U.S. Military Major Bases and Installations

The Department of Defense And Its U.S. Bases

department of defense
pentagon in washington DC. gettys

The Department of Defense reaches across the United States and beyond employing and housing military men, women, and families in facilities and bases in every state of the Union.

The Department of Defense was once called the War Department and has been in existence since 1789 to place our young country’s Army, Navy, and Marine Corps under single leadership.  However, not until after World War Two did the new Department of Defense have its first Secretary of Defense.

The Mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the most well-known military base in the world – The Pentagon in Washington DC. 

In this series, there is information about the military bases across the United States in each of our fifty states.

California Military Bases

Naval Base Coronado Command
Navy bases in california. google earth

California is home to more than 30 military installations and over 168,000 of our war fighters and allow for training on bases in all areas of warfare:   land, air and sea.  Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard / Reserve bases are located across California and enable technology development for our nation's military.  Over 360,000 men and women are employed by the Department of Defense in California, including civilian employees.

Some of the States Largest Bases Include:

Naval Base Coronado - Is a single Navy command made up of several local Naval Bases and Training Centers creating a consortium of eight Navy installations:

Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado (NASNI); Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado (NAB); Naval Outlying Landing Field, Imperial Beach (NOLF IB); Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, San Clemente Island (NALF SCI); Silver Strand Training Complex, Coronado (SSTC), Camp Michael Monsoor Mountain Warfare Training Center, La Posta; Camp Morena, La Posta and the Remote Training Site, Warner Springs (RTSWS).

Naval Base San Diego - Home to the Pacific Fleet based on 32nd Street in Downtown San Diego and houses more that 50 warships and other vessels.  More than 200 commands and over 35,000 military and civilians are employed by the San Diego Naval Base.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton / Marine Corps Air Station  is home to more than 40,000 Marines and Sailors and houses and provides training programs preparing to deploy overseas. The base has more than 17 miles of shoreline which allow the Marines to conduct amphibious operations by using naval assets with fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Located close to Los Angeles.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms - is a live-fire arms training, urban operations, and Joint/Coalition level integration training that promotes operational forces readiness training in mock cities the size of downtown San Diego. 

Edwards Air Force Base - is the second largest Air Force base and home to the 412th Test Wing where they test and develop new technology and equipment. More than 10,000 employees work at Edwards. Edwards is located East of Los Angeles, close to Lancaster.

Fort Irwin - is near Barstow, CA and is the Army's National Training Center for brigade-level maneuver warfare training center, providing training for ground and aviation brigades. The installation, located in the Mohave Desert, is an ideal pre-deployment training facility for troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, containing multiple urban and wilderness operations sites.

Coast Guard - With California's long coastline, there are more than 5,000 Coast Guard members and 20 Coast Guard stations and air bases throughout the state.  

For more bases in California, check out the Governor's Military Council website to see the remaining military bases, where they are located, and the economic impact they each have on the communities they surround. 

Florida Military Bases

Coast Guard
Migrants, drugs, homeland security. gettys

Florida has more than 55,000 military personnel from all branches of service.  The Air Force totaling nearly half of all the active duty military members. Though the Navy and Marine Corps make up close to the other half with over 40% of the total man power. The Coast Guard bases are great in number totaling more than 25 bases and 5,000 personnel.

Important Commands In The State 

Special Operations Command - Located near Tampa, FL, SOCOM headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base

Naval Air Station - Pensacola is the cradle of Naval Aviation. NAS Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel. This includes major tenant commands: Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 and 23, the Blue Angels, and the headquarters for Naval Education Training Command, a command which combines direction and control of all Navy education and training.

Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center - Panama City - All divers attend training in Panama City FL. The Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) is the largest diving facility in the world. NDSTC trains military divers from all services. More than 1200 students train each year in the 23 courses.

The Coast Guard in Florida has more than fifteen bases and over 5,000 personnel who patrol the entire coast line of the peninsula of Florida.  Drug interdiction, migrant immigration on the open seas, and saving lives of boaters in the open ocean and inter-coastal waterways are the main missions of the Coast Guard in Florida.

The Air Force is well represented in Florida with training facilities and homes for Air Force Special Operations pilots, aircraft, and ground troops. 

Hurlburt AFB - Hurlburt Field is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command and the 1st Special Operations Wing located in the Florida Panhandle not far from Pensacola, FL.

MacDill AFB - In addition to the 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base is also home to partners such as U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. These two joint / unified commands creates a multi-service community at MacDill, with all branches of the armed forces represented. 

Eglin AFB - Is a joint Special Operations base housing commands such as Army Special Forces 7th Group, Army Ranger Training Course, Joint / Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, Located near Fort Walton Beach, FL, Eglin, the Air Force employs more than 8,000 civilians and 5,000 air force members.

There are many more Naval, Air Force Bases and several Coast Guard Bases in Florida, all with a range of missions from Immigration to Special Operations to Drug Interdiction.  For more military bases in Florida, see the link here.

Other Major bases in Florida:  Naval Station Mayport, Patrick AFB

Texas Military Bases

The expansive property in the state of Texas allows for large training areas for our military. The Army and Air Force are well represented in Texas reaching more than 110,000 military members on more than a dozen Army and Air Force Bases spread throughout the state.  The Navy and Marine Corps make up less than 10% of that number but have some premiere real estate on the Gulf of Mexico and the training school for jet pilots at Naval Air Stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville.

The Major Bases of Texas

Fort Hood - Located near Killeen, Texas. Fort Hood is one of the largest Army bases in the world. Fort Hood plays a large part in both tank training and tactics as well as anti-tank weaponry development.  

Fort Bliss - Is located near El Paso, Texas and the home of units who specialize in anti-aircraft and missile defense capabilities.

Many bases were recently re-aligned and the following bases are now a Joint Base San Antonio -  Fort Sam Houston, Randolph Air Force Base, Camp Bullis, and Lackland Air Force Base.

Fort Sam Houston - Is located in San Antonio, Texas and is considered one of the best medical training centers in the world.  San Antonio Military Medical Center plays a critical role in patient care, graduate medical education and research, as well as taking care of wounded service members.

Lackland is the Air Force's only site for enlisted basic military training for all non-prior service Airmen of the regular Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve.

Randolph Air Force Base - Since the start of Air Force was formed and required pilots to learn to fly air planes, Randolph has been the premiere training grounds for Air Force pilots.

The Coast Guard is represented on the Gulf Coast in Corpus Christi and Houston/Galvasten with both Air Stations and ports where operations from drug interdiction, water rescues, vessel intercepts, and aids to navigation, with the more than 2,000 members of the Coast Guard in Texas.

More links to Military Bases in Texas

Virginia Military Bases

marine memorial virginia
iwo jima memorial. gettys

Almost 100,000 active duty military members live and train in Virginia at numerous Army, Air Force, and Navy / Marine Corps Bases.  The Marines headquarters and major training grounds in Virginia make up the majority of Marine Corps jobs in the state.  Out of the near 50,000 Navy and Marine personnel in the state, most of the Marines are located in Quantico and the Navy in the Norfolk area.  The Army is well represented with nearly 25,000 military members on various large bases and training facilities that include Fort Lee, Fort A.P. Hill, and Fort Myer - Henderson Hall.

The Air Force has more than 15,000 members centrally located near Washington DC in Langley VA at the Joint Army - Air Force Base Langley-Eustis

However, the Navy's Atlantic Fleet is located in Norfolk, VA and is the largest Naval Base in the world. Nearly 100,000 active duty members reside and train within the area where multiple bases are situated.  Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story are also located in the Virginia Beach / Norfolk area and home to the East Coast Navy SEAL Teams, Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams and many of the Navy's Amphibious Ships are docked there as well. 

The Coast Guard conducts a variety of missions from aids to navigation to rescues on major rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and Virginia's Eastern Shore (Atlantic Ocean).  Nearly a dozen Coast Guard Bases are located throughout the state in the following areas:  Alexandria, Arlington, Chesapeake, Chincoteague, Hampton, Herndon, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Rossyln, Virginia Beach, and Yorktown.

New York Military Bases

United States Military Academy over Hudson River
Lee Snider / Getty Images

New York is home to the Army's Officer Training Program in West Point - The United States Military Academy as well as the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum. The Army has nearly 20,000 of its soldiers in the state of New York. Most of them are stationed at Fort Drum and involved in the light infantry units who function and do their training within the mountainous regions of New York.

The Coast Guard has a strong presence in the Hudson River around New York City, in Lake Erie, as well as some of the most dangerous water in the Atlantic and Long Island Sound off the coast of Long Island.  Some of the Coast Guard Bases are located in Buffalo, Staten Island, Montauk, and New York City.

The Air Force uses the Stewart Air National Guard Base as part of the Military Airlift Command and houses the newest cargo planes C-17 Globemaster III with the 105th Airlift Wing.  Stewart ANGB is located in Newburgh NY - just North of New York City.

Alabama Military Bases

center of army aviation

Alabama is home to a few military bases but some of the most important with regards to Army Aviation located near Dothan. Fort Rucker holds most of the Army personnel of the state and is known as the Center of Army Aviation. Fort Rucker employees about 15,000 civilian and active duty Army personnel.

Another important Army testing and research facility is the Redstone Arsenal and employs more than 35,000 civilians, contractors, and active duty.  Located in Northern Alabama near Huntsville, close to the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center much of the technology gained from these commands go into the Army Missile and Rocket Programs.

Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base houses nearly 10,000 active duty and reservist and the Air University as well as the 908th Airlift Wing. The Air University is a school of Air Force instruction of tactics and techniques of the latest lessons learned from the current conflicts. 

Alabama's Gulf Coast is protected by the Coast Guard Base Mobile Sector as well as the USCG Aviation Training Center dedicated to training pilots and aircrews in aviation tactics and maintenance.

Tennessee Military Bases

NSA Millington
tennessee navy base.

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South in Millington serves as the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence. Headquartered at Millington are the Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center. More than 7,500 military, civilian, and contract personnel are assigned/work on base.

The Air Force is represented by the Arnold Air Force Base.  It is a small base in size but large in the important mission of missile defense and technology testing and development.The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) has contributed to the development of practically every one of the nation's top priority aerospace programs.

The Coast Guard patrols the Mississippi River and handles the aids to navigation and fulfills many other missions of the Coast Guard. Sector Lower Mississippi River (SLMR) is located in Memphis, TN. The Sector is the parent command to two Marine Safety Detachments, 6 Buoy tenders, one aid to navigation boat and two response boats. The Sector, along with it's sub-units, works diligently across the expanse of six states, over 2,200 river miles, lakes and their navigable tributaries.

Georgia Military Bases

army rangers
static line drop - Army Rangers. gettys

Georgia has more than 60,000 military personnel in various Army, Air Force, and Navy Bases throughout the state.  The Army makes up over two-thirds of those numbers with over 45,000 Army soldiers in bases that include Fort Benning, Fort Stewart, and Fort Gordon,.  The biggest of these is Fort Benning and home to the Army Infantry, Army Airborne and Ranger Training and Fort Stewart is home to the 3rd Infantry Division.

The Air Force makes up the next biggest percentage of military members with nearly 10,000 members at the bases Moody AFB, Robins AFB, and Reserve Air Base Dobbins ARB

While less than 1,000 Coast Guard men and women are in Savannah, Georgia, the mission is to provide daily search and rescue (SAR) coverage for 450 miles of shoreline, averaging more than 250 SAR cases a year. Other missions include maritime law enforcement, drug interdiction, aids to navigation, marine safety and environmental protection. Aircraft are routinely deployed aboard Coast Guard cutters along the East Coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

For a state map of all major military installations see link.

Missouri Military Bases

Whiteman AFB - Home of the B2 Stealth Bomber. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

In Missouri, the Army makes up the majority of military personnel in the state at nearly 10,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.  Fort Leonard Wood is the educational facility to over 80,000 soldiers per year in a variety of warfare and leadership skills to include maneuver warfare, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.  The Army Engineer School, and Army Military Police Schools are also located here.  There are also Marine, Air Force, and Navy detachment who also share in the benefits of the training mission.

The Air Force has over 4,000 members mainly on the Whiteman Air Force Base which is home to the B-2 Stealth Bomber.  The base operates as the as the B-2 launch point for targets anywhere in the world and is one of the most secure bases in the world.

The Coast Guard Sector Base in St Louis is responsible for the Upper Section of the Mississippi River.  The Sector and it's subordinate units directly support the Coast Guard's five main mission areas; including maritime security, maritime safety, protection of natural resources, maritime mobility, and national defense across a geographically expansive area of responsibility encompassing the Upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers and their navigable tributaries.

Ohio Military Bases

Wright Patterson AFB
Ohio air force base. gettys

Less than 10,000 active duty military members are in the state of Ohio, but the Air Force employs more than 15,000 more civilian / contractors jobs at the Wright - Peterson Air Force Base.  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WP AFB) is one of the U.S. Air Force's largest and most important installations. It is home to the world's first operational airfield and where the Wright-Brothers, in their own words, "really learned to fly."

WP AFB is the place where America's Air Force aircraft of tomorrow are conceived, developed, and acquired.  Missions for base units vary from acquisition and logistics management, to research and development, advanced education, heavy airlift flight operations, intelligence, and a vast array of other activities.

Coast Guard - Ohio Coast Guard Bases patrol the Ohio River and its navigable tributaries and the Great Lakes stationed out of Cleveland. 

Pennsylvania Military Bases

Navy yard
navy graveyard. gettys

Pennsylvania is not a large military member presence and has less than three thousand military members in the entire state.  However, the Army War College, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and several Coast Guard bases are the most well known to the military and civilians alike.

Carlisle Barracks - is home to the U.S. Army War College. The main post area of Carlisle Barracks is approximately 4/5 of a mile long and 1/2 mile wide, containing 217 acres.  The total acreage of the reservation is 456 acres, on which are located approximately 300 government-owned buildings.

Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg - NSA Mechanicsburg serves approximately 4,300 civilian, military and industry partners assigned to over 40 tenant activities or commands. The largest of these are: Navy Supply Weapons Systems Supply, with approximately 1,000 personnel; the Business Systems Center, with approximately 500 personnel and Navy Supply Headquarters, with a complement of approximately 300 personnel.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard is a great American landmark that has been transformed into the most successful commercial redevelopment of a former military facility anywhere in the country. The Navy Yard is now houses 145 companies and occupies 7 million square feet of office, industrial/manufacturing, and research and development space.

Coast Guard - Located in Philadelphia, Sector Delaware Bay has a tri-state area of responsibility that encompasses portions of the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and includes the busy commercial ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Michigan Military Bases

US Coast Guard

The peninsula of Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes requires a massive Coast Guard presence.  In fact, the Coast Guard makes up more than half of the military personnel in the state (1,000 plus).  Coast Guard Sector Detroit is responsible for the operational and administrative oversight of 11 subordinate commands operating around the state of Michigan in direct support of Coast Guard missions, including: search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation, ice breaking, ice rescue and maritime homeland security. 

The Air Force is represented by Selfridge Air National Guard Base and is operated by the Michigan Air National Guard in Harrison Township, Michigan. Selfridge is currently home to the 127th Wing and the 927th Refueling Wing. The base is now home to 550 active duty personnel, 1720 civilian personnel, and 4,200 reservists.

Kentucky Military Bases

kentucky - Fort Campbell
101 airborne. gettys

The Army is king in the state of Kentucky making up nearly 33,000 of the 34,000 active duty military members on the two bases - Fort Knox and Fort Campbell.

Fort Knox - Fort Knox is more than 100,000 acres big and is the sixth largest urban community in Kentucky. Fort Knox is approximately 35 miles south of Louisville. 

Fort Campbell - is home to the 101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) and a host of other Army Air Assault, Infantry Battalions, and support team elements.

Coast Guard - is located in Louisville, KY and guards the Ohio River and it many navigable tributaries through the state.

Alaska Military Bases

winter warfare

Alaska is known for many things such as beautiful mountains, expansive, pristine coast lines, cold, dark winters, valuable energy and natural resources. It also has an active duty military presence over 20,000 strong.  

The Army and the Air Force make up over 75% of the manpower in Alaska at the Fort Wainwright, Fort Greely, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.  Most of the training operations prepare our service members for operating in inhospitable winter climates whether on the ground or in the air.  Missile defense and detection mission is a high priority for the Alaskan Soldiers and Airmen stationed there.

Clear Air Force Station is one of many early detection centers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) coming over the pacific or the North Pole. 

The Coast Guard makes a large impact in Alaska with a variety of missions throughout the entire coast line and in the Bering Sea and nearly 2,000 Coast Guard members in both boats and aircraft.  Bases around the state are Kodiak, Juneau, Valdez, Sitka Air Station.  

The Naval Special Warfare Detachment Kodiak is a tenant of the base and uses the training areas for Winter Warfare for Navy SEAL Training.

Colorado Military Bases

Colorado has a large presence of military members totaling over 35,000.  The Carson Army Base is home to more than 25,000 members of the Armed Forces in Colorado Springs housing units like the 4th Infantry Division and 10th Special Forces Group. The remaining members in the state are located at the following Air Force Bases:  Peterson Air Force Base (also in Colorado Springs), Schriever Air Force Base, and Buckley Air Force Base make up the nearly 10,000 Air Force members.

One of the highest caliber institutes of learning is located in Colorado Springs and home to the Air Force Academy.  The Air Force Academy is the four year college specifically designed to create Air Force Officers and it highly competitive to enter.

Iowa Military Bases

Iowa is not known for it active duty military members stationed in the state.  In fact, less than 300 military members are in the state and are mostly recruiters or stationed in one military installation called the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant.  Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) Loads, Assembles, and Packs and medium - and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense using modern production methods in support of worldwide operations.

The Coast Guard's main mission in the state is aid to navigation but also fulfills many of the other missions of the Coast Guard such as answering distress calls, enforcing vessel safety, located out of Dubuque IA. 

New Jersey Military Bases

New jersey Coast Guard
NJ patrol. gettys

New Jersey is a highly populated state but has a limited military presence.  Out of the near 8,000 military members in the state, over half are Air Force members located at Joint Base Macguire - Dix - Lakehurst.   The newly activated joint base and the 87th Air Base Wing assumed installation command. The 305th, along with the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, 108th Air Wing (ANG) , 621st Contingency Response Wing, and the 514th Air Mobility Wing (AFRC), has supported every major type of air mobility mission over the past 15 years.

The Coast Guard makes up the next largest population within the state at nearly 2,000.  Cape May is the Coast Guard Training Center Training Center and is the fifth largest base in the Coast Guard It is the sole training center for accession for the entire Coast Guard enlisted. The Atlantic City Air Station is also a major Northeast hub for Coast Guard Rescue and other vital missions on the coast of the state.  The Atlantic City Station provides Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Environmental Protection for a area of approximately 250 square miles of ocean, back bays and inlets. The unit has two 25 foot Response Boats-Small (RB-S) and two 47 foot Motor Life Boats (MLB) and a 27 foot Boston Whaler that the Coast Guard Auxiliary uses for safety patrols and helicopter training with Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City.  The unit also operates a seasonal rescue station in nearby Ocean City, NJ - Station (Small) Great Egg.

The remaining military members (less than 1500) are stationed at the bases Picatinny Arsenal, and the Joint Base Macguire - Dix - Lakehurst

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