Wake Island

12 May, 2009

Wake Island, One of the Key American Bases

Wake Island

Wake Island is also known as Wake Atoll. The island consists in a coral atoll with a coastline of over 19 km. It is situated in North Pacific Ocean, near Honolulu and Guam. The atoll belongs to United States and it is not organized and unincorporated. The Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior is responsible with its administration. United States Air Force is managing all activities on the island. The access is restricted and prohibited for unauthorized persons. United States Army has a missile facility in administration. The largest part of the island has a 3 km runway.

Even though Wake Island is a part of USA, yet it’s actually a day ahead as it’s situated to the west of International Date Line. Also, it’s not actually an island, but an atoll comprising 3 islands surrounding a lagoon in the centre. This makes the atoll a very valuable place because it can host ground, air, and naval troupes and machinery.

The atoll represents a great strategic base for the USA Army, Navy and Air Force. During the first and second World Wars, the islands there became key elements in the combat. On the same day when the Pearl Harbour took place (December 8, 1941), 27 Japanese bombers attacked Wake Island. Eight of the American fight aircraft were destroyed due to the attack.

Until the 18th century, the atoll was inhabited by locals, belonging to no external authority. They were fishermen mostly and they had no political organization. Beginning with the 19th century, the islands kept swapping their belongingness. Currently, Republic of Marshall Islands claims that the atoll should belong to them due to historical reasons. The territorial condition of Wake Island remains uncertain, but it surely is one of the most important bases for Americans.

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