Kwajalein Atoll

KWAJALEIN: To break (or harvest) the fruit


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Population: 11,408 (2011) Number of islets: 93 Land area: 6.33 square miles Lagoon area: 839.3 square miles Yacht permit fee: $25 (Need a sponsor on Kwajalein Kwajalein) Mayor: Hirata Kabua.

kwajalein chartKwajalein is the world’s largest atoll, which presumably made it attractive to American missile testers. During the mid-1980s, Kwajalein was at the center of field testing for major components of the ‘Star Wars’ (Strategic Defense Initiative) program. The three main residential islands are:

  • Kwajalein, the missile base known as the United States Army Kwajalein Atoll or USAKA
  • Mejatto, where members of the Rongelap community were relocated to in 1985. The move was meant to be temporary.
  • Ebeye, home to 9,614 people, according to the 2011 census. A number of Ebeye residents work on what is often simply called Kwaj.

Follows are two photos of crowded Ebeye taken by Anjojo Kabua, who has kindly given me permission to use the photos! Komol Anjojo!

Bucholz Army Airfield: According to the RMI Ports Authority, although Kwajalein International Airport is located on Kwajalein Atoll within the Republic of the Marshall Islands, it is under the jurisdiction of the US Military and restricted to use by authorized persons. United Airlines touches down in Kwajalein between Guam and Honolulu (passengers are warned not to take photographs while on the ground).

Do the Ebeye puzzle!


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