Military


Joint Task Force GTMO

On November 4, 2002, a change of command ceremony for Joint Task Force 160/170 acknowledged the merger of Joint Task Forces 160 and 170 and the re-designation of the organization as JTF-GTMO.

United States Southern Command established Joint Task Force 160/170, which was responsible for operating the detainee detention facility and conducting interrogations to collect intelligence in support of the War on Terrorism. Joint Task Force 160 was established in January 2002 and was tasked with taking care of captured enemy combatants from the war on terrorism. Joint Task Force 170 was stood up by Southern Command on 16 February 2002, and tasked with handling interrogation operations for the Department of Defense as well as ensuring coordination among government agencies involved in the interrogation of the suspected terrorists.

The first JTF personnel arrived here on Jan. 6, 2002, and consisted of approximately 1,900 U.S. service members and civilians representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The first detainees arrived on January 11 and were housed in the temporary detention facility known as Camp X-ray. Currently there are approximately 2,000 service members on the ground.

The JTF conducts 250 to 300 interrogations each week. The mission of JTF GTMO is to detain enemy combatants and gather intelligence to help the United States and its allies fight terrorism. The force includes about 2,200 military personnel and 500 civilians.

In its detention mission, the JTF has four- or five-man fire teams that run the cell blocks. They conduct between 400 and 500 cell moves every week to disrupt the informal leadership that develops.

Joint Task Force GTMO's prior mission had taken place from November 1991 to June 1993 as part of Operation SAFE HARBOR. During that Operation, JTF-GTMO had been tasked with dealing with Haitian migrant Operations at NAS Guantanamo. Peak refugee population during that period was reached in May 1992 with a Haitian migrants numbering 13,392.



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