Farallon de Medinilla is the eleventh independent island in the Northern Mariana Islands chain situated 45 miles north of Saipan. It is the second smallest in the chain, only Zealandia Bank is smaller. It is an uninhabited coral island which is approximately 1/2 square mile in area. Its highest elevation is 81 meters. The shores are rimmed with cliffs containing caves and its tableland has some brush and savanna grass.
For years the U.S.Navy has used Farallon de Medinilla for military and bombing exercises. In a 2002 lawsuit the Center for Biological Diversity charged the Navy with the destruction of wildlife habitat on the island. A subsequent court ruling ordered the Defense Department to cease bombing exercises on Farallon de Medinilla until they came in compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.