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Background: 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 became 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 temporarily 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.

Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to the Northern Mariana Islands

Geographic coordinates: 19

17 N, 166 39 E

Map references: Oceania

Area: total: 6.5 sq km

land: 6.5 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 245

Area—comparative: about 11 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 19.3 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate: tropical

Terrain: atoll of three low coral islands, Peale, Wake, and Wilkes, built up on an underwater volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim

Elevation: mean elevation: NA

elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location 6 m Natural resources: none Land use: agricultural land: 0% arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pasture: 0%

forest: 0%

other: 100% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012) Natural hazards: occasional typhoons

Environment—current

issues: NA

Geography—note: strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean; emergency landing location for transpacific flights

Population: no indigenous inhabitants

note: approximately 150 military personnel and civilian contractors maintain and operate the airfield and communications facilities (2009)

Country name: conventional

long form: none

conventional short form: Wake Island etymology: although first discovered by British Captain William WAKE in 1792, the island is named after British Captain Samuel WAKE who rediscovered the island in 1796

Dependency status:

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

Legal system: US common law Citizenship: see United States Flag description: the flag of the

US is used

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

Telephone system: general assessment: satellite communications; 2 Defense Switched Network circuits off the Overseas Telephone System (OTS); located in the Hawaii area code—808

Broadcast media:

AmericaNArmed Forces Radio and

Television Service (AFRTS) provides satellite radio/TV broadcasts (2009) Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 0, shortwave 0 (AmericaNArmed Forces

Radio and Television Service (AFRTS)) provides satellite radio service (2005) Television broadcast stations: 0 (2005)

Airports: 1 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 211

Airports—with paved runways: total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals: none; two offshore anchorages for large ships

Transportation—note: there are no commercial or civilian flights to and from Wake Island, except in direct support of island missions; emergency landing is available

Military—note: 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)

Disputes—international:

 

Wake Island: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land useWallis and Futuna: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land useWest Bank: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land useWestern Sahara: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land useWorld: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land use

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