Australia-Oceania :: Wake Island
(territory of the US)

Introduction ::Wake Island

    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, as well as for emergency landings. Operations on the island were suspended and all personnel evacuated in 2006 with the approach of super typhoon IOKE (category 5), but resultant damage was comparatively minor. A US Air Force repair team restored full capability to the airfield and facilities, and the island remains a vital strategic link in the Pacific region.

Geography ::Wake Island

People and Society ::Wake Island

    no indigenous inhabitants
    note: approximately 150 military personnel and civilian contractors maintain and operate the airfield and communications facilities (2009)

Government ::Wake Island

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Wake Island
    unorganized, unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Washington, DC by the Department of the Interior; activities in the atoll are currently conducted by the US Air Force
    US common law
    the flag of the US is used

Economy ::Wake Island

    Economic activity is limited to providing services to military personnel and contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

Communications ::Wake Island

    general assessment: satellite communications; 2 Defense Switched Network circuits off the Overseas Telephone System (OTS); located in the Hawaii area code - 808
    American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) provides satellite radio/TV broadcasts (2009)

Transportation ::Wake Island

Military ::Wake Island

    defense is the responsibility of the US; the US Air Force is responsible for overall administration and operation of the island facilities; the launch support facility is administered by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA)