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Kwajalein (kwäˈjälān, –lēn, –lĭn) [key], coral atoll, 6.5 sq mi (16.8 sq km), central Pacific, in the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. The largest atoll of the Marshalls, Kwajalein, consists of a group of 97 islets surrounding a lagoon. A large Japanese naval and air base was located there during World War II, and after the U.S. conquest of the Marshalls (1944) U.S. military bases were established. A U.S. antimissile-missile test base is on Kwajalein.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography

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