Special Report

America’s Largest Military Bases Around the World

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

35. Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
> Base size: 1,617 acres
> Cost of base: $2.1 billion
> Service branch: Air Force
> Nearest city: Spangdahlem

Spangdahlem Air Base has been a U.S. Air Force facility for more than 50 years. The installation is in western Germany, near the borders of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Spangdahlem Air Base hosts the 52nd Fighter Wing.

Source: 39955793@N07 / Flickr

34. Yokota Air Base, Japan
> Base size: 1,750 acres
> Cost of base: $6.8 billion
> Service branch: Air Force
> Nearest city: Tokyo

The Yokota Air Base, opened in 1940 as a test facility for the Japanese Imperial Army, became an air base during World War II. The 374th Air Wing located there after the U.S. military took over the base and the unit was among the first to fight in Korea in 1950. Yokota, located on the island of Honshu, is a primary airlift wing in the Western Pacific. Every year in August, the base hosts a two-day Friendship Festival and invites the Japanese community to come to the base and learn about it.

Source: Jaroslaw Kilian / Getty Images

33. RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
> Base size: 1,879 acres
> Cost of base: $2.9 billion
> Service branch: Air Force
> Nearest city: Lakenheath

RAF Lakenheath is located in Suffolk in the eastern region of England. It is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England. The base traces its roots back to World War I. It was abandoned once the war was over, but as the threat of Nazi invasion rose in 1940, the facility was made to look like a functioning airfield to try and fool the German Luftwaffe and keep them from attacking the nearby RAF Mildenhall. The RAF eventually converted it into an operational facility, and the Americans took it over after the war and used it for operations during the Cold War.

Source: Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman

32. Draughon Training Range, Japan
> Base size: 1,889 acres
> Cost of base: $36.0 million
> Service branch: Air Force
> Nearest city: Misawa

Draughon Training Range is a desolate area in northern Japan that encompasses almost 1,900 acres and is not far from Misawa Air Force Base. Air Force and Navy pilots have been training at this facility since the Vietnam War, and their mission is the suppression of enemy air defenses, or SEAD. The base’s strategic location puts aircraft in position to meet challenges from North Korea.

Source: Courtesy of Geospatial Information Authority of Japan via Wikimedia Commons

31. IE Jima Aux Airfield, Japan
> Base size: 1,981 acres
> Cost of base: $95.2 million
> Service branch: Marine Corps
> Nearest city: Henoko Okinawa

Ie Jima Auxiliary Airfield takes up one-third of the small island Ie Jima, which is 3 miles west of Okinawa. The facility was built by Japan during World War II and taken over by the United States at the end of the war. Ie Jima is where the noted military correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed in action. The Marines use the base for training exercises such as parachute drops and Harrier aircraft landing exercises.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.