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.
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.
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 .