Bases, Bases, Everywhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report

These installations exist somewhere between light and shadow, writes Nick Turse. While acknowledged as foreign military outposts, they are excluded from the official inventory. 

By Nick Turse

Within hours of President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, equipment at that base was already being inventoried for removal. And just like that, arguably the most important American garrison in Syria was (maybe) being struck from the Pentagon’s books — except, as it happens, al-Tanf was never actually on the Pentagon’s books. Opened in 2015 and, until recently, home to hundreds of U.S. troops, it was one of the many military bases that exist somewhere between light and shadow, an acknowledged foreign outpost that somehow never actually made it onto the Pentagon’s official inventory of bases.

Officially, the Department of Defense maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.

According to David Vine, author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World,” there could be hundreds of similar off-the-books bases around the world. “The missing sites are a reflection of the lack of transparency involved in the system of what I still estimate to be around 800 U.S. bases outside the 50 states and Washington, D.C., that have been encircling the globe since World War II,” says Vine, who is also a founding member of the recently established Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition, a group of military analysts from across the ideological spectrum who advocate shrinking the U.S. military’s global “footprint.”

Aerial view of Pentagon. (U.S. National Archives)

Such off-the-books bases are off the books for a reason. The Pentagon doesn’t want to talk about them. “I spoke to the press officer who is responsible for the Base Structure Report and she has nothing to add and no one available to discuss further at this time,” Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza told TomDispatch when asked about the Defense Department’s many mystery bases.

“Undocumented bases are immune to oversight by the public and often even Congress,” Vine explains. “Bases are a physical manifestation of U.S. foreign and military policy, so off-the-books bases mean the military and executive branch are deciding such policy without public debate, frequently spending hundreds of millions or billions of dollars and potentially getting the U.S. involved in wars and conflicts about which most of the country knows nothing.”

Where Are They?

The Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition notes that the United States possesses up to 95 percent of the world’s foreign military bases, while countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have perhaps 10-20 foreign outposts each. China has just one.

The Department of Defense even boasts that its “locations” include 164 countries. Put another way, it has a military presence of some sort in approximately 84 percent of the nations on this planet — or at least the DoD briefly claimed this. After TomDispatch inquired about the number on a new webpage designed to tell the Pentagon’s “story” to the general public, it was quickly changed. “We appreciate your diligence in getting to the bottom of this,” said Lieutenant Colonel Baldanza. “Thanks to your observations, we have updated to say ‘more than 160.’”

The progressive changes made to the Defense Department’s "Our Story" webpage as a result of questions from TomDispatch.

The progressive changes made to the Defense Department’s “Our Story” webpage as a result of questions from TomDispatch.

What the Pentagon still doesn’t say is how it defines a “location.” The number 164 does roughly track with the Department of Defense’s current manpower statistics, which show personnel deployments of varying sizes in 166 “overseas” locales — including some nations with token numbers of U.S. military personnel and others, like Iraq and Syria, where the size of the force was obviously far larger, even if unlisted at the time of the assessment. (The Pentagon recently claimed that there were 5,200 troops in Iraq and at least 2,000 troops in Syria although that number should now markedly shrink.) The Defense Department’s “overseas” tally, however, also lists troops in U.S. territories like American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island. Dozens of soldiers, according to the Pentagon, are also deployed to the country of “Akrotiri” (which is actually a village on the island of Santorini in Greece) and thousands more are based in “unknown” locations. 

In the latest report, the number of those “unknown” troops exceeds 44,000.

Official Defense Department manpower statistics show U.S. forces deployed to the nation of "Akrotiri."

Official Defense Department manpower statistics show U.S. forces deployed to the nation of “Akrotiri.”

The annual cost of deploying U.S. military personnel overseas, as well as maintaining and running those foreign bases, tops out at an estimated $150 billion annually, according to the Overseas Bases Realignment and Closure Coalition. The price tag for the outposts alone adds up to about one-third of that total. “U.S. bases abroad cost upwards of $50 billion per year to build and maintain, which is money that could be used to address pressing needs at home in education, health care, housing, and infrastructure,” Vine points out. 

Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that the Pentagon is also somewhat fuzzy about just where its troops are stationed. The new Defense Department website, for instance, offered a count of “4,800+ defense sites” around the world. After TomDispatch inquired about this total and how it related to the official count of 4,775 sites listed in the BSR, the website was changed to read “approximately 4,800 Defense Sites.” 

“Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy. As we transition to the new site, we are working on updating information,” wrote Lieutenant Colonel Baldanza. “Please refer to the Base Structure Report which has the latest numbers.”

In the most literal sense, the Base Structure Report does indeed have the latest numbers — but their accuracy is another matter. “The number of bases listed in the BSR has long born little relation to the actual number of U.S. bases outside the United States,” says Vine. “Many, many well-known and secretive bases have long been left off the list.”

One prime example is the constellation of outposts that the U.S. has built across Africa. The official BSR inventory lists only a handful of sites there — on Ascension Island as well as in Djibouti, Egypt, and Kenya. In reality, though, there are many more outposts in many more African countries.


East Africa Response Force soldiers during emergency response exercise, Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Thompson)

U.S. soldiers in emergency drill, Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Thompson)

A recent investigation by the Intercept, based on documents obtained from U.S. Africa Command via the Freedom of Information Act, revealed a network of 34 bases heavily clustered in the north and west of that continent as well as in the Horn of Africa. AFRICOM’s “strategic posture” consists of larger “enduring” outposts, including two forward operating sites (FOSes), 12 cooperative security locations (CSLs), and 20 more austere sites known as contingency locations (CLs).

The Pentagon’s official inventory does include the two FOSes: Ascension Island and the crown jewel of Washington’s African bases, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, which expanded from 88 acres in the early 2000s to nearly 600 acres today. The Base Structure Report is, however, missing a CSL in that same country, Chabelley Airfield, a lower-profile outpost located about 10 kilometers away that has served as a drone hub for operations in Africa and the Middle East. 

The official Pentagon tally also mentions a site that goes by the confusing moniker of “NSA Bahrain-Kenya.” AFRICOM had previously described it as a collection of warehouses built in the 1980s at the airport and seaport of Mombasa, Kenya, but it now appears on that command’s 2018 list as a CSL. Missing, however, is another Kenyan base, Camp Simba, mentioned in a 2013 internal Pentagon study of secret drone operations in Somalia and Yemen. At least two manned surveillance aircraft were based there at the time. Simba, a longtime Navy-run facility, is currently operated by the Air Force’s 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, part of the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Personnel from that same air wing can be found at yet another outpost that doesn’t appear in the Base Structure Report, this one on the opposite side of the continent. The BSR states that it doesn’t list specific information on “non-U.S. locations” not at least 10 acres in size or worth at least $10 million. However, the base in question — Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger — already has a $100 million construction price tag, a sum soon to be eclipsed by the cost of operating the facility: about $30 million a year. By 2024, when the present 10-year agreement for use of the base ends, its construction and operating costs will have reached about $280 million.

Also missing from the BSR are outposts in nearby Cameroon, including a longtime base in Douala, a drone airfield in the remote town of Garoua, and a facility known as Salak. That site, according to a 2017 investigation by the Intercept, the research firm Forensic Architecture, and Amnesty International, has been used by U.S. personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions and by allied Cameroonian forces for illegal imprisonment and torture.

According to Vine, keeping America’s African bases secret is advantageous to Washington. It protects allies on that continent from possible domestic opposition to the presence of American troops, he points out, while helping to ensure that there will be no domestic debate in the U.S. over such spending and the military commitments involved. “It’s important for U.S. citizens to know where their troops are based in Africa and elsewhere around the world,” he told TomDispatch, “because that troop presence costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year and because the U.S. is involved, or potentially involved, in wars and conflicts that could spiral out of control.” 

Those Missing Bases

Africa is hardly the only place where the Pentagon’s official list doesn’t match up well with reality. For close to two decades, the Base Structure Report has ignored bases of all sorts in America’s active war zones. At the height of the American occupation of Iraq, for instance, the United States had 505 bases there, ranging from small outposts to mega-sized facilities. None appeared on the Pentagon’s official rolls.

In Afghanistan, the numbers were even higher. As TomDispatch reported in 2012, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force had about 550 bases in that country. If you had added ISAF checkpoints — small baselets used to secure roads and villages — to the count of mega-bases, forward operating bases, combat outposts, and patrol bases, the number reached an astounding 750. And counting all foreign military installations of every type — including logistical, administrative, and support facilities — hiked ISAF Joint Command’s official count to 1,500 sites. America’s significant share of them was, however, also mysteriously absent from the Defense Department’s official tally.  

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, receives mountaintop briefing from U.S. and Afghan Special Forces on Camp Moorehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012. (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen)


There are now far fewer such facilities in Afghanistan — and the numbers may drop further in the months ahead as troop levels decrease. But the existence of Camp Morehead, Forward Operating Base Fenty, Tarin Kowt AirfieldCamp Dahlke West, and Bost Airfield, as well as Camp Shorab, a small installation occupying what was once the site of much larger twin bases known as Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion, is indisputable. Yet none of them has ever appeared in the Base Structure Report.

Similarly, while there are no longer 500-plus U.S. bases in Iraq, in recent years, as American troops returned to that country, some garrisons have either been reconstituted or built from scratch. These include the Besmaya Range ComplexFirebase SakheemFirebase Um Jorais, and Al Asad Air Base, as well as Qayyarah Airfield West—a base 40 miles south of Mosul that’s better known as “Q-West.” Again, you won’t find any of them listed in the Pentagon’s official count.

These days, it’s even difficult to obtain accurate manpower numbers for the military personnel in America’s war zones, let alone the number of bases in each of them. As Vine explains, “The military keeps the figures secret to some extent to hide the base presence from its adversaries. Because it is probably not hard to spot these bases in places like Syria and Iraq, however, the secrecy is mostly to prevent domestic debate about the money, danger, and death involved, as well as to avoid diplomatic tensions and international inquiries.”

If stifling domestic debate through information control is the Pentagon’s aim, it’s been doing a fine job for years of deflecting questions about its global posture, or what the late TomDispatch regular Chalmers Johnson called America’s “empire of bases.

In mid-October, TomDispatch asked Heather Babb, another Pentagon spokesperson, for details about the outposts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria that were absent from the Base Structure Report, as well as about those missing African bases. Among the other questions put to Babb: Could the Pentagon offer a simple count — if not a list — of all its outposts? Did it have a true count of overseas facilities, even if it hadn’t been released to the public — a list, that is, which actually did what the Base Structure Report only purports to do? October and November passed without answers. 

In December, in response to follow-up requests for information, Babb responded in a fashion firmly in line with the Pentagon’s well-worn policy of keeping American taxpayers in the dark about the bases they pay for — no matter the theoretical difficulty of denying the existence of outposts that stretch from Agadez in Niger to Mosul in Iraq. “I have nothing to add,” she explained, “to the information and criteria that is included in the report.”

President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria means that the 2019 Base Structure Report will likely be the most accurate in years. For the first time since 2015, the Pentagon’s inventory of outposts will no longer be missing the al-Tanf garrison (or then again, maybe it will). But that still potentially leaves hundreds of off-the-books bases absent from the official rolls. Consider it one outpost down and who knows how many to go.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch and a contributing writer for the Intercept. His latest book is “Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan.” His website is

33 comments for “Bases, Bases, Everywhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report

  1. Spencer
    January 19, 2019 at 06:52

    Quote -MLKJR–“-The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own Government—“

  2. Casfoto
    January 19, 2019 at 05:42

    Who are the subcontractors who are making all the money in building and then closing these bases? There has got to be a connection with Bechtel and others that are profiting from all this activity

  3. James
    January 19, 2019 at 05:25

    This is excellent reporting. It infuriates me to learn that my tax dollars are spent promoting global hegemony when there are so many domestic problems.

  4. January 18, 2019 at 23:02

    No More War

  5. Realist
    January 18, 2019 at 15:05

    This is no longer the “American” armed forces, protecting the security and interests of the American people–who are not realistically threatened by any foreign power. This is a huge assemblage of mercs working in the service of a small cadre of global plutocrats who run the entire planet behind the scenes. The nation state of the United States of America is only a cover story these powerful men, who give not a shit about the American people or any other nation’s people, use to effect their control of the world.

    I’m only tentatively assuming these creatures who need a global army to micromanipulate the actions of the world’s population, and have no reluctance to massacre millions to achieve their agenda, are actually members of the species called Homo sapiens. The jury’s out on that question because it too is covered up extensively in the media, ridiculed as an absurdity and fit only to entertain our child-like minds. With so much hidden in plain sight from the public by the media about all the false flags, whistleblowing and other revelations that manage to sneak out, only to be disingenuously debunked, I question not only just who these “people” are, but “what” they are.

    It is quite a disconnect to consider what this nation-state presumably stands for under its organizing constitution and what those in its charge have the vast majority of its citizens accepting as civilised behavior, though it is clearly barbaric and homicidal on a vast scale if only looked at logically. Not many seem to be able to discern the rampant hypocrisy and blatantly false narratives disseminated to enable the charade wherein the supposedly U.S. government and the allegedly U.S. military revels in practicing exactly what it accuses and condemns other innocent countries of perpetrating, the worst of which is, simply put, wholesale slaughter, using the most technologically advanced weapons ever produced in the history of this planet. And quite clearly, to pay for these weapons and the vast assemblage of personnel to deploy them on a global scale, the secret masters of this country have been systematically draining it of its resources and wealth while allowing the living standard, the infrastructure, the social services, the economic base, the monetary system and all other noteworthy benchmarks of an advanced society to disintegrate unimpeded for at least the last 75 years… and no more than a few dozen perceptive individuals (practically none in media) ever say, people, take note! Extrapolate the trends and beware the future!

    • Skip Scott
      January 20, 2019 at 12:37

      Maybe David Icke isn’t nuts after all, and we’re ruled by lizard-brained shape shifters. It’s especially more believable when you look at somebody like John Brennan.

    • LJ
      January 20, 2019 at 17:58

      Well, the Marijuana business and Brewery business and beer gardens are booming. Loads of people , Millennials especially, are drinking lots of Red Wine , developing taste …there are lots of distractions available to invest time in , tourism is huge, travel and of course there are all those fun apps on the smartphone . The restaurant business is really growing nicely right now. You have YELP and other things , Michelin, SAGAT, ect. Thin crust Pizza and Ramen, whatever ,,, LYFT or UBER can get you there in a flash. Got the bucks is a great time to be a hedonist , who wants to be an ascetic. Cynics in ancient Greece had a vision of living right. Cynics today, just pissed. They don’t get the concept that is driving this craziness, they ave no Fear of being left out. They are too smart. No fun. There’s still hope, maybe.

  6. Jeff Harrison
    January 18, 2019 at 11:13

    The military/industrial/surveillance complex is a cancer that, like a cancer in the human body, will kill its host. One wonders when the UN is actually going to get around to doing its job. There are a number of countries that have been invaded by the US/France/Britain/Turkey/Saudi/etc – mostly it’s NATO with a few wannabes that the countries in question have said get out. What the hell do we have the UN for if not to control arrogant, rogue nations that seem to think that they can do anything they want without regard to the UN charter, international law, or existing treaties?

    • Sam F
      January 18, 2019 at 12:23

      Perhaps the UN should enact a compulsory tax to disable the US/NATO blackmail pressure, and programs to financially penalize those who refuse to pay.

  7. January 17, 2019 at 20:38

    Matt Taibbi on how the DoD cooks the books and recent legislation passed to allow the government in general do accounting fraud in the name of “national security.”

  8. mike k
    January 17, 2019 at 15:46

    What do bullies brag about? How many people they can beat up and kill. The military is a pathological institution. The only effective therapy is to get rid of it.

    • Sam F
      January 18, 2019 at 20:09

      Very true; a standing military soon opposes democracy.

  9. mike k
    January 17, 2019 at 15:43

    The United States is the biggest scam on the planet.

  10. Drew Hunkins
    January 17, 2019 at 14:54

    The Pentagon’s deliberate half-azzed accounting and inventory abilities remind me of some absent minded family owned grocery store manager who’s been doing it way too long and is simply incapable of counting the Wonder Bread pallet.

  11. January 17, 2019 at 14:45

    What we suffer with here is , an interestingoffer
    Decent click on the vinculum underneath to qualify

  12. Robbie Roy
    January 17, 2019 at 14:24

    We have a base IN RUSSIA, too. I know a man who is stationed there. If Nick Turse mentioned it, I missed it.

  13. January 17, 2019 at 12:49

    “Missing” – trillions of dollars from the Pentagon budget, missing military bases, missing troops, missing integrity, missing ethics, missing the basic human traits of empathy and compassion, and missing a firm connection to “reality.” Yeah, let’s continue to completely militarize the entire freaking planet, violate international law at will, kill poor people in large numbers wherever we can get away with it, and use our money and minds to create the utmost destruction possible, rather than, you know, do something like say contribute to the “common good” of humanity because, uhh, well, our “leadership” is composed of an assemblage of malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths and that’s just how they roll! Quick, someone tell us another comforting bed-time story about “Russian aggression.”

    • mike k
      January 17, 2019 at 15:40

      Thanks Gary. Supporting the military is like falling in love with your cancer.

    • Sam F
      January 18, 2019 at 12:20

      Well said.

  14. Mark G Vancil
    January 17, 2019 at 10:03

    The majority are Marine Security Guards at US Embassies. That’s your >160. Second, Japan, Guam, Diego Garcia, Okinawa, Germany and Norway host many US Mil. personnel with bases. Third, yes AFRICOM has a string of bases from the Horn to the Atlantic. How do you think we propagate the WOT? Isn’t an aircraft carrier a base of sorts? You try to paint this as some bad thing. Think about how you’re able to write this hit piece w/o being arrested.

    • Alan Ross
      January 18, 2019 at 08:13

      So far.

    • Jeff Harrison
      January 18, 2019 at 12:09

      The Marine security guards are not US bases. They are attached to the embassy and have no base. If the Marine guard was considered a base there would be one for every country that we have diplomatic relations with. Yes it is a bad thing because as Mr. Turse points out we have a whole lot more than anybody else and the warmongers in Washington are apt to use them. The thing that pissed me off about your little bit of cluelessness was the last sentence – aren’t you glad you can say this and not be arrested. You can actually say that in most of the world and not worry about being arrested. And, as John J. Norris points out, the qualities of equality, freedom, etc are usually present in inverse proportion to the frequency of their proclamation.

    • Sam F
      January 18, 2019 at 12:41

      The value of any extent of US military and other influence depends on the foreign policies.
      When you study US history since WWII you will find that, far from promoting democracy or the political values of the Enlightenment, the US has been primarily subverting anything that suggests socialism, replacing democracies with dictatorships as in Iran 1953.
      Our foreign policies serve only the fears of the rich, whose economic influence has completely displaced democracy, by controlling both the mass media and the institutions of democracy for their personal gain. The history of US secret wars in Latin America is dismal and shameful, an outright rejection of the interests of the people there, in fear of socialism rising in the US.

      When you study the history of US influence in the Mideast, you will find that, far from promoting freedom, justice, or democracy there, the US in fact sponsored Islamic terrorism since WWII, hoping to secure the Mideast against the USSR, which apparently had almost no interest or influence there. The USSR was ringed with unstable largely-Muslim republics in central Asia, and had its hands full. The US was the principal founder of Al Qaeda, passing about $4 billion in arms to them via Pakistan in the 1980s, and continued this madness after the collapse of the USSR. None of this was of concern to We the People, and almost all of it was secret.

      The rationales for a strong defense just don’t make sense here, where we are isolated by vast oceans. We could have used half of our post-WWII military budget to lift the poorest half of humanity from poverty, malnutrition, ignorance, and disease. We would have no enemies, and would have created many democracies by education and diplomacy. But we threw it away on weapons and secret wars for nothing, killed between 6 and 20 million innocents for nothing. And lost our democracy and constitutional rights in the process. That is not defense, it is suicidal offense.

  15. mike k
    January 17, 2019 at 08:16

    The US military is a cancer which only knows how to aggressively grow larger and larger until it kills it’s host -which is not just the US, but the entire world. Like other human cancers, it is very adaptable and difficult to kill. It invades it’s host, and proceeds to take over the host’s life positive functions, using them only for it’s own selfish and unlimited growth. Like capitalism, this military cancer has spread it’s tentacles so deeply into
    our society, that eradicating it will require radical therapy – without which the patient is doomed to die a horrible death.

    • Mike M
      January 21, 2019 at 16:23

      What is there to stop rogue elements in the US armed forces from exploiting conditions in those countries by instigating and manufacturing crises for US interventions abroad. Most of US invasions and wars stem from that kind of media manipulation, IMO.

  16. January 17, 2019 at 07:35

    Where does all the money go? Nobody knows. Long past time for Willie Wonka to take back the Golden Ticket he gave to the military. Even the politicians are saying this out loud now.

  17. KiwiAntz
    January 17, 2019 at 00:42

    No wonder this Country is 21 Trillion in debt or is it a figure closer to $210 trillion? This stupid Nation deserves to go bankrupt, thanks to its ludicrous Empire building ambitions with Bases all over the World, that has resulted in their illegal encroachment & occupations in places that they have no business being in? Imperial overreach brought about Rome’s collapse due to its arrogance & hubris & the same thing is going to happen to the ignorant American Empire & it can’t come soon enough for the Worlds peace loving citizens who can’t wait to see the back of this Country & it’s murderous meddling, despicable conduct & illegal, immoral interference in other Countries affairs?

    • AmericaWILLbestopped
      January 18, 2019 at 19:44

      Here, here…..very well said.
      Perhaps Uncle Vladimir or Uncle Xi should would pick up the phone tonight and give the US a simple 72 hrs to agree to closing EVERY military base on foreign soil, oh, and also, that Reserve Currency status the US enjoys…..100% revoked.
      Don’t agree….OK… hour 73 EVERY US Treasury held by Russia and China will be sold.
      Still won’t come to the party?
      OK… hour 74, Russia, China and any other nation that values freedom from slavery pass a law that forbids their nations to trade in ANY FORM with the US… goods, services……nothing. The US can provide for itself……watch Walmart fail as their shelves empty due to zero supply. Riots in US streets as goods become scarce……revolution likely by the people.
      US Government still won’t come to the party?
      OK……US now has 48 hours to move as many citizens as it can to the Western side of the US mainland… hour 49, Russia and China launch 50 nuclear missiles to obliterate US east coast.
      30 mins after delivery, if US will not agree to original demands, Russia and China finish the job over in the west coast.
      Sad, but that is what it has come to now.
      The USA is A CANCER ON OUR PLANET…….it will NEVER stop being what it is.
      How do we cure cancer????

  18. David G
    January 16, 2019 at 23:00

    I suspect this “Akrotiri” is the major British base area on Cyprus, rather than a tiny village on Santorini.

    • T
      January 17, 2019 at 14:20

      > I suspect this “Akrotiri” is the major British base area on Cyprus,
      > rather than a tiny village on Santorini.

      You are undoubtedly right: since the 1970s, the CIA, and then USAF 9th Reconaissance Wing have operated U-2s (and recently also Global Hawk drones) from there.
      (See, for example, Wikipedia articles on Akrotiri and 9th Rec. Wing.)

    • T
      January 19, 2019 at 09:27

      > I suspect this “Akrotiri” is the major British base area on Cyprus,

      And, by the way, the separate listing is correct: the Akrotiri base is legally not a part of the Republic of Cyprus, but a separate British Overseas Territory of its own…

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