transferred to the Camp in July 2003 and held there under the supervision of the Joint Detention Group (JIG), which is the base’s most secret component.
In the end, Mohammed was released from Guantanamo on March 2, 2009, after the United Nations concluded that his detention at the Camp was “not lawful.”
The camp now houses a naval personnel prison, housing more than 220 prisoners, including several alleged 9/11 masterminds, two of whom were subsequently tried, convicted and died in prison.
On February 5, 2004, the U.S. Navy also contracted to build a home on the base.
The Guantanamo Home
The 4.1-acre site known as Camp Echo, named after the sound of the camp’s loudspeakers, was to be built to the west of the Camp.
The site was set aside in 1994 to accommodate the military’s expanding presence in the United States, and by 2002, the Camp held a maximum of 1,200 detainees.
In 2002, the U.S. Navy awarded an $8 million contract to a firm by the name of Hines, Liddell and Sappen, Inc. which was looking to build a home on the Camp.
The firm has claimed, in a lawsuit filed on its behalf by Hines against the Navy, that the contract was “never intended to include the Camp,”