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Johnston Atoll[Country flag of Johnston Atoll]
[Country map of Johnston Atoll]

Introduction Johnston Atoll
Background:
Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, and subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction is now complete. Cleanup and closure of the facility was completed in 2004.
Geography Johnston Atoll
Location:
Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 717 nm (1328 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, about one-third of the way from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands
Geographic coordinates:
16 45 N, 169 31 W
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 2.8 sq km
land: 2.8 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 4.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
34 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain:
mostly flat
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Summit Peak 5 m
Natural resources:
guano deposits worked until depletion about 1890, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
NA
Environment - current issues:
no natural fresh water resources
Geography - note:
strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean; Johnston Island and Sand Island are natural islands, which have been expanded by coral dredging; North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina) are manmade islands formed from coral dredging; the egg-shaped reef is 34 km in circumference; closed to the public; a former US nuclear weapons test site; site of now-closed Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS); most facilities dismantled and cleanup complete in 2004; some low-growing vegetation
People Johnston Atoll
Population:
361 no indigenous inhabitants
note: in previous years, there was an average of 1,100 US military and civilian contractor personnel present; as of September 2001, population had decreased significantly when US Army Chemical Activity Pacific (USACAP) departed; as of January 2004 the island population was just above 200 personnel, including US Air Force, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and civilian contractor personnel (July 2005 est.)
Government Johnston Atoll
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Johnston Atoll
Dependency status:
unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Honolulu, HI, by Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, and the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
Legal system:
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Flag description:
the flag of the US is used
Economy Johnston Atoll
Economy - overview:
Economic activity is limited to providing services to US military personnel and contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Communications Johnston Atoll
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: 512 KB satellite link to Hawaii teleport; 20 (POTS) voice and data lines
international: NA (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 256 KB circuit to US Department of Defense-run Nonsecure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) (2002)
Transportation Johnston Atoll
Ports and harbors:
Johnston Island
Airports:
1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Johnston Atoll
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues Johnston Atoll
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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