Special Report

America's Largest Military Bases

Source: ooocha / Flickr

5. China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station
> State: California
> Service branch: Navy
> Physical size (in acres): 651,739
> Active duty service members: 587

China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, located in the western part of the Mojave Desert, is the Navy’s largest single land holding, representing 38% of the Navy’s land possessions worldwide. China Lake provides assets to test cutting-edge weapons systems.

Source: U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Stephan Phan

4. Fort Jonathan Wainwright
> State: Alaska
> Service branch: Army
> Physical size (in acres): 697,300
> Active duty service members: 7,199

Fort Jonathan Wainwright, the biggest physical military facility in Alaska, was first established as an Army Air Corps base in 1939 to test aircraft in Arctic conditions.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

3. Yuma Proving Ground
> State: Arizona
> Service branch: Army
> Physical size (in acres): 1,008,913
> Active duty service members: 128

Yuma Proving Ground is one of the largest military installations in the world and is used by 10 other nations for weapons testing. The AH-64 Apache helicopter, the M-1 Abrams tank, and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle underwent developmental training at Yuma.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Fort Bliss
> State: Texas
> Service branch: Army
> Physical size (in acres): 1,332,807
> Active duty service members: 25,546

Staff Sgt. Amanda Kelley, stationed at Fort Bliss, became the first enlisted woman to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School in late August. Fort Bliss is known for its Ranger training regimen.

Source: U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Airman Harry Brexel

1. White Sands Missile Range
> State: New Mexico
> Service branch: Army
> Physical size (in acres): 3,542,862
> Active duty service members: 338

With more than 3.5 million acres, White Sands Missile Range is the nation’s largest open air firing range. NASA also used White Sands for a landing site during the Space Shuttle operation. Satellite tests also are held there.