My 20 year old Navy-newbie son just got his first marching orders. OK, maybe “swimming” orders, and they are to Diego Garcia.
For those unfamiliar with the area, take out your globe, find the Indian Ocean, head straight to the equator. If your globe doesn’t have too big an equator band, you might be able to find it. It sits right on the equator, about 19 miles altogether. There is nothing there but military.
It could be a lot worse, NO ONE is bombing it. He will be safe, except for sunburns. But it does mean we won’t see him for at least a year, which SUCKS.
No where else on Earth is as mundane and pointless as Diego Garcia.

Hey, I know where DG is!

I had a navy friend stationed there years ago. He loved it. Great snorkling and stuff like that is to be had there. I have no idea of what his job on the island was, guano picker upper?

As there is a large communications facility there, and as I once worked for Navy intelligence, I am quite familiar with the rock, although I’ve never had the…pleasure?..of meeting it in person.

Your son will have a great time there, dragonlady, don’t worry :slight_smile:

My son is a CTO, which is crypto-something. That explains why he ended up there. One other guy from his class is going. My Ex got sent there for 3 months once, he hated it.
Then again, Brad doesn’t have a wife and kids to stress out over.

Been there! I don’t remember much of it, tho, as I was quite drunk at the time.

>> I once worked for Navy intelligence

Hmm… navy intelligence? let me guess… you gave up in despair? They needed more intelligence than you could supply? :slight_smile:

Could be worse, he could have been shipped to Thule. It is closed now I believe though.

From http://www.britannica.com

Diego Garcia: coral atoll, largest and southernmost member of the Chagos Archipelago, in the southern Indian Ocean. Occupying an area of about 17 square miles (44 square km), it consists of a V-shaped, sand-fringed cay, about 15 miles (24 km) in length and having a maximum width of about 7 miles; the lagoon is open at the north end.

Discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, it was for most of its history a dependency of Mauritius. In 1965 it was separated from Mauritius as part of the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory. The production of copra from coconut palms was the only economic activity until the early 1970s, when the last of the plantation workers and their families were moved to Mauritius to facilitate the development of U.S. military communications facilities established in accordance with a 1966 agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom …

I don’t intend to make anyone worried for their loved ones, but . . . isn’t Diego Garcia a major staging ground for US operations in the Middle East? I thought it played a prominent logistical role in the Gulf War.

I don’t think there are any ships homeported in Diego Garcia, so if he’s stationed there, he’s on shore duty, and thus not going to the Middle East.

In the Seventies I used to be stationed at Beale AFB, where the SR-71 Blackbird spyplanes were based. We used to send SRs and refueling tankers to Diego Garcia. Never went there myself, but DG was the sick-joke assignment. Everybody dreaded it.

When I was still on active duty, a friend of mine got orders to DG - he was really excited about it.

I recall that he often spoke of the goats on the island… Not that I mean to imply anything.

Seriously, hope your son takes advantage of every opportunity to travel while he’s there. The people who most enjoy remote duty are the ones who leap at every chance to get off the base and see the world. I was never stationed anywhere more exotic than Sicily, but it was a great jumping-off point for European travel…

Best wishes to your son, Dragonlady! And you’re right, he doesn’t have a wife and kids to stress over, so with the right attitude this could be the time of his life! Is there a possibility of him hopping a MAC flight home sometime? It’s worth looking into…:slight_smile:

Hey, Straight Dope Staffer Monty is stationed there! … so it aint that remote, they have e-mail. Would you rather he were stationed in Abidjan?

Hate to mention this, but…

Diego Garcia has been a recent subject of controversy in the UK of late. DG was a UK colony, and, when the US decided to put their naval base there, the UK moved the native islanders to the Marshall Islands–against their will. In the last three months a group of the natives is demanding a return to DG. No news on what’s going to happen yet, but the UK Colonial Office has been mightily embarassed over the situation.

Actually, my enlistment was up…but can I borrow one of those for the next time someone asks me why I got out? :wink:

I helped design one of the comm systems there, so I’m quite familiar with maps of the place, but fortunately I never had to make a site visit. I did have to do a site survey of Thule, though–and not in the summer, either. It’s still very much an active base–you have to stay active or you’ll freeze. Thule is the bleakest damn place I’ve ever seen. DG has got to be better!

Isn’t DG’s average height above sea level about 4-6 inches?

Thule, Greenland, “Where there’s a woman behind every tree.”

They told his Dad the same thing about Keflavic, Iceland!
Thanks everyone, I guess I’m just having a hard time letting him out of my sphere of control. I’m feeling better, now.

Thanks Duke!
Just when I thought he waas gonna be safe, you come up with a possible civil war, of sorts? Wonderful!!
Just wanted to bump this up, since it’s SOO annoying to
O’r’n’e’r’y Oscar, or whoever he is.