First group of detainees arrives at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray

In 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order that stipulated that US military could indefinitely detain any non-citizen who he believed was involved in international terrorism.

After the Justice Department advised that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp could be considered outside US legal jurisdiction, prisoners captured in Afghanistan were moved there beginning in early 2002.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the military operations in Afghanistan and the ensuing captures of numerous Al Qaida and Taliban individuals, a decision was made to transfer a number of detainees to the Camp X-Ray facility. The base was to serve as a temporary holding facility for Al Qaeda, Taliban and other detainees that come under U.S. control during the war on terrorism.

The U.S. Southern Command was in charge of the operation and activated Joint Task Force-160 (JTF-160) to head the detainee operations. The task force included active duty service members from Fort Hood, TX; Fort Campbell, KY.; Roosevelt Roads, P.R.; Camp Lejeune; Norfolk, VA; Dover AFB, DE, and Charleston AFB, SC. Reserve component personnel were to also deploy on this mission. Military Police personnel were to make up the bulk of JTF-160.