Pentagon officials said at a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday they hope to take down the project in Gakona known as HAARP before winter sets in.
David Walker, an Air Force deputy assistant secretary, says the military has moved on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which is what the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program was designed for.
“Our position has been that if there’s not somebody who wants to take over the management and the funding of the site, then the Air Force has no future need and that we do plan to do a dismantle of the system in the future.”
Walker says the University of Alaska Fairbanks has inquired about taking over the system but hasn’t offered to pay the cost of operating it, which runs about $5 million a year. Walker and other Pentagon scientists at the hearing say they made good use of HAARP, which uses antennas to direct energy into the ionosphere. The 30-acre facility cost $300 million and opened seven years ago.
- Juneau Finance Director Bob Bartholomew projected Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of dividend funds will cost the city.
- Only three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue has 780 votes, ahead of 777 votes for incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak, who’s from Barrow.
- Bus passes, child-care assistance, work clothing and other resources to get low-income tribal members into jobs are being cut in seven Southeast Communities..
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.