Adak White Alice Communications Site
Adak White Alice Communications Site (1968-1978) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Communications Station, a part of the Alaska White Alice Communications System (WACS). The WACS site at Adak was one of two sites added to the Aleutian extension under Project Bluegrass. The site system ID was "ADK1".
After HF radio systems proved inadequate for command and control communications in Alaska, the Air Force implemented the White Alice Communications System (WACS). This was a system of tropospheric scatter and microwave radio relay sites constructed during the mid-1950s and 1960s to provide reliable communications to Alaska Air Command (AAC) AC&W radar system. The system came to encompass facilities for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) in Alaska. While some of the WACS microwave sites remain active the WACS tropo sites were closed circa 1979 as communications technology rapidly changed to embrace communications satellites.
This site was completed in 1968. Original Facilities included an equipment and power building as well as the four massive 120' billboard tropo antennas. POL tanks provided fuel storage.
Nearby was the former Davis Air Force Base taken over by the Navy on 1 Jul 1950 becoming [[Adak Naval Station[[ with a variety of operations and communications facilities that benefitted from the White Alice tropo terminal. There was also a cable tie between the White Alice site and the Naval Station telephone dial exchange (see Adak DTE (ADK3) link below). There was also a cable that connected to the new satellite link (see Adak E.S. (ADK8)) from the Navy base telephone exchange.
In addition to the primary military circuits, the site also provided the first access to long distance telephone services for the local community. The Navy station also provided support for the WACS site
The Adak WACS had two sets of 120' tropo antennas. The specific links from Adak WACS (ADK1) as/of July 1977 were:
Adak WACS (ADK1)
Adak E.S. (ADK8)
Adak DTE (ADK3) (US Navy dial exchange)
Note: By July 1977 WACS was in transition with several satellite earth stations in operation replacing individual links.
This site was closed in 1978 as the major White Alice terminals were replaced by Alascom satellite terminals.
From the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Spill Prevention and Response Database:
SWMU 67, the White Alice Radar PCB spill site, is a former military communications complex located approximately 2 miles west of downtown Adak. The site consists of the remains of three building foundations, abandoned concrete pads, and eight DEWLine Radar Nets. The complex was built in 1956 and consisted of large transmitting and receiving dish antennae. The complex was dismantled between 1980 and 1982. During the demolition, the contractor drained fluids containing PCBs from 51 transformers into 55-gallon drums prior to removing electrical equipment. An unknown volume of PCBs were spilled during this process. The empty transformers were moved to another storage area, but the drums may have been dumped near the White Alice complex at SWMU's 20 and 21 (A, B, and C). Two JP-5 tanks used to store heating fuel were removed as part of the clean-up process. Human and ecological risks were both considered unacceptable. A multilayered impermeable cap was placed over the contaminated areas. Implementation of institutional controls is the only selected environmental cleanup remedy. No sampling is necessary. Institutional controls selected in OU A ROD. Future land use is restricted and deed restriction or restrictive covenants have been implemented. Visual site inspections are conducted annually to ensure the effectiveness of institutional controls and ensure that the cover at the site remains intact. Site conditions are assessed at least every five years for the need to take additional action or reduce controls, as appropriate. Draft Close Out Report for Partial Delisting submitted for Department review on June 16. Comments were submitted to the Navy on August 16.
The White Alice facility on Adak has been demolished by the Navy but satellite views still show foundation remains of the building and the four 60' billboard antennas as well as the feedhorn mounts.