Camp Bondsteel

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Camp Bondsteel
Ferizaj, Kosovo
Camp bondsteel kosovo.jpg
Aerial photo of Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel is located in Kosovo
Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel
Location of the military base Camp Bondsteel within Kosovo
Coordinates42°21.94′N 21°14.9′E / 42.36567°N 21.2483°E / 42.36567; 21.2483Coordinates: 42°21.94′N 21°14.9′E / 42.36567°N 21.2483°E / 42.36567; 21.2483
TypeMilitary base
Site information
Controlled byUnited States Army
Site history
In use1999–present
Airfield information
IdentifiersLID: BK12
Elevation1,944 feet (593 m) AMSL
Helipads
Number Length and surface
VIP 60 by 60 feet (18 m × 18 m) Asphalt
MED 50 by 50 feet (15 m × 15 m) Asphalt
MED 100 by 80 feet (30 m × 24 m) Asphalt
VFR 60 by 60 feet (18 m × 18 m) Asphalt
SLING 195 by 185 feet (59 m × 56 m) Asphalt
65 by 60 feet (20 m × 18 m) Asphalt
Sources: DoD FLIP [1][2]

Camp Bondsteel is the operation headquarters of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Kosovo. It is located near Ferizaj[3] in eastern Kosovo. It is the Regional Command-East headed by the United States Army (U.S. Army) and it is supported by troops from Greece, Italy, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey. The base is named after U.S. Army Staff Sergeant James L. Bondsteel, who is a Medal of Honor recipient.

The camp occupies 955 acres (3.86 km2) of land.[4] During the construction of the base, two hills were flattened and the valley between them was filled. In August 1999, 52 helipads were constructed on the facility's west perimeter to handle helicopter aviation. The camp is built mainly of wooden, semi permanent SEA (South East Asia) huts and is surrounded by a 2.5 m (8.2 ft) high earthen wall.

Facilities[edit]

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visiting Camp Bondsteel, May 2009

Camp Bondsteel was constructed by the 94th Engineer Construction Battalion, augmented by A Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, and the 568 Combat Support Engineer Company together with the Kellogg, Brown and Root Corporation (KBR). The planning, design, and construction management of the project was completed by the Construction Management Section of the 130th Engineer Brigade and a team from the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. KBR was also the prime contractor for the operation of the camp.

Camp Bondsteel has many facilities on base, all of which were built with aid from the US military who are used by the soldiers and civilian employees who live and work there. The Base can house up to 7,000 soldiers which makes it the largest US base in the Balkans. The post exchange (PX) is the largest military exchange in Southeastern Europe and contains various necessities and luxuries including TVs, phones, books, DVDs, CDs, small furniture, video games, computers, clothes, shoes, food, and more. All of this is housed in the PX's two-story building.[4][5]

The base also has a hospital, two gyms, and two recreation buildings with phones, computers, pool tables, video games and more. Camp Bondsteel also has one chapel with various religious services and activities, one large dining facility, a fire station, a military police station, two cappuccino bars, a Burger King, Taco Bell, and an Anthony's Pizza pizzeria. There is also one barber shop, one laundry facility employing local nationals, one dry cleaner, a tailor, various local vendors who sell Kosovo souvenirs and products, softball and football fields, and more.[4]

Controversies[edit]

"Big Duke" (Mt. Luboten) looming over Camp Bondsteel

Camp Bondsteel is not open to inspections by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), which has the right to visit all "places of detention" of the member states of the Council of Europe. Negotiations with KFOR were underway but were suspended since Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was not recognized by the Council of Europe. The United States Army had been criticized for using the base as a detention facility housing detainees who were suspected of terrorism.[6] In November 2005, Álvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy of the Council of Europe described the camp as a "smaller version of Guantanamo" following a visit.[7][8][9] The US Army denied the accusation and stated that there were no secret detention facilities in the Camp.[10]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DoD Flight Information Publication (Terminal) - High and Low Altitude Europe North Africa and Middle East. Vol. 6. St. Louis, Missouri: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2020. p. 44.
  2. ^ DoD Flight Information Publication (Enroute) - Supplement Europe, North Africa and Middle East. St. Louis, Missouri: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2021. pp. B-111.
  3. ^ Philips, John (2004). Macedonia: Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans. I.B.Tauris. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-86064-841-0.
  4. ^ a b c "Camp Bondsteel". Global Security. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  5. ^ "Camp Bondsteel Army Base in Ferizaj, Kosovo". Military Bases. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. ^ "'Smaller Version of Guantanamo' in Kosovo". 2009-01-31. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  7. ^ "Clandestine Camps in Europe: "Everyone Knew What Was Going On in Bondsteel"". Der Spiegel. Hamburg. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Secret prisons: Obama's order to close 'black sites'". The Guardian. London. 23 January 2009. p. 18.
  9. ^ "Condi goes on offensive over secret CIA jails". The Sunday Times. London. 4 December 2005. p. 21.
  10. ^ McLaughlin, Daniel (28 November 2005). "US denies running secret prison in Kosovo as covert CIA flights investigated". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 8 March 2017.


External links[edit]