Saturday, April 1, 2017
There are numerous isolated military bases around the world, but few as remote as Johnston Atoll. Located in the central Pacific and comprising little more than a vast runway, it’s not hard to imagine what sort of “under the radar” pursuits went on here over the years.
Origionally a natural island atop a coral reef about 750 nautical miles west of Hawaii, Johnston Island has been enlarged tremendously over the years by coral dredging. The result: a semi man-made island providing space for a expansive military base with accomodation for more than 1,000 people at its zenith.
Between 1958 and 1975, Johnston Atoll was used as a nuclear test site for underground and above-ground nuclear weapons. Several nuclear test missiles were launched from the atoll during “Operation Dominic” in 1962
Johnston Atoll also served as a launch platform for some of America’s first spy satellites and other scientific rockets. But by 1993, its military mission had been scaled down to handle the storage and destruction of chemical weapons