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  Johnston Atoll
(territory of the US)
Flag of Johnston Atoll
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 Transnational Issues

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005

Map of Johnston Atoll

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Johnston Atoll Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
16 45 N, 169 31 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2.8 sq km
land: 2.8 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about 4.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Definition Field Listing
34 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Definition Field Listing
tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation
Definition Field Listing
mostly flat
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Summit Peak 5 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
guano deposits worked until depletion about 1890, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
no natural fresh water resources
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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 Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Johnston Atoll
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of the US is used
   Economy    Johnston Atoll Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: 512 KB satellite link to Hawaii teleport; 20 (POTS) voice and data lines
international: NA (2002)
   Transportation    Johnston Atoll Top of Page
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Johnston Island
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2004 est.)
   Military    Johnston Atoll Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Johnston Atoll Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005

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