Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Working for the Office Of Military Commissions
Questions related to employment with Military Commissions.
Traveling To Guantanamo Bay
If your travel-related question is not answered here, please contact OMC Travel and Transportation Section
for further assistance. For all other questions, please contact your Military Commissions point of contact.
Will I be required to travel overseas if I'm accepted as an employee?
Answer: It depends on the nature of the job. Some positions require travel to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Other positions may require you to travel to other destinations. If travel is required, it will be noted on the job description at the USAJobs.gov website.
Where do I search and apply for a job with the Office of Military Commissions?
Answer: You can find our listings on the USAJobs.gov website.
Is there commercial internet available on the island for personal use?
Answer: Yes. There are a limited number of commercial internet drops in AV-34 and AV-29 that authorized personnel may use on a pay-as-you-go basis. Additionally, internet access for personal use can be obtained through Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) locations such as the library, bowling alley and coffee shop. "Go WiFi" is available for personal use, at personal expense. All other internet connections on the island are for official use only.
What types of telephonic connections are available on the island?
Answer: T-Mobile is the only commercial carrier for mobile phones on the island. All other personal cell phones will most likely not work on the island. The telephone lines in AV-34 and AV-29 are for Official Use ONLY and CANNOT be used for personal phone calls. For personal phone calls you must purchase calling cards from the NEX or calling card machines located at Naval Station Lodging Check-in.
Below are some important numbers to remember while traveling at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Note: the XXXX is the extension number given to you in your lodging):
- To dial Guantanamo Bay Commercially from the United States dial: 011 5399 XXXX
- To dial Commercially from Guantanamo Bay to the United States follow your calling card instructions
- To dial DSN to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from the United States dial: 94 660 XXXX
- To dial DSN from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States dial: 96 DSN-Prefix XXXX
Will I be provided a government vehicle at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: There are a limited number of government vehicles on the island that will be provided to Military Commission personnel based upon existing DoD and OMC policy.
Pro bono civilian defense counsel MAY NOT drive government vehicles – they must either rent a vehicle from the NEX at their own expense, or ride with DoD personnel in official government vehicles.
What is a CHU and a Boxable?
Answer:The Contained Housing Units (CHU) are trailers that are two-bedroom units which share a central bathroom. They are air-conditioned, and have a bed, desk, wardrobe, television, DVD player, coffee maker, small refrigerator and microwave. There are several electrical outlets in each bedroom. Boxables are essentially the same, except they are single units with their own bathroom.
Are there any security restrictions around Military Commission facilities?
Answer: All individuals who access the island for Military Commission purposes will receive a commissions badge based upon their level of security clearance. This badge will dictate the type of access you receive to OMC facilities. However, a badge is not necessary to access public facilities such as the Naval Exchange and Commissary, which are open to all.
What items should I bring with me when traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in connection with military commission proceedings?
Answer: All military commissions travelers should bring:
- Required travel documentation
- Personal toiletry items
- Battery operated alarm clock
- Shower shoes
- Casual clothing appropriate for wear in official U.S. Government facilities, including U.S. Government courtrooms
People traveling to Guantanamo who will be lodged in the Camp Justice facilities will be issued linens, including sheets, a blanket, towels, a bathmat, and a pillow. People staying in tents at Camp Justice may wish to bring a short extension cord to use personal electronics inside the tents. General merchandise, food and toiletry items are available at the Navy Exchange (NEX) or the Commissary.
Will I have access to a government computer while at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: Yes. OMC personnel may gain access to a government computer while at GTMO as long as they’ve completed all necessary training, have access to their common access card (CAC) and have completed any necessary administrative required.
Civilian Defense counsel should coordinate in advance through their OMC Defense point of contact to obtain a "token" CAC, which will allow you limited use of DoD computer equipment. This CAC must be treated as a controlled/sensitive document and should be signed out only when needed to access DoD IT systems. The CAC must be returned when no longer needed.
Who will support me while at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: All logistical support at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is provided by DoD.
How do I travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, if I am a civilian defense counsel?
Answer: If you are a civilian defense counsel, you will be required to travel at your own expense, but must coordinate your travel through the Office of Military Commissions Office of the Chief Defense Counsel. Civilian defense counsel must have a valid U.S. passport and may use commercial flights to Guantanamo Bay or may use OMC flights on a space-available basis.
Who has the authority to grant or deny access to the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: The Commander, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has the ability to grant or deny access (32 C.F.R. 761.9(e)). Overall, any DoD Installation Commanders "shall enforce…security orders and regulations" to safeguard personnel, facilities and property from loss or sabotage – including computer networks (DoD Instruction 5200.08) and thus have "historically unquestioned power" to summarily exclude civilians from their area of command, and to admit private persons "under such restrictions as he may prescribe in the interest of good order and military discipline." (Cafeteria Workers v. McElroy, 367 U.S. 886, 893-4 (1961); Greer v. Spock, 424 U.S. 828, 837-38 (1976))
If I am traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who do I coordinate my travel with?
Answer: All travel must be coordinated with your main points of contact, either within the Office of Military Commissions or with another DoD entity. This information can be found on the Military Commissions website under travel.
If I have a medical emergency while on the island, where do I receive treatment?
Answer: If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately and inform the dispatcher of your location and condition. Emergency medical treatment only will be provided at the Naval Hospital at the visitor’s expense.
Individuals traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may purchase temporary Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) insurance in case your medical emergency requires you to be MEDEVAC’d from the Naval Station. Contact your insurance company for information on MEDEVAC insurance.
Items Needed for MEDEVAC:
DD Form 2569
CHCS Registration Form
Letter of Guaranteed Payment
What are the types of living arrangements available for military commission personnel traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: The different types of housing available can be found on the Military Commissions website under the Facilities Section. Lodging arrangements must be requested through your Military Commissions point of contact, who will then coordinate the request in accordance with the OMC Housing Policy.
Most OMC personnel will be housed in Camp Justice, either in trailers, called "CHUs," or in tents. The CHU trailers are two-bedroom units which share a central bathroom. They are air-conditioned, and have a bed, desk, wardrobe, television, DVD player, coffee maker, small refrigerator and microwave. There are several electrical outlets in each bedroom. Travelers are issued linens, including sheets, a blanket, towels, a bathmat, and a pillow.
Each of the OMC Tents has multiple twin beds, which are divided by plywood separations. Each bed area has a light above the bed, electrical outlets, and a small bedside table. The tents are air-conditioned and have plywood floors. Because the electrical outlets hang on the side of the tent, an extension cord is recommended if travelers wish to plug in laptops or other electronic devices such as DVD players, so that the cord can safely reach the device when it is flat on the bedside table. Each tent has a shared small refrigerator and microwave. Travelers are issued linens, including sheets, a blanket, towels, a bathmat, and a pillow. Because the tents are kept cold to prevent insect infestation, travelers may request additional blankets if desired. Latrine and shower facilities are in separate tents.
Members of the media and non-governmental organizations will be housed in the tents.
Will I have access to office space while at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
Answer: Limited office space is provided to military commissions personnel who travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Information on the types of office space can be found under the Facilities Section of the Military Commissions website. Please coordinate with your OMC travel or your Military Commissions office point of contact for additional information.
Do all OMC participants (civilian or military) and personnel have a "right" to access the island?
Answer: No. Individuals do not have a "right" to either enter or have unfettered access to the Naval Station or any facility on the Naval Station. The Commander of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay and other officials may set conditions upon your entry and access.
If I have been issued government equipment, what responsibilities do I have?
Answer: You are responsible for any U.S. Government property that is issued to you. This includes cell phones, chargers, vehicles and lodging keys. You will be required to sign for all items you receive and maybe held personally responsible for the loss or damage of any issued items, including paying out-of-pocket for their replacement.
Am I allowed to bring my personal computer and other electronics to Guantanamo Bay?
Answer: Yes, you are allowed to bring your own personal computer and other electronics to Guantanamo Bay. All persons on a military installation are subject to search of their person and effects while entering, exiting or at any other time as the installation commander may direct (Sec. 21, Internal Security Act of 1960; 50 U.S.C. 797). As a result, by bringing your electronic device(s) to the island, your device(s) may be subject to scanning by Guantanamo Bay personnel before arriving and departing the island.
You are NOT allowed to bring non-government furnished electronics (GFE) into OMC spaces, including the Expeditionary Legal Complex (ELC) and OMC office space in AV-29 and AV-34.
DoD generally prohibits removable media from being connected to DoD computer systems due to hacking/security threats. As a result, USB ports on all DoD issued computers are disabled for thumb drives.
The courtroom has restrictions on allowable media. For example, no privately owned, unclassified laptops may be used in the courtroom due to classification issues. The courtroom is equipped with electronic systems for the use of the parties during military commission proceedings. If you intend to use the courtroom electronics, you should coordinate in advance with the party sponsoring your travel to obtain the latest guidance on these issues. If counsel want access to the courtroom in advance to practice with the Travelers staying in the tents at Camp Justice may wish to bring an extension cord to plug in laptops or other electronic devices such as DVD players, so that the cord can safely reach the device when it is flat on the bedside table.
Are there wild animals on Base and is it permissible to feed them?
Answer: Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is home to a diverse animal culture, to include Iguana's, banana rats, snakes, birds, feral cats and even some wild dogs. NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay has a policy (NSGBINST 1710.10C (7.a)), which states: “The feeding, keeping, or breeding of iguana or other lizards, hutia, goats, chickens, snakes, pigeons, or feral cats and dogs, is strictly prohibited.”.