The blank “Flight Movement” board at this tiny airfield in the middle of the Pacific promises zero flights, and no movement.
The miniscule coral atoll, which pops up unexpectedly from the ocean’s steel-grey expanse, seems an unlikely place to find a permanent military presence.
It is located more than 2,000 miles (3,500 kilometers) west of Hawaii, and four US troops live here year round.
Thanks to more than a century of military history and a changing power dynamic in the region, this speck of sand and stones will continue to pack an outsized strategic punch for America.
“There’s so much honor here on Wake,” says Air Force Captain Marc Bleha, describing how the island saw one of the first US engagements of World War II,…