Restricted Areas

Johnston Atoll

Last modified: 20 Nov 2018, submitted by: Dr. Mabuse

Country: United States Minor Outlying Islands    Region: Pacific

Locale: Johnston Atoll

Latitude: 16° 43' 50" N     Longitude: -170° 30' 14" E

Area use / Military Branches: Closed


Johnston Atoll. A 130 kmē atoll in the North Pacific Ocean about 1400 kms (750 nm) west of Hawaii. There are 4 islands located on the coral reef platform, 2 natural islands, Johnston and Sand Island, which have been expanded by dredging, as well as North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina), an additional 2 artificial islands formed by dredging. The north-west portion of the atoll provides a shallow lagoon, with depths ranging from 3-10 m.

Johnston is US territory administered by US Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior as part of the US Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges.

History: through the years the atoll has been used for various purposes. A naval refueling depot, an airbase, a nuclear and biological weapons testing site, a missile test base, a chemical weapons storage and ultimately a disposal site for chemical weapons: the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) until closure in 2003. Most structures and facilities have been demolished or removed and the runway was marked closed. The last flight out for official personnel was in June 2004. After this date, the base was left deserted.

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