Long Range Navigation (LORAN) Station Saint Paul
Welcome to Long Range Navigation (LORAN) Station St Paul Island, AK. This remote Coast Guard unit is the Master Station for the Alaska Northern Pacific (NORPAC) LORAN Chain, with a primary mission to provide vital LORAN capabilities to mariners in the harsh Bering Sea. To accomplish this, we transmit a 1 Mega Watt signal with a coverage area of 2,500 nautical miles. Significantly, this chain is comprised of all the Coast Guard's truly isolated duty stations; the other two stations are LORSTA Attu Island, and LORSTA Port Clarence.
If you are slated for a tour at LORSTA St Paul Island, Congratulations! You have accepted an experience which is unlike any other unit. The native wildlife is diverse comprised of rare bird species, attracting many visitors yearly, plus St Paul Island is host to several hundred thousand Northern Fur Seals in the summer. Exercising, Hiking, Fishing and Caribou hunting are favorite activities, plus the rare King Ider Duck lures game hunters from across the country in the winter.
Equally unique is the cultural life and practices of the local Aleut population which numbers around 500. Because of their remote location on these islands (St Paul Island and St George Island), they have developed a singular culture with some differences compared with other Aleut tribes. Further distinguishing this difference the local Aleuts prefer to be called Unangan or "Our People". Furthermore, the Unangan people possess strong ties to the island's natural resources with an especially powerful relationship to the indigenous Northern Fur Seals, and to this day, seal meat is a major part of their diet, performing periodic seal harvests for subsistence.
More recently, St Paul Island serves as an important stop for fisherman during the Opilio Crab season, which is televised through the successful TV show "The World's Deadliest Catch". The Opilio Crab season is during the winter months (JAN-APR) and is considered a dangerous time to be in the Bering Sea. Because of the innate dangers, LORSTA St Paul performs a secondary mission in support of Search and Rescue Operations. To accomplish this, LORSTA St Paul is designated an Aviation Forward Operating Base; accommodating the addition of a H60 Helo, and a normal compliment of 12 Aviation Detachment (AVDET) team members from Air Station Kodiak. The visiting AVDET tour is normally from January to April, or as long as the Opilio season is open, and is credited with many lives saved over the years.
Finally, due to our remote location and distance from family and friends, you will face many challenges; but, more importantly you will create lasting memories and shipmates for life.
Flights to St. Paul are connected through Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC). Members should arrive in Anchorage at least one day prior to their reporting date. Due to weather conditions on the island, flights are sometimes cancelled, resulting in a layover in Anchorage. Hotels can be costly, therefore the member should be prepared for this. As of 2006, Per Diem rates for the area are as outlined: May 1st thru Sep 15 is $170.00 and Sep 16 thru Apr 30 is $95.00. Please keep these rates in mind when making reservations. In the event of a "weather induced layover", you will be reimbursed for the hotel cost (MUST KEEP a receipt. Keep your permanent change of station (PCS) orders and military identification card with you at all times when traveling.
An alternative is flying here aboard a Coast Guard C-130 logistic flight once every three weeks, but inform our administration staff. Just fly into Kodiak aboard Alaska Airlines the day prior to our "log" flight and report to the Air Station Kodiak terminal no later than 7 a.m. You can stay at the barracks, (907)487-5260 (master-at-arms), or at the Kodiak Guest House, (907) 487-5446, for $40 a night.
Personnel reporting aboard must have a full sea bag as required by Coast Guard regulations. The annual change of command ceremony features the district commander's annual visit and the required uniform varies from dress blue alpha to tropical blue long. Extra work uniforms, thermal underwear, insulated boots, black wool cap and warm socks are recommended. Parkas and insulated coveralls are provided. Other clothing can be purchased through the Exchange or small stores at Integrated Support Command (ISC) Kodiak, or the clothing locker at Cape May.
The station operates a satellite exchange for Coast Guard members, which sells film, toiletries, tobacco products and other items you may need. You may also use the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) mail order catalogue. The exchange receives supplies every three weeks. Members must request items from the exchange in Kodiak. Purchased items are placed on credit then paid at the end of the month by personal check or cash.
The crew stays active year round by organized sports activities on the island, and at the station gym. Adult league basketball, softball, and volleyball are the three most popular sports organized by the city. The station is also involved in the "Partnership in Education" program with the local school. Other activities include, beach combing, hiking, photography, riding the station's ATV's and hunting. An ATV training course is required.
The station has a variety of indoor recreation available to Coast Guard members including a pool table, darts, foosball, a sauna, a Jacuzzi hot tub, an extensive weight room, TV lounge, a large selection of VHS & 8mm movies, a tanning bed, Xbox and Sony playstation games, a library exceeding 300 paperbacks, a morale personal computer with Internet connectivity and various board games.
We have a post office on the island and receive mail two or three times a week depending on the weather. Please visit Contact Unit for address.
St. Paul Island is a restricted duty station and compensatory leave is earned at the rate of 2.5 days/month. Compensatory leave is in addition to your regular leave and can be used during a mid tour visit to your family, (your expense), but must be taken upon departure to your next duty station. We also receive hardship duty pay equaling $150/month. LORSTA St. Paul doesn't receive a cost of living allowance.
Try to have all personal and financial affairs squared away before you leave home. Execute any necessary powers of attorney. Your district or unit legal office can assist with these. Ensure family members have your complete military address and telephone number. Should an event occur that requires your presence back home, the Coast Guard requires American Red Cross notification, (877) 272-7337. Your family should forward your complete military address and full description of the situation to the nearest Red Cross office for action.
Please take care of any Tricare issues before arriving.
We abide by Alaska State Law for drinking and smoking. The drinking age is 21 and the smoking age is 19.
The weather on St. Paul Island is unpredictable. During the summer, the temperature is 55 degrees with winds of 20 knots. Summer uniforms are not needed as the summer season is short. Fall is short with winter starting in November through March. Once winter settles in, snowfall is moderate, with temperatures dropping to minus 30 degrees. Winds of up to 60 knots can cause severe snow drifting around the island, occasionally closing the roads and covering the buildings.
The Pacific fur seal makes St. Paul Island its home from June through October, where it mates and gives birth. They are an extremely interesting form of wildlife. Approximately 800,000 seals, 90% of the world's northern fur seal population, summer at these islands. The fur seal herd may be observed from a safe distance at two blinds. You must have a permit to view the seals from these blinds, which can be obtained from the local Alaska Department of Fish & Game office.
Items you are required to have:
Full Seabag (as required by Coast Guard Regulations) see UDC LINK
Extra Uniform items
Thermal Underwear and warm socks
Shower shoes, towel, personal hygiene items (bring enough to last for at least six months, due to the limited selection at the Kodiak exchange and local community store.)
Bathrobe and/or t-shirt w/ shorts (all members are required to be clothed while transiting to the Head.)
Phone card (for all outgoing calls)
Clothing Items Provided by LORSTA
(Please call your Sponsor with your sizes to ensure your gear arrives before you do.)
Carhartt Arctic Weather Jacket
Carhartt Arctic Weather Bib Overalls
Optional Items for Living on St. Paul Island
Warm Clothing (Jeans, Hoodies, Coat, Hat, Gloves etc…)
Collapsible camping chair for bonfires.
Guns, Guns, Guns! (DO NOT SHIP AMMO. Ammo is available from the Exchange or in town. It’s ILLEGAL to ship ammo in your HHG.)
Any personal hobby equipment.
TV, DVD player, DVD’s, TIVO
Hiking Boots (insulated)
Gym Clothes and Shoes
Comfortable Bed Linens (Twin Size)
Twin Size Foam mattress pad
Books (We do have an extensive library)
Scented Candles/Air Fresheners
Dryer Sheets (Laundry Soap (Tide) is provided by LORSTA)
Snow Sports Equipment (Snowboard/Snow Shoes)
Phone number: (907) 546-2384/5/6
Fax number: (907) 546-2326
Upon receipt of orders, please contact your sponsor or the XPO.
Every member has a designated mailbox located at the station. Mail is picked up daily from the Post Office. All packages should be sent USPS Priority to ensure a timely delivery. UPS and Fedex also deliver to the island. All mail and packages should be addressed as outlined below.
USCG Lorsta St. Paul
P.O. Box 902
St. Paul Island, AK 99660
Alternate Mailing Address (if a company cannot deliver to a PO Box)
USCG Lorsta St. Paul
900 Polovina Tpke
St. Paul Island, AK 99660
Upon arrival to the station you will be given a three digit extension, which can be given out to family and friends. They will then be able to call directly to your room.
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