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British Indian Ocean Territory

Formerly part of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) became a UK overseas territory in 1965. Some islands were later transferred to the Seychelles when it gained independence in 1976. Since then, BIOT has only consisted of the six main groups in the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly island, Diego Garcia, is inhabited and serves as a joint UK-US naval support facility. It also hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas for operating the Global Positioning System (GPS). The US Air Force has a telescope array on Diego Garcia as part of the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS), which tracks orbital debris that can be dangerous to spacecraft and astronauts.

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