Galena Forward Operating Location, Alaska, was established as an airfield during World War II and served as a forward operating base for the Pacific Air Force's 611th Air Support Group headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, when it closed. Due to its strategic location in interior Alaska, Galena's mission was to intercept incoming Soviet aircraft during the Cold War.
Galena FOL was recommended for closure by the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005. The base was officially closed September 30, 2008. Today Galena is one of 40 former installations managed by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center in San Antonio, Texas.
AFCEC continues to work closely with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure environmental cleanup activities satisfy all regulatory standards while protecting human health and the environment.
AFCEC has transferred 152 acres to the state of Alaska and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to support ongoing activities. Today the Galena Interior Learning Academy uses former Air Force buildings as classrooms and dormitories to support the high school students who travel from neighboring Alaskan villages to attend the academy. Approximately 7 remaining acres are expected to transfer by the end of 2017.
The Air Force and its partners will continue to work together to complete environmental cleanup for the benefit of the community.