Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is a former Naval Station, located on the southwest coast in Cuba by Guantanamo Bay. The base, established in 1958 as a part of the US Naval Base Complex, was designed to accommodate a variety of naval ships. In 1963, the first US Naval Station, Fort Pierce, Florida, was established outside the base complex. However, this facility was never fully utilized due to the US Navy’s focus on the base.
The first US Naval Station in Cuba, Guantanamo is home to a fleet of more than 2,500 individual ships and a large number of support vessels. The base has been plagued by controversies and attacks relating to the treatment of prisoners, the role of interrogations and the facility’s military activities. In 2014, the State Department issued its first travel advisory for the base.
The base was commissioned in 1959 as a part of the Naval Base Complex. The Cuban government granted the base independence, but was required to pay the US government $1,000 a year as a fee until 1961. A total of $7.3 million dollars was later paid by Cuba to the US Navy. This was to cover the cost of constructing the base and its facilities. The US government purchased the land at a cost of $6.3 million dollars. The base was formally opened on July 1, 1962.
The first US Naval Station in Cuba was located on the east side of Guantanamo Bay in the town of Guantánamo. It included an airstrip with a 10 000-foot runway, barracks, stores, a naval hospital, a naval prison and ancillary buildings.
After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the US abandoned the Cuban Naval Station. It was converted into an air facility. In 1971, it was renamed Marine Air Base Cuba and made into an international airport known as Naval Air Station Guantánamo. In 1976, the base was formally transferred to the US Department of Defense as a part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
Guantanamo was established in Cuba on May 23, 1958. It has remained a Naval Station since it was set up and today it is