Military Bases Throughout the United States and World
The United States has the largest, greatest, and strongest military force in the world. Although military bases operate on American soil, the U.S. Armed Forces has a global presence on every continent in the world, except Antarctica.
Today, the resume writing professionals at Empire Resume will help you explore:
- The number of military bases in the U.S. and in the world
- States with major military facilities
- Countries with U.S. military bases
- How you can tour a military base
Military Bases by the Numbers
According to the Base Structure Report, the DoD, headquartered at the Pentagon, manages a global real property portfolio that spans 45 foreign countries.
Research also suggests the U.S. Government:
- Operates more than 420 military installations stateside
- Oversees an estimated 800 military bases around the world
While each service branch has its own bases, you will see some joint military bases.
For example, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state is home to the Army’s Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.
What about military and reserve units? We’re glad you asked.
Every state across the U.S., the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia has a national guard unit, for a total of 54.
On the other hand, you’ll find thousands of military reserve units just traveling in and around different cities in the country.
Major U.S. Military Bases in North America
You will find military bases in almost every state. However, the states with major military bases include:
- New York
Let’s explore some of the major military bases in detail:
Alabama military bases
Alabama is home to military bases for the Army and Air Force including:
- Fort Rucker
- Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base
Fort Rucker is known as the Center of Army Aviation. Some new Army recruits can expect to attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Rucker after first joining the military.
Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base is home to Air University where Officer Training School is held and the 908th Airlift Wing.
You will not see any Navy or Marine bases in Alabama.
Alaska military bases
Major military bases in Alaska include:
- Fort Wainwright
- Fort Greely
- Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
- Clear Air Force Station Base
- Naval Special Warfare Cold Weather Detachment Kodiak
The Army and Air Force make up more than 75% of the manpower in Alaska. Servicemen and women come here to learn how to operate in winter climates on the ground and in the air.
The Coast Guard and Navy also has a large presence with missions along the coastline. Additionally, the Navy SEALS train here for winter warfare.
California military bases
California has a total of 32 military installations. This is more than any other state. Some of California’s major military bases include:
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton is home to more than 40,000 Marines and Sailors.
For the first time in Marine Corps history, women Marine recruits attended boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, the once all-male training site. Training began on February 12, 2021.
- Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards AFB is the second largest Air Force Base. It is home of the 412th Test Wing, where they test and develop new technology and equipment.
- Fort Irwin
Nestled in the Mojave Desert, the Army’s ground and aviation soldiers train at the National Training Center located at Fort Irwin.
Ohio military bases
Ohio is home to one of the Air Force’s most important installations – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson AFB is home to the world’s first operational airfield. Airmen here conduct logistics management, research and development, intelligence, and airlift flight operations and more.
For more information, be sure to check out the article, major U.S. military bases and installations.
Largest Military Bases in America
According to MSN News, the largest military bases in terms of size include:
- White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
White Sands is a military testing area operated by the U.S. Army. The nation’s largest open-air firing range sits on more than 3.5 million acres. NASA once used White Sands as a training site for space shuttle pilots.
Holloman Air Force Base is roughly an hour away, with White Sands National Monument nearby.
And if you’re a trivia buff, the movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was filmed at White Sands.
- Nellis Air Force Range, Nevada
The Nevada Test and Training Range covers just more than 3 million acres and is operated by Nellis Air Force Base. The site is the biggest air and ground space facility.
- Fort Bliss, Texas
Fort Bliss is an Army post located in El Paso, Texas. The 1.3-million-acre site is known for its Ranger training. Fort Bliss is home to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division where you’re bound to see Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.
- Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona
Yuma Proving Ground, a multi-purpose test facility, is located near the Arizona-California border. The site is operated by the Army on just over a million acres of land.
Army Yuma Proving Ground is used to test artillery, mortars, mines, ground and aircraft weapons, fire control systems, and air delivery material.
- Fort Jonathan Wainwright, Alaska
Fort Wainwright, an Army post, is home to the “Arctic Warrior”, covering 697,475 acres of land. Historically, Fort Wainwright was established as an Army Air Corps base in 1939 to test aircraft in arctic conditions.
Military Bases Around the World
Military bases around the world will be smaller than those in the U.S. But it doesn’t mean they are less important. Let’s talk about some of the foreign bases where members of each military branch work:
Ramstein Air Force Base contains the largest American community outside of the United States.
The 86th Airlift Wing, the host wing, has 7 groups and 30 squadrons across four bases in Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. This unit conducts the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s only airlift, airdrop, and aeromedical evacuation flying operations.
Camp Darby is an Army base containing Army, Air Force, DoD civilians, contractors, retirees, and their families. It is a small remote installation located just a 10-minute drive from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Military members here provide support for U.S. Army Europe and United States Army Africa.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi is a U.S. Navy base in Japan. The base is co-operated by the USA under the Japanese regulations. It is the only Naval installation supporting an entire air wing, known as Carrier Air Wing, with over 10,000 personnel.
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is a Marine Corps base in Japan. Marines here provide support for combat or contingency operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
- Kingdom of Bahrain
Patrol Forces Southwest Asia is a United States Coast Guard command based in Manama, Bahrain.
The Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain military base is owned by the Navy, but the Coast Guard trains and deploys its forces out of this base. NSA Bahrain is home to 7,200 military personnel, DoD civilians, and joint forces.
Although other countries have their own military forces, you will not find foreign military bases within the United States. We live in the most powerful country in the world! We have the means and capability to support and protect our own country.
Interested in seeing more bases around the world? We’ve provided a more in-depth list of military bases overseas.
Get to Know Your Military: Tour Military Bases
You may live next to a military base and not have had a chance to explore. The DoD invites you to visit and get to know your military.
Touring a military base is easier than you think. Military installations sometimes have events that are open to the public, but outside base visits require some planning.
Below are some steps to help you tour the military base near you:
- Contact the visitors’ center
Make a phone call to the visitors’ center to see what is required to get on base. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about your visit. Many times, you’ll be directed to drive up to a special point of entry reserved for visitors.
- Bring documentation
Don’t forget to bring a valid ID. Additionally, your vehicle registration and proof of insurance will be necessary to give you a visitor pass for the day.
- Be prepared for a vehicle inspection
Your vehicle will be inspected once you get on base. If you’re unsure about anything you have in your vehicle, make sure to let the authorities know ahead of time to ensure a smooth entry.
Once you’ve passed the inspection and the gate guards, you’re ready to take a tour of the base, or visit the museums on base.
If you enjoyed learning about the military bases at home and abroad, you may also enjoy theses military inspired articles:
Empire Resume is a professional resume company and career services center with a focus on the military community.
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Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.