Base Property and Historical Use
The former Naval Air Facility (NAF) Adak is located approximately 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The first inhabitants of Adak were the Aleuts as early as 9,000 years ago. Russians began trading with the Aleuts by the 1750s. The permanent Aleut villages were abandoned in the 1830s; however, seasonal and subsistence use of the island continued until World War II (WWII). During WWII, Adak became a military base operated by the Army Air Corps for defensive action against Japanese forces occupying Attu and Kiska. As many as 90,000 troops mobilized to the Aleutians during the peak military activity. After the war, Adak was transferred to the US Air Force and operated until about 1950, at which time the Navy took over operations. About 79,200 acres of the 180,000 acre Adak Island were set aside for Navy use in 1959 under Public Land Order 1949. The remainder of the island remained part of the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The number of military personnel on Adak has fluctuated, but had not generally exceeded 6,000 persons (outside of WWII). In 1980, under Public Law 96-487, the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge was placed in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
By 1994, all military dependents had transferred from Adak. The Former Naval Air Facility was listed under the Base Realignment and Closure Program in July 1995. The military mission at Adak ended on March 31, 1997. The former base had two areas with extensive development. The first was the "downtown" area, where the NAF was located. This area included an airfield, port facilities, landfills, sewage treatment facilities, light industrial, administration, commercial, recreational, and residential areas. The second main area was formerly used by the Naval Security Group Activity in the northern part of the island. Only the downtown area is currently being used.
Parcels Transferred and Remaining Disposal Work
On March 17, 2004, about 41,700 acres were transferred from the Navy to the Aleut Corporation via the Department of the Interior under Public Law Order 7609. Only about 5,600 acres remain under Navy control today (area known as Parcel 4) with the rest being National Wildlife Refuge, owned by The Aleut Corporation, or under the City of Adak. Active munitions remediation work is on-going in Parcel 4. Petroleum remediation and petroleum and chemical monitoring, as well as landfill and Institutional Control maintenance, continues by the Navy in the transferred properties.