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[Video] Kagnew Station: American Military Base in Eritrea


Kagnew Station was a United States Army installation in Asmara, Eritrea.

The facility was established in 1943 as a U.S. Army radio station, taking over and refurbishing a pre-existing Italian naval radio station, after Italian forces based in Asmara surrendered to the Allies in 1941.

On the night of January 31, 1975 though, fierce fighting broke out in Asmara between the Eritrean resistance commando and the Soviet-backed Ethiopian forces who were guarding the outside perimeter of the station, and in the process, incoming rocket-propelled grenades landed inside the Tract E compound of Kagnew station. This began a season of frequent nighttime firefights.

On 14 July 1975, Eritrean rebels abducted two Americans and four Ethiopians from Kagnew Communications Station. The Americans, Steve Campbell and Jim Harrel, worked for Collins International Service Company (CISCO), a government contractor.

On Friday 12 September 1975, the Eritrean Liberation Front, ELF, raided the US facility at Asmara, kidnapping a further eight people, including two Americans.

A year later, on February 12, 1976 a meeting at the White House Situation Room took place discussing Kagnew Station. Lt. General Smith stated, "Right now fleet operations are dependent on Kagnew. The Navy has a strong interest in keeping it. They have reaffirmed to me that if they don't have ‪#‎Kagnew‬ they would need a similar site elsewhere". At one point in the discussion, a senior intelligent officer said, "Yes. If we didn't have Kagnew there would be communications delays 25% of the time."

Kagnew Station operated until April 29, 1977, when the last Americans left. The station was home to the United States Army's 4th Detachment of the Second Signal Service Battalion with over 5,000 American citizens including 1,600 dependents at a time during its peak years of operation of the 1960s.

Today, many of the US Kagnew station personnel and their dependents fondly remember the life they had in Eritrea in those 34 years.

As a forgiving nation, we, Eritreans would welcome them to visit our country (their second home).

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[Video] Kagnew Station: American Military Base in Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 12:07 AM Rating: 5

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