Coast Guard terminates LORAN-C broadcast

CAPE MAY, N.J. - (L-R) Adm. Thad Allen, Jack Anastasia, and George Hamilton turn off switches on attenuator boxes to decrease the Long-Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN-C) signal at LORAN Support Unit Wildwood, Feb. 8, 2010. The Coast Guard terminated the LORAN-C signal at 19 of its 24 stations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Chief Warrant Officer Veronica Bandrowsky)

CAPE MAY, N.J. - (L-R) Adm. Thad Allen, Jack Anastasia and George Hamilton turn off switches on attenuator boxes to decrease the Long-Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN-C) signal at LORAN Support Unit Wildwood, Feb. 8, 2010. The Coast Guard terminated the LORAN-C signal at 19 of its 24 stations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Chief Warrant Officer Veronica Bandrowsky)

The show continued on despite record snowfall in the Washington, D.C., area over the weekend. Yesterday at 3 p.m., the Coast Guard Navigation Center in Alexandria, Va., coordinated the shutdown of the North American Long Range Navigation-C signal.

Click here and here to watch videos on YouTube of LORAN stations shutting down.

The shutdown of the signal concludes the broadcast of the U.S. domestic signal. Coast Guard LORAN stations Attu and Shoal Cove in Alaska and other stations, which are bound by bi-lateral agreements with Russia and Canada, will continue to broadcast their international signals. All the stations will continue to be maintained and manned as the closure of the facilities proceeds over the coming months.

The LORAN system began as a radio-based navigation system during World War II and provided the Allied forces with a reliable and accurate means of navigation at sea in any weather. As a result of its effectiveness, LORAN was expanded for aircraft and merchant use with Coast Guard broadcast stations being established throughout the world.

Due to technological advancements in the last 20 years, LORAN has become an antiquated system no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests and is used only by a small percentage of the population. The decision to cease transmission of the LORAN-C signal reflects the president’s pledge to eliminate unnecessary federal programs.

The Loran-C system served the 48 continental states, their coastal areas, parts of Alaska and neighboring countries. Dedicated Coast Guard men and women have done an excellent job running and maintaining the Loran-C signal for 67 years, 8 months and 24 days. It is a service and mission of which the entire Coast Guard can be proud.

KODIAK, Alaska - (back row L-R) SK2 Jonathan Clary, MK1 Tim McGuyrt, ETC Thomas Sears, ET2 Mark Canchola, (front row L-R) ET3 Robert Perkins and ET3 Jeremy Berg pose for a photo after the termination of the Loran-C signal ceremony Feb. 8, 2010. LORAN station crews, including the six Alaska-based stations, turned off their domestic signal across the nation at 11 a.m. (3 p.m. EST) Monday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

KODIAK, Alaska - (back row L-R) SK2 Jonathan Clary, MK1 Tim McGuyrt, ETC Thomas Sears, ET2 Mark Canchola, (front row L-R) ET3 Robert Perkins and ET3 Jeremy Berg pose for a photo after the termination of the Loran-C signal ceremony Feb. 8, 2010. LORAN station crews, including the six Alaska-based stations, turned off their domestic signal across the nation at 11 a.m. (3 p.m. EST) Monday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

Notice of the termination of the signal was published in the Federal Register Jan. 7. The notice of intention to terminate the LORAN-C signal may be viewed online here, docket number: USCG-2009-0299. The Record of Decision and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement may be viewed online under docket number: USCG-2007-28460.

More information on terminations, reductions and savings contained in the fiscal year 2010 budget, including LORAN-C, may be found here.

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