Arctic Valley star maintenance

  • Published
  • 673rd ABW/PA

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 773d Civil Engineer Squadron recently performed maintenance on the star on Arctic Valley’s Mount Gordon Lyon, installing a remote module with a transmitter/receiver which will reduce the burden of maintenance.


The star sits 4,000 feet above sea level, which makes maintenance challenging during Alaska winters. The maintenance teams and Airmen who go to the site during the winter require snow machines and snowshoes. September’s maintenance and newly installed transmitter are expected to reduce the number of trips Airmen need to make in the winter.


The star was illuminated on Sept. 11 in remembrance of the events of 2001; as every year, it will be lit up again the day after Thanksgiving to signal the start of the holiday season, and remain on until the last musher in the Iditarod makes it to the burled arch in Nome.


 The tradition of the star began in 1958 when U.S. Army Capt. Douglas Evert placed a 15-foot star on top of the Site Summit gatehouse. In 1970, the star was expanded to 117 feet, making it visible from Anchorage, and it was expanded again in 1989 to its present size.


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