California military bases are a key factor to holding down our national defense on the western coast of the united states. These bases play an important role in the national defense and support a large military community. They also provide significant economic benefits to the state of California. Here is a map of California military bases.
California Military Bases by Branch
California is home to a large number of military bases, representing all four branches of the US Armed Forces. These bases play an important role in the national defense and support a large military community.Here are the military bases in California by branch.
California became part of Mexico when this country gained independence in 1821. Alta California remained The province of Northern Mexico until 1846 when the Republic of California was established. The California flag during this period consists of a white field with one red David star The outline of the grizzly bear, formerly the indigenous population of the state, is in the upper left. California words A lower republic of those icons and a red horizontal bar appeared at the bottom of Science. California was ceded to the United States from Mexico in 1848 after the Mexican American the war. California was recognized as the 31st state in 1850. The following year, in 1851, and 31st A star was added to the national flag. California continued to see changes in the national flag Until the current flag 50 stars. The flag of California was inspired by the flag of the State of California and It includes one identical red star, and a red stripe along the bottom.
The grizzly bear appears In the middle with the words of the Republic of California below. Bear was modeled on the current flag Yet another wild California California grizzly monarch was named. The king was arrested in 1889 He spent some time in the zoos in San Francisco until his death in 1911, the same year State flag adopted. The bear has mounted and is kept in the Academy of Sciences In the Golden Gate Park.
Channel Islands Air National Guard Station
The mission of Channel Islands Air National Guard Station revolves around Air Mobility. It is their job to delivery air transportation of equipment and supplies worldwide during time of war and for training operations during peacetime. They also provide safe transportation for military personnel and dignitaries anywhere in the world. The 146th Airlift Wing is based here and works to complete their mission to provide humanitarian relief to people in need after disasters. The 146th AW uses C-130J Super Hercules aircraft as it’s the primary transport for air-dropping both equipment and personnel. They provide a wide range of services including medical missions, weather reconnaissance, airlift support and more.
Fresno Air National Guard Base
Fresno ANG Base is home to the 144th Fighter Wing, which comprises the Headquarters Group and four sub groups, including Operations, Medical, Mission Support and Maintenance. Using F-15 Eagle jet fighters, they provide air defense protection from the Mexican border up into Oregon. They are also responsible for responding to state emergencies when called upon from the Governor of California and assisting in the nations Counter Drug Program. Fresno ANG Base has four distinct missions, the primary one being the Fighter mission, which involves air-to-ground and air-to-air operations to support ground forces. Air Sovereignty is the second mission, which includes monitoring the safety of our air space using early detection radar systems. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal, another mission, requires personnel to protect personnel and property from the effects of hazardous unexploded ordnance. The last mission, Homeland Defense Forces, is dedicated to providing life-saving capabilities in the event of a national emergency.
Los Angeles Air Force Base
Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB) is the headquarters of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), which is part of the Air Force Space Command. This base is the only active duty facility in Los Angeles County. Considered the birthplace of the US Air Force’s ballistic missile and military space program, the SMC is the center of excellence when it comes to acquiring, developing, fielding and sustaining military space systems. They are in charge of checking on-orbit, testing and maintenance of military satellite systems and other Department of Defense space operations. Over the past 20+ years, space-based surveillance, navigation, communications and meteorology has allowed the speed and precision of American military operations to increase exponentially. The 61st Air Base Group, host unit of LAAFB, has been running garrison for SMC since 2006. Ares of focus for them include logistics, personnel, readiness, medical and other quality of life services for SMC and other DoD units around the Los Angeles area.
Beale Air Force Base
Located just east of Marysville, Beale AFB is a large base covering 23,000 acres and serves as home to over 4,000 active-duty military personnel. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) assigned to the Air Combat Command is the host unit here on base. As part of the Sixteenth Air Force, the 9 RW is responsible for collecting intelligence to provide to the President and Congress to aid them in decisions that directly influence national defense. They have a fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady, MC-12 Liberty and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft at their disposal to help them uphold their mission. Beale AFB always maintains a high state of readiness in support of potential deployment requirements in response to combat situations.
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards AFB, located in Southern California, has large, wide-open spaces that make it the perfect place to safely test America’s aerospace systems. It’s the second largest base in the USAF and is home to several organizations that keep them on the cutting edge of aviation technology. The host unit at Edwards AFB is the 412th Test Wing, whose mission is to oversee the daily operations of the base and support the 10,000+ military, civilian and contract personnel stationed here. They plan, analyze and report on all flight and ground testing of weapons systems, aircraft and flight simulation completed on base. Edwards is the testing site for such premiere technologies as the Global Hawk, Hypersonic flight and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Other partnerships that contribute to Edward AFB’s reputation as a leader in aerospace technologies include NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) and two detachments of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC).
Travis Air Force Base
Known as the Gateway to the Pacific, Travis Air Force Base is located in the San Francisco Bay area. Their primary mission is to deliver rapid and reliable airlift forces anywhere in the world in support of the Department of Defense operations. Travis AFB processes more passengers and cargo than any other military terminal in the country. The host unit at Travis is the 60th Air Mobility Wing. In terms of personnel, they are the largest air mobility installation in the Air Force. The run a fleet of C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft along with KC-10 Extender refueling planes.
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Located 9 miles from Lompoc, CA, Vandenberg AFB is the home base for the 30th Space Wing. Vandenberg is a space and missile testing base for the Department of Defense, and the only military facility in the country where both government and commercial satellites are launched into polar orbit. The 30th Space Wing also oversees the operation of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation Program. Vandenberg AFB also leases it’s launch pad facilities to SpaceX.
Fort Irwin National Training Center
Fort Irwin NTC aims to provide realistic joint training opportunities to prepare soldiers for success in the 21st century. Located in northern San Bernardino County, the NTC focuses on complex training scenarios to press trainees on ethical, social and moral dilemmas. One of the most distinguishing features is the 12 mock villages used to acclimate troops to Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) before deployment. These villages are complete with churches, temples, government offices, village members, street vendors and insurgents. The biggest mock village has 585 buildings that allows an entire brigade combat team to engage in a fight. These facilities are utilized by all military branches, government agencies and foreign military units.
Military Ocean Terminal Concord
MOTCO is a component of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), which is in charge of the distribution of cargo from storage and repair depots across the country. MOTCO is run by the 834th Transportation Battalion, whose mission is to provide distribution services in support of deploying forces in the California area. No actual storage is handled here, it is all about the receipt and forward movement of cargo.
March Air Reserve Base
March Air Reserve Base has been a strategic point on the West Coast for over 90 years. It’s located in Southern California and hosts the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, one of the largest in the Air Force Reserve. The 452nd Air Mobility Wing, along with its supporting Operations, Mission Support, Medical and Maintenance groups maintain the overall readiness of the base. They equip and train aircrews in air refueling, maintain trained personnel for the maintenance of KC-135 and C-17 aircraft, and provide quality-of-life and medical support wherever needed.
Presidio of Monterey Army Base
Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino is credited with discovering Monterey Bay in 1602. In his report back to Spain, he noted that the harbor was an ideal spot for a military seaport. Over 150 years later, Monterey was built as one of a series of “presidios”, also known as “royal forts” constructed by Spain in what is now the west coast of the United States. The Fort was taken by the United States in 1846 during the Mexican-American War. Today it’s run by the US Army and home to the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, 517th Training Group, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.
Fort Hunter Liggett
Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL) spans more than 160,000 acres 134 miles south of the San Jose airport. All branches of the military come to FHL in order to take advantage of the training opportunities the varied terrain provides. It is said that FHL training fields resemble about 20 percent of the terrain you’ll find in different parts of the world. Because of its size, massive mission simulations can be held here without disrupting any nearby communities. The base itself is fully equipped with a C-130 Assault strip various firing ranges, 36 helipads, chemical demo range, hand grenade range, and much more. Only about 250 permanent service members are stationed here, but many units come and go depending on their training schedules.
Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area
The primary mission of Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (PRFTA) is to act as a premiere academic institution, battlefield simulation center and military intelligence facility to support readiness for the Army Reserve and the entire Joint Force. A sub-installation of Fort Hunter Liggett, it sports new state-of-the-art training areas, upgraded housing, a history center and more.
Camp San Luis Obispo Army Base
This base is the original home of the California National Guard. Logistical, operational, and training support are available here for several different agencies, including the California Army and Air National Guard, the US Coast Guard Reserve, California Conservation Corps and more. Lan Luis Obispo also hosts the California Military Academy and the Officer Candidate School, designed to train troops to commission as second Lieutenants to the US Army National Guard. Camp San Luis Obispo is also home to the Grizzly Youth Academy, a special boarding school for youths who struggle in traditional educational settings due to academic and social problems. The program aims to create personal growth opportunities that will aid students to excel in work, school and social settings.
Sierra Army Depot Army Base
Sierra Army Depot is the Center for Industrial Technical Excellence (CITE) for all Petroleum and Water Distribution Systems (PAWS). Located on 36,000 acres of desert terrain, the environment provides ideal storage conditions of low humidity and precipitation for the long-term storage of mechanized vehicles. The primary mission of the Sierra Army Depot is to receive, store, maintain and ship Army materials across the globe at a moment’s notice.
Integrated Support Command Alameda Coast Guard Base
ISC Alameda operates on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, CA. Their job is to provide direct support to for many of the activities of the USCG that take place on the west coast. ISC Alameda is tasked with the operation and care of about 1,200 housing units owned by the Coast Guard. It is important for these to be maintained in pristine condition to ease the transition of new recruits and their families to the Coast Guard lifestyle. Other services they provide to Guardsmen include health care, work-life services, personnel support and facilities maintenance.
Training Center Petaluma Coast Guard Base
TCP was originally established as a top-secret communications station during WWII called Two Rock Ranch Station. The Coast Guard took possession of the base in 1971, turning it into the largest USCG training center on the West Coast. Graduates from this installation are trained to be anything from chefs and storekeepers to electronics technicians and information systems technicians. The overall mission of Training Center Petaluma is to develop and support leaders to be ready for all missions undertaken by the United States Coast Guard.
Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos
JFTB – Los Al was originally operated as a Naval Air Station, but now runs under the command of the US Army. The goal of JFTB is to provide a safe and up to standard airfield, storage and repair facility to be used by all branches of the United States Military. The base makes available two runways. One is a 5,900-foot PEM non-skid surface and the other is 8,000 feet long and made of concrete and asphalt. These two runways are capable of landing any aircraft in the inventory of the United States, including large cargo transports. Units stationed here include the 40th Aviation Brigade with over 60 helicopters, the Army Reserve with several C-12 airplanes and the Department of Agriculture with 12 aircraft of their own.
San Joaquin Depot
San Joaquin Depot is actually made up of two facilities – The Tracy Facility and the Sharpe Facility. They both are military storage bases responsible for the distribution of material goods for military facilities in the western United States. Some of these goods include textiles, clothing, food, construction materials, tires for ground vehicles and aircraft, and electrical components and supplies.
Marine Corp Logistics Base Barstow
MCLB Barstow is located within the city limits of their namesake. The base has three principal sites that work toward the overall mission of the base, which is to encourage operational readiness of the Marine Corps, Army and other government organizations via logistics, infrastructure and services. Nebo serves as the base headquarters and administration, the Yermo Annex is a storage and industrial site, and the last site which encompasses over 2,400 acres is utilized for rifle and pistol ranges.
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base
Located 38 miles from San Diego, Camp Pendleton is the US Marine Corps biggest expeditionary training installation. It occupies more than 125,000 acres in Southern California and provides both coastal and mountain terrain good for a variety of military training operations. The primary mission here is to promote combat readiness through high caliber, broad-spectrum training facilities. Soldiers from the United States Army, Navy, and Marines as well as many national, state and local agencies use the site to stage their training programs. It’s the home base for the 1st Marine Division, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the 1st Marine Logistics Group. Several other tenants occupy space here, including 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Wounded Warrior Battalion and the Marine Corps and Army Reserve Forces.
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
MCAS Miramar is located about 14 miles north of San Diego and is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and its five sub groups. The 3rd AW is the West Coast aviation unit of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. They live by their motto Fix, Fly, and Fight” as they provide combat-ready aviation forces that specialize in short-notice global deployment. 15,000 service members and their families from every branch of the military live here on base and the surrounding areas. MCAS Miramar is located in a geographic location with many other Marine and Navy facilities and ranges, enabling unimpeded access to the training needed to succeed in combat.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
One of the largest training centers in the world, MCRD takes on the basic military training for two-thirds of the young men in the country wishing to enter the US Marine Corps. 20,000+ young male recruits are enlisted and trained here every year. Military Basic Training for the Marine Corps is a 13-week program where the young recruit learns and adapts the Marine Corps lifestyle. The depot is also home to a Recruiters School used to train noncommissioned officers how to recruit the best of the best, and the Drill Instructor School which educates sergeants, staff and gunnery sergeants on how to shape the new hopefuls into the best US Marines they can be.
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
MCAGCC is also known simply as 29 Palms as it is next to the city of the same name. Their mission is two-fold – to run live fire combined arms training in support of readiness of operating forces and also to provide facilities and support to the needs of all tenant commands Marines, Sailors and their families. Covering more than 998 square miles, 29 Palms is the largest base under the command of the United States Marine Corps. It’s home to the 7th Marine Regiment, the 3rd LAR Battalion, the 1st Tank Battalion, the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) and the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF).
Mountain Warfare Training Center Marine Corps
The MWTC is located in the Pickel Meadows of the Sierra Nevada Mountains just south of Lake Tahoe. It is 46,000 acres of rugged terrain used for service-level MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) exercises meant to develop warfighting doctrine in mountain warfare conditions. Designed for individual or group training, all members of the US Military and members of our allied nations run operations here from time to time. Known for its high altitude and extreme weather conditions, the maneuvers run here are incredibly demanding on a physical and technical level. Skills in technical climbing, military mountaineering, snow mobility, angle marksmanship and use of pack animals are some areas presented in training here.
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
NAWS China Lake is under the command of the United States Navy. It’s a huge base, land-wise, sprawling across over 1 million acres in the western Mojave Desert region of California. This base alone represents 85% of the Navy’s land for weapons and armaments research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation (RDAT&E) and 38% of its land holdings globally. Only 5% of the 1 million acres is actually in use. Tenant commands that make their home here include the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Marine Aviation Detachment, the Naval Construction Training Center Port Hueneme (for the Seabees) and more. There are over 600 active duty military personnel and 4,000 civilian employees stationed at NAWS China Lake.
Naval Base Coronado
Nicknamed NBC, Naval Base Colorado provides a shore-based platform for aircraft carriers, SEAL Teams, helicopters and other commands for ground, sea, air and undersea training space. It is a large base, hosting 16 helicopter squadrons, 2 aircraft carriers, 4 SEAL teams, 2 fixed wing squadrons and more. It is comprised of over 8 different installations, including the Naval Amphibious Base, Imperial Beach, San Clemente Island and Camp Michael Monsoor Mountain Ware Training Center.
Naval Air Station Lemoore
NAS Lemoore, under command of the United States Navy, is the newest and largest Master Jet Base. After the transfer of NAS Miramar to the US Marine Corps was complete, Lemoore now is now home to the Navy’s entire West Coast fighter/attack force. The main unit hosted here is The Strike Fighter Wing Pacific who is in charge of operating and maintaining the 175 F/A-18 Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Lemoore is also home to Carrier Air Wings 2, 9, 11 and 14 and other tenant units too numerous to mention. In 2017, NAS Lemoore onboarded their first F-35 Lightning II aircraft and established the first F-35 Pacific training squadron in the country.
Naval Air Station Lemoore Navy Base
When Naval Air Station Miramar moved under the command of the US Marine Corps, NAS Lemoore became the sole keeper of the Navy’s West Coast fighter/attack capability. The base is home to 175 F/A-18 Hornets and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets operated and maintained by sixteen Fleet Squadrons. Recently Lemoore also received the F35 Lightning II and its first F35 Pacific Training Squadron. With the Strike Fighter Wing Pacific being the main unit along with Carrier Air Wings 2, 9, 11 and 14 and more tenant units to count, this base lives up to being the West Coast Master Jet Base of the US Navy.
North Island Naval Complex
Located on the northern part of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay, the North Island Naval Complex aims to serve as the Navy’s West Coast Quarterdeck. North Island Naval Complex is an installation of the larger Naval Base Coronado. Its primary mission is to support the Fleet, Fighter and Family with the highest quality operating support and quality of life services to the members of the US Navy. North Island is home to over 20 aviation squadrons, including the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 (a.k.a. the Firehawks), Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 (a.k.a. the Scorpions) and the VR-57 Conquistadors. Various aircraft carriers are often homeported here, including the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Naval Base Point Loma
Point Loma is located on a peninsula directly across from Naval Air Station North Island. There are seven different installations that make up Point Loma, some of which include the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), SPAWAR Systems Center, Miramar and the Fleet Intelligence Command and the Fleet Antisubmarine Training Center. Point Loma’s mission is to provide support to all Navy tenants and commands in the Navy Region Southwest territory. This support is broken down into three categories, Air Operations, Port Operations and Other Operations. Therefore, Point Loma has a wide berth of responsibility in the air, on land and dealing with deployment and training of naval troops.
Naval Construction Battalion Center Point Hueneme
The CBC, as it’s called, is the West Coast home of the SeaBees. The SeaBees of the US Navy are responsible for constructing bases, airfields, roads, bridges and any underwater construction needed to support US Naval forces here and abroad. As the home base of this amazing group of soldiers, the CBC’s mission is to develop and train troops in the construction trades and military skills for the Department of Defense.
Naval Base San Diego
Known as the 32nd Street Naval Station to the locals, Naval Base San Diego is the primary homeport of the Pacific Fleet. The Base has 13 piers at its disposal, is responsible for over 50 ships and home to 213 individual commands. It stretches over 1,600 acres of land and 326 acres of water. All tenants and commands work as one team with one mission, to be responsive to the needs of the Fleet, Fighter and Family.
Naval Medical Center San Diego
NMCSD is one of the major centers for medical care in the US Navy. Also called Balboa Hospital, due to its location in Balboa Park, NMCSD has over 6,000 active duty service members, civilians and contractors on its staff with a wide variety of experience and educational background, including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins. The hospital holds several laboratories for drug screening and educational purposes. It also works in partnership with other major sites in California, including the Scripps Clinic and the local hospital for childcare of La Jolla.
Naval Air Facility El Centro
Naval Air Facility El Centro is primarily a military-run airport with two runways. It’s located in a region that provides excellent weather conditions and several instrumented bombing ranges nearby. Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Airfield Operations and Aviation Support provide passenger terminal services, cargo handling and aviation fuel services.
Naval Hospital Pendleton
A tenant of Camp Pendleton, this medical facility is part of the wide network of medical facilities under the command of the United States Navy. The staff here are highly educated, and provide excellent general health, surgical, and children care to the surrounding area. In fact, while its primary mission is to serve military personnel and their families, they welcome patients outside the military as well.
Naval Postgraduate School
Located in Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School is one of the most prestigious universities on the West Coast. Students attending here work toward their masters, doctoral or engineering advanced degrees in one of four graduate schools. These schools are the Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Operational & Information Sciences and the School of International Graduate Studies. Most of the student body is made up of active duty officers from all five branches of the military, however there are some civilians and members of foreign militaries that attend as well. After graduation, the school offers high-performing students the chance to stay on for research fellowships.
Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach
NWS Seal Beach is responsible for storing and transporting munitions and weapons for the US Navy. The base has undergone some reduction in size based on recommendations from the BRAC 2005 initiative, but it still encompasses over 5,000 acres, sports 230 buildings and 128 ammunition magazines providing over 500,000 square feet of storage space. It is also home to the WWII National Submarine Memorial and the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.
Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range
This range located between the northern portion of the Chocolate Mountains and the east side of the Salton Sea is an important training site under the command of the US Navy and US Marine Corps. It’s used primarily for bombing and aerial gunning operations, strafing, laser attacks and rocket exercises. The range uses more than 2,000 different types of bombs in its training exercises. The range is for authorized personnel only and is not open to the public.
Military Ocean Terminal Concord Navy Base
This distribution hub is operated under the US Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and is the sister of the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point in North Carolina. MOT Concord is made of two sections, a 115 acre inland facility and a tidal facility that runs over 6,000 acres. This hub is responsible for receiving surface cargo from storage and repair depots across the country and forwarding them to the necessary military installations. With the ability to hold 18.8 million pounds, it represents 25% of the country’s total ammunitions throughput.