Coast Guards Western-Most Station to be Decomissioned

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

Last week, the Coast Guard demolished the tallest structure on Attu Island. A 625-foot LORAN tower – which stands for Long Range Aids to Navigation – was brought down on Wednesday. Its Russian-American signal was turned off on August 1, and the station will be decommissioned on August 26.

When the Coast Guard decommissions the station on August 26, Alaska’s westernmost island will be left uninhabited.

The military first manned a LORAN station on the island during World War II, and that tower had been in use for 50 years. But last year, the federal government described the system as “outdated” and calculated it could save $36 million a year by disbanding it.

Chief Petty Officer Dana Warr says that the Coast Guard agreed with that assessment.

In February, the Coast Guard turned off the domestic signal at six of Alaska’s stations, including Attu. The Port Clarence LORAN tower, which was then Alaska’s tallest structure, was demolished in April.

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