The state of Oregon has very few military bases, which is in great contrast to the other Pacific Coast States. Hawaii has Pearl Harbor, Alaska has numerous military bases, due to its position in the Arctic. Washington has Fort Lewis and the naval bases on the Kitsap Peninsula. And of course, California has historically been the home of The Pacific Fleet. But Oregon? Oregon has a leaky chemical weapons depot outside of Umatilla, and not much else.

There are, however, a few notable military installations in Oregon, past and present. One of the past ones, that had a short operational lifespan, from 1985 to 1997, was an Over-the-horizon radar station located outside of Christmas Valley, Oregon. Christmas Valley is the name of an area in the south and central part of Oregon that, even by the greatly lenient standards of Easter Oregon does not qualify as a town. An Over-the-horizon radar is a radar that can see over-the-horizon. Since electromagnetic radiation travels in a straight line, this is quite a feat, requiring sending out a frequency of radiation that reflects off of the ionosphere, off of a target, back off of the ionosphere, and back on to the receiver. Without a background in electronics or engineering, the best way to describe the entire process is as very difficult. The two radar sites, including this one and the one in Maine, would still be able to pick up hordes of Soviet bombers and large missiles flying over the Atlantic and Pacific.

Like a great deal of military technology, the Over-the-horizon radar sites are an ingenious piece of engineering that are well past the point of diminishing returns. Because, if all of the United States' other radar sites in places like Japan, Alaska, Western Europe or in naval going ships have been wiped out, the vague signals bounced off the ionosphere showing hordes of incoming bombers and missiles will probably not be providing much information that will be helpful in the half hour before the earth reverts to tardigrade domination.

On top of that, as you might have been aware, The Soviet Union has ceased to exist and ICBMs are not something we have to worry about. For these reasons, the Department of Defense has disassembled the facility.

In passing though, one of the most interesting things about the Christmas Valley facility is that it exactly fits one stereotype of the American West. There is a stereotype of the American West is a vast landscape of isolated communities and hostile terrain, interspersed with high-technology, mysterious and perhaps insidious military bases. In the case of the Christmas Valley Over-the-horizon radar station, this "Area 51" stereotype seems to hold up.

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