VIRGINIA (September 20, 2021)—The Department of Defense and the Office of Military Commissions will allocate seats for news media aboard a military-chartered aircraft for travel from Joint Base Andrews (JBA) in Maryland to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NSGB) in Cuba to cover military commission pre-trial proceedings scheduled for United States v. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Dec. 6 – 17, 2021.
Currently, the tentative flights will be available as follows:
- Sunday, Dec. 5 – JBA to NSGB
- Saturday, Dec. 18 – NSGB to JBA
Reporters are not required to stay for the entire duration of scheduled hearings. Reporters may request to attend one or both weeks of the hearing. A return flight from NSGB to Joint Base Andrews is scheduled as follows:
- Saturday, Dec. 11
Please note that the flight schedule, to include departure and arrival locations, is subject to change. Media desiring to view this hearing from NSGB must complete the online travel request form. All requests must be received no later than noon EDT, Friday, Sept. 24. Multiple requesters from the same organization must register separately via the online travel request form.
Due to a limited number of seats aboard the flight and limited accommodations at NSGB, selection is not guaranteed. Additionally, all traveling media shall have printed proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 viral test within 72 hours prior to the charter flight departing the national capital region. A test is not required for media who have a confirmed COVID positive test result within 90 days of travel if written proof from a medical provider can be provided no later than Friday, Nov. 19.
Media who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated will be allowed on the OMC charter flight. Media who are fully vaccinated (post 14-days from receiving complete COVID 19 vaccination) are not required to quarantine upon arrival at NSGB. Media who are not fully vaccinated may not view the hearing from NSGB. All media are subject to surveillance testing while on NSGB and will adhere to personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements directed by the NSGB Commanding Officer.
Additional viewing is available for media via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) from a media work center at Fort George G. Meade, in Maryland. Regular COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as mask wearing and social distancing may apply at all locations depending on local guidance and vaccination status, although media viewing from Fort Meade are not subject to COVID-19 testing or ROM requirements.
Media desiring to view this hearing from Fort Meade must send their requests via email to osd.mc-alex.OMC.firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information (multiple requesters from the same organization must send separate emails):
Subject Line: Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri 6-17 DEC 2021
- Individual’s full name
- Individual’s occupation/position
- Sponsoring organization (News Outlet)
- Contact information (cell phone and email)
NOTE 1: The primary purpose of travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is courtroom reporting. Tours of the detention facilities are not available. Requests for reporting on Guantanamo topics unrelated to the military commissions must be coordinated in advance through the respective Public Affairs Officers of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Southern Command, and/or NSGB.
NOTE 2: All media must ensure their passports and visas (foreign press) are up-to-date and eligible to enter and exit the United States.
Further information including the media ground rules can be viewed at the Office of Military Commissions website at https://www.mc.mil.