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The deployment, which began shortly after the 9/11 attacks, were to a military site in Uzbekistan called Karshi-Khanabad, known as K2. It was leased by the United States from the Uzbek government weeks after the 2001 terrorist incident, as it was in close proximity to al Qaeda and Taliban targets.
The US troops were greeted by “radiation hazard” warning signs, ‘black goo’ oozing fro the ground, and pond water that glowed green, according to the report.
K2 was contaminated with chemical weapons remnants, radioactive processed uranium and other hazards, according to documents obtained by McClatchy.
At least 61 of the men and women who served at K2 had been diagnosed with cancer or died from the disease, according to a 2015 Army study on the base. But that number may not include the special operations forces deployed to K2, who were likely not counted due to the secrecy of their missions, the study reported. –McClatchy DC
“Black goo” and other ominous signs
According to the report, the Defense Department knew K2 was contaminated from the start based on documents obtained by McClatchy which are now being made public (see below). After Uzbek soldiers who prepared the base fell ill in 2001, US Central Command ordered an intelligence review of hazards at the facility.
The fourth hazard noted in the report was that the northeast corner of the tent city was likely affected by “runoff from a CW [chemical weapons] decontamination site” which had appeared on U.S. intelligence imagery in 1987.
A separate Army environmental health study of K2 in November 2001 found small areas of dirt contaminated with asbestos and “low level radioactive processed uranium, both from the destruction of Soviet missiles.” –McClatchy DC
"After returning from combat years later, we are all coming down with various forms of cancer that the [Department of Veterans Affairs] is refusing to acknowledge," according to retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Scott Welsch, a special operations military intelligence officer who deployed to K2 in October 2001, and who now has thyroid cancer which was diagnosed in 2014.
Eventually warning signs were erected. Outside the berm, a new bright yellow sign went up with black and red letters that said: “Danger Keep Out. Chemical Weapons.”
Another black and white sign — “Danger. Off Limits. Radiation Hazard.” — was in front of a row of ponds nicknamed “Skittles” after the candy because the water glowed bright green but often had other colors too. The ponds were located just outside the berm.
Read more here: www.mcclatchydc.com...…
Several veterans who served at K2 are preparing a letter to Congress to ask for help.
"Please come to our aid to assist us in dealing with these illnesses that have forever altered the courses of our lives and the lives of our families," wrote retired Lt. Col. Omar Hamada, flight surgeon for the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, which went to K2 in 2002.