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.
- Christopher Strawn testified he walked home with his dog and was going to sleep when Brandon Cook was shot and killed on Oct. 20, 2015.
- Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Mallott both spoke, but is was the 17-year-old keynote speaker who brought the room to its feet with applause and cheers.
- If confirmed, Tara Sweeney would be the first Alaskan to serve in the position. Her nomination has Alaska’s U.S. senators literally cheering.
- The pioneer road being built in West Douglas will be extended another 1.1 miles. This after the Juneau Assembly authorized the use of $600,000 in federal money from a long-dormant dredging project.