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Earth : Oceania : Polynesia : Johnston Atoll
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Tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation.
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Revision as of 12:16, 5 September 2019

Johnston Island
Johnston Atoll in its region.svg
Flag of Johnston Atoll (local).svg
Quick Facts
Capital NA
Government unincorporated territory of the US; administered by Pacific Air Forces and the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
Area 2.8 sq km
Population in previous years, an average of 1,100 US military and civilian contractor personnel were present; as of May 2005 all US government personnel had left the island
Time Zone UTC -10

Johnston Atoll is in Polynesia, 717 NM (1328 km) southwest of Hawaii, about one-third of the way to the Marshall Islands.



The atoll is closed to the public and travel to the island is not allowed.

Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, and subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction is now complete. Cleanup and closure of the facility was completed by May 2005. Toxic waste from both operations is buried on the island.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options, in the interim Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the US Air Force.


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Strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean; Johnston Island and Sand Island are natural islands, which have been expanded by coral dredging; North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina) are manmade islands formed from coral dredging; egg-shaped reef is 34 km in circumference some low-growing vegetation. Highest point: Summit Peak, at 5 meters

Get in

Entry into Johnston Atoll is Heavily restricted, and requires a special-use permit to visit, often from the U.S. Military or the US Fish and Wildlife Services. And they both generally only give permits to military personel and civillian contractors. This even applies to U.S. and American Samoan citizens.

By plane

There is an abandoned airstrip on Johnston Island.

By boat


There is currently no economic activity on Johnston Atoll.


There are no public accommodations on Johnston Atoll.

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