What Is the History of the Adak Naval Station?


Quick Answer

The Adak Naval Station opened in the early 1940s on Adak Island in Alaska. The site allowed U.S. forces to mount a successful offensive against the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu during World War II. The site later became an air station, and it closed in 1997.

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Full Answer

The Adak Naval Station was a useful military operation site not only during World War II but also during the Cold War. The site was used as a submarine surveillance center during this time and became a naval air station during the same period.

The Adak Naval Air Station eventually encompassed over 17,000 acres of Adak Island. Military operations throughout the years resulted in the release of hazardous chemicals through spills and historical disposal practices. Since the military mission at the site ended in 1997, the Navy has been involved with the clean-up and environmental restoration efforts. The Navy works with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the site meets the state of Alaska's requirements for human health and environment protection.

The site is now part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The site was added to the National Priority List of contaminated sites in 1994. As of 2014, the Aleut Corporation, which owns much of the site, plans to develop it as a fueling facility and fish processing plant.

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