|— City —|
|• Mayor||Russ Sweetsir|
|• Total||24 sq mi (62.1 km2)|
|• Land||17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)|
|• Water||6.1 sq mi (15.8 km2)|
|Elevation||128 ft (39 m)|
|Time zone||Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)|
|• Summer (DST)||AKDT (UTC-8)|
The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer many families floated on rafts to the Yukon River to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919.
Military Air Base
In 1941 and 1942, during World War II, a military air field was built adjacent to the civilian airport, and the two facilities shared the runway and flight line facilities. This air field was designated Galena Air Force Station shortly after the split of the United States Air Force from the United States Army, which occurred as a result of the National Security Act of 1947. During the 1950s, the construction of additional military facilities at Galena and the nearby Campion Air Force Station, in support of Galena's mission as a forward operating base under the auspices of the 5072nd Air Base Group, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, provided improvements to the airport and the local infrastructure, causing economic growth for the area.
Following the end of the Cold War, in 1993, operation of Galena Air Force Station was turned over to a contractor, and all military personnel were withdrawn with only a skeleton crew of active personnel visiting the base on an as-needed basis. It remains in use effectively as a forward operating location that is used occasionally by the military. This use has recently come under scrutiny by the Base Realignment and Closure Committee  and was officially closed OCT 1 of 2010. The Air Force retains responsibility for toxin cleanup in the area and engineers from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks still visit the site on occasion. The base is now totally controlled by the City of Galena, the Galena School District and the Alaska Department of Transportation. The Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is pursuing retaining one of the F-16 fighter hangars as a CAP facility for the CAP Wing in Galena, the "Yukon Squadron".
Nuclear Power Station
Galena is inaccessible by road, relying on river cargo in the brief summer for the bulk of its needs. This means the city must store large volumes of fuel oil. In 2004 Galena's City Council tentatively accepted a proposal from Toshiba Corporation to build the Galena Nuclear Power Plant, a small self-contained nuclear power plant but the plan was abandoned in 2010 after local start-up costs to build a 27 million dollar reactor core proved prohibitive for the community. The demonstration plant, the prototype for a line which Toshiba hoped to sell to similar communities in the U.S. and Canada, would have been the first civilian nuclear plant in Alaska; Fort Greely, Alaska, had a small military SM-4 reactor until the early 1970s.
Galena is located at .(64.740643, -156.885462)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.0 square miles (62 km2), of which, 17.9 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 6.1 square miles (16 km2) of it (25.41%) is water.
The City of Galena, as a first class city, operated a full-time police department and other vital services.. The City off galena gained notoriety in 2011 when it was noted in media reports as the highest benefit recipient community in the United States of lobbying. The town evaded bankruptcy by aggressively lobbying for state and federal funds for the GILA boarding school in the town, which produced funds that turned the city's finances around.
As of the census of 2000, there were 675 people, 216 households, and 149 families residing in the city. The population density was 37.8 people per square mile (14.6/km²). There were 259 housing units at an average density of 14.5 per square mile (5.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.22% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 63.41% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 4.44% from two or more races. 1.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
In the city the age distribution of the population shows 37.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 4.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 121.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 123.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $61,125, and the median income for a family was $70,250. Males had a median income of $46,563 versus $37,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,143. About 1.3% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.4% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Galena has three schools. Galena City School is primarily for local K–12 students, and the vocational Galena Interior Learning Academy is a boarding school which draws students from around the state. The Galena boys' and girls' basketball teams were regional champions from 2004 to 2007. The boy's basketball team won the state championship in 2008. Galena's third school is Interior Distance Education of Alaska, a state-wide homeschool support program that serves 3,500 students across the state. It is the biggest school (of any kind) in Alaska.
Galena's Edward G. Pitka Sr. Airport (Code GAL) is the former Galena Air Force Station field and with a paved runway of over 8000 feet is the largest public, state-maintained airport in the Interior of Alaska.[clarification needed] The control tower was demolished when the Air Force vacated the facility in 2007. The Airport is also the home of the "Yukon Squadron" of the AK Wing, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which covers much of lp the interior region to the Bering Sea for Search and Rescue (SAR). A CAP Cessna-172 aircraft is stationed at Galena.
There is a public library located in the Sidney C. Huntington School. Galena has a volunteer Rescue Squad composed of Alaska Emergency Trauma Technicians (ETT) and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and a volunteer fire department which recently received new advanced firefighting apparatus from the U.S. Air Force upon the closure of Galena Air Force Station. The city also has Nollner Health Clinic operated by Tanana Chiefs Council, a Native Health Clinic that offers 24-hour emergency care and routine health care. Eye and dental services are provided to Alaskan natives on a visiting provider basis. Medical emergencies are stabilized at Nolner clinic and flown by air ambulance to Fairbanks or Anchorage and dire pediatric emergencies are flown to Seattle Children's Hospital.
There is an Alaska State Troopers post in Galena with two troopers and a trooper-pilot.
The headquarters for the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge is located in Galena.
The Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) is located on the site of the former Galena Air Force Station and is one of three public boarding high schools in Alaska; the second in size behind Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka. The third is the Nenana Living School in Nenana. GILA uses the former barracks as a dorm, the former PX and headquarters buildings as class rooms and the dining hall as a cafeteria, along with the gym and other facilities. GILA provides educational and vocational training to young men and women from all over Alaska, grades 9-12, with most students coming from remote Native Alaskan villages from the Interior, North Slope and Aleutian Islands. GILA hosts various traiing and regional conferences throughout the year. GILA student enrollment grew from 110 to 180 in the 2009-10 school year.
Trivia: One of the action hero GI Joe's colleagues is an Athabascan Indian from Galena Alaska. The Iditarod annual dogsled race goes through Galena on even years, while the Iron Dog trans-Alaska snowmobile race and the The Yukon 800 annual summer speedboat race on the Yukon River from Fairbanks and back both go through Galena. Galena is home of Sidney C. Huntington (born: 1914), author of "Shadows on the Koyukuk" and after whom Sidney C. Huntington School in Galena is named.
Galena hosted a regional energy conference for the Alaskan Interior in the spring of 2009 and is considering starting a wood-pellet fuel boiler system of heat for the city as a cost-effective method of providing energy to residents.
The City of Galena has a city council and the Mayor is Russ Sweetsir, who has served since 1987. The Louden Tribal Council is elected to represent the local Athabascan Native community and the Tribal Chief is Chris Sommer.
- "Community: Galena". Community Database Online. Juneau: Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Community and Regional Affairs. 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- Buske, Norman, Pamela Miller & Lorraine Eckstein, "The Nuclear Reactor at Fort Greely." (Anchorage: Alaska Community Action on Toxins, 2000)
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Galena City School District
- uaf.edu, Galena: Nuclear Energy?
- Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge
- Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge