From the Spotlight, June 29, 1998
Article by Mike Blair
American taxpayers are funding an "enemy prisoner of war" camp for supposed "training purposes" on property adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. In addition, The Spotlight has learned from the office of U.S. Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) that Congress has funded, in a project led in the Senate by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), the construction of a massive counter-terrorism training complex for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the FBI at the old U.S. nuclear test site 80 miles west of Las Vegas.
The DOE oversees America's nuclear weapons programs, as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and maintains an Intelligence and National Security Office, which, like the FBI, is concerned with the current potential for nuclear terrorism and deploys its own agents and even SWAT teams. While aware of the counter-terrorism center, Sen. Reid's office was not aware of the enemy prisoner of war facility that is being bult with U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) funding on a site recently transferred to the Nevada Army National Guard.
The construction of the compound is under the direction of the Facilities Management Office of the Nevada guard. According to Nevada guard spokesman SFC John Eckert, work on the compound was set to begin as this issue of The Spotlight was going to press, with the Las Vegas construction firm of ZCON, Inc., being the low bidder. The cost will be $64,314 for the 14,000-square-foot facility. According to Sgt. Eckert, the compound "is being constructed to official U.S. Army prisoner of war camp specifications". He said it would be capable of holding up to 100 inmates.
The compound will be surrounded by an outer security fence and will have two guard towers. The guard spokesman said that it is anticipated that work will be completed in time for the guard's 72nd Military Police Company to use it for training scheduled to begin on August 1. He said the facility will be utilized for training by security police at the adjacent Nellis Air Force Base and by local law enforcement. Sgt. Eckert said that inquiries have been received by National Guard units from out of state, including the states of California and Oregon, about the possibility of using the compound for their training purposes.
- Possible Connection
- There is no official acknowledgment of any link between the prisoner of war compound and the planned new counter-terrorism facility to the west of Las Vegas. The exact location of the POW compound is 300 yards north of the Union Pacific railroad tracks in an area that has been designated the Nevada Army National Guard Training Area, which is located along Range Road in Las Vegas on a 3,000-acre site that was transferred to the guard by Nellis Air Force Base and the Bureau of Land Management, Eckert explained. He said that in addition to the prisoner of war compound, the site also is the location of an 800-man guard armory and maintenance facilities for the Nevada guard unit's M-1 Abrams heavy battle tanks. Eckert said the armory facility was opened last August.
- Coud the facility be utilized as a genuine concentration camp or prison facility? "Oh, yes, Eckert replied. "It is an actual facility built precisely to the Army's prisoner of war camp specifications." "It is just like facilities we built in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War to house Iraqi prisoners of war, Eckert added. The guard spokesman said he did not know why civilian police were interested in using a prisoner of war-type complex for training purposes, but he said he was aware of one inquiry to use it that was made by the local Clark County Sheriff's Department.