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Wake Island

 

Wake Island
Introduction Wake Island
------------------------
Background: The US annexed Wake Island in 1899
for a cable station. An important
air and naval base was constructed
in 1940-41. In December 1941 the
island was captured by the Japanese
and held until the end of World War
II. In subsequent years, Wake was
developed as a stopover and
refueling site for military and
commercial aircraft transiting the
Pacific. Since 1974, the island's
airstrip has been used by the US
military and some commercial cargo
planes, as well as for emergency
landings. There are over 700
landings a year on the island.

Geography Wake Island
---------------------
Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific
Ocean, about two-thirds of the way
from Hawaii to the Northern Mariana
Islands
Geographic coordinates: 19 17 N, 166 36 E
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 6.5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 6.5 sq km
Area - comparative: about 11 times the size of The Mall
in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 19.3 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical
Terrain: atoll of three coral islands built
up on an underwater volcano; central
lagoon is former crater, islands are
part of the rim
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 6 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: strategic location in the North
Pacific Ocean; emergency landing
location for transpacific flights

People Wake Island
------------------
Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: US military personnel have
left the island, but civilian
personnel remain; as of December
2000, one US Army civilian and 123
contractor personnel were present
(July 2002 est.)
Population growth rate: NA

Government Wake Island
----------------------
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Wake Island
Dependency status: unincorporated territory of the US;
administered from Washington, DC, by
the Department of the Interior;
activities on the island are managed
by the US Army under a US Air Force
permit
Legal system: the laws of the US, where
applicable, apply
Flag description: the flag of the US is used

Economy Wake Island
-------------------
Economy - overview: Economic activity is limited to
providing services to contractors
located on the island. All food and
manufactured goods must be imported.
Electricity - production: NA kWh

Communications Wake Island
--------------------------
Telephone system: general assessment: satellite
communications; 1 DSN circuit off
the Overseas Telephone System (OTS)
domestic: NA
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM NA, shortwave NA
note: Armed Forces Radio/Television
Service (AFRTS) radio service
provided by satellite (1998)
Television broadcast stations: 0 (1997)

Transportation Wake Island
--------------------------
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: none; two offshore anchorages for
large ships
Airports: 1 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2001)
Transportation - note: formerly an important commercial
aviation base, now used by US
military, some commercial cargo
planes, and for emergency landings

Military Wake Island
--------------------
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the
US

Transnational Issues Wake Island
--------------------------------
Disputes - international: claimed by Marshall Islands
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