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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.