The United States has been unofficially at war since 2001. That is, since the 9/11 terrorist attack. Since then, the country has gotten involved in various conflicts around the world. More than one in every 10 of its active duty service members serve at locations outside the US. But the country still has some of its largest military bases in the US.
As a world leader in military preparedness and warriors, the US has to build bases all the time. The country also has the largest military in the world in terms of the number of personnel. Fun fact: did you know that Japan hosts more than 80 major American military installations? It is the most of any country in Asia and second in the world, not counting the US.
The US and Japan fought against each other in World War II. But now they are allies, and the US has a lot of bases there. Camp Fuji, the largest US installation in Japan, contains five live-fire ranges operated by the Marine Corps.
Another fun fact, San Antonio is the home of one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the US.
How many military bases does the US have?
The country has closed many of its bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, the country has reached amazing numbers in terms of bases in foreign countries.
The US military has a large number of bases in Italy, Japan, Honduras, Iraq, Thailand, and the Philippines. But you can feel their military presence anywhere in the world.
According to some statistics, the US has more than 800 military bases in more than 70 countries.
More than half of them, or 420, are in the US. The remaining number is in foreign states. The US army uses these bases for various missions, including training, weapon maintenance, weapon testing, deployment, research, and education.
Here are some of the largest US military bases, in and out of the country.
Fort Bragg – North Carolina
With a population of more than 230,000 and spreading through an area of 163,000 acres, Fort Bragg is the largest domestic US military base by population.
Established in 1918, the base originally served as an artillery training ground. Thanks to its year-round acceptable climate and suitable terrain, the military base has the ideal conditions.
Named after Braxton Bragg, commander of the Confederate States Army in the Civil War, the base now houses the US Army airborne forces and Special Forces.
In July 2016, Major League Baseball teams Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins played a special game at the newly-constructed ballpark.
Fort Campbell – Kentucky
Fort Campbell has almost the exact population as Bragg, but it boasts a slightly smaller area of 105,000 acres. Located at the Kentucky – Tennessee border, more than two-thirds of the base fall into Kentucky. It is home to the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, or their popular name, Screaming Eagles.
Named after William Bowen Campbell, the last Whig Governor of Tennessee, the fort is also home to an air assault school. Named “Toughest 10 days in the Army”, the school prepares soldiers for what is to come.
The base is basically a fully contained city, boasting shopping malls, bowling alleys, veterinarian offices, post offices, schools, and hotels.
Fort Hood Military Bases – Texas
Originally established as an open space base to test and train with World War II tank destroyers, the base founds its usage later on as well. Before building, the army had to move 300 families to make room for the installment. But the government made a land leasing agreement so that cattle could continue to graze the area. This agreement remains today.
The base has a population of 217,000 citizens and boasts an area of 214,968 acres. Today, the base is home to the III Corps, 1st Cavalry Division, and many more.
Some of the famous residents of this fort include Elvis Presley and Jackie Robinson. This base hosts one of the largest fireworks display celebrations for the Fourth of July.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord – Washington
This is the only Army power-projection base west of the Rocky Mountains. The training and mobilization center for all services spreads over 414,000 acres. It is home to more than 209,000 army citizens.
The base is the result of merging Fort Lewis and the McChord Air Force Base in 2010. Because of its location, the base provides easy access to the deepwater ports nearby.
Fort Benning – Georgia
This is another base that falls on the border of two countries. In this case, Georgia and Alabama. Famous for its ability to deploy combat-ready forces by air, rail, and highway, Fort Benning is a strategic base for the US army.
It has a population of more than 107,000 citizens, spreading over 182,000 acres. It is now home to the Maneuver Center of Excellence and many other army schools.
Camp Humphreys – South Korea
The largest overseas base, Camp Humphreys is home to more than 36,000 soldiers. Located in South Korea, the camp is home to Army airfields. It has the busiest US army airfield in Asia, with an 8,124 feet runway.
There are other US army direct support, transportation, and tactical units in the base as well. The largest overseas military base houses more than 500 buildings and amenities.
Al Asad Airbase – Iraq
The US closed many of its Iraq bases in the past several years. But Al Asad Airbase remains. It is an Iraqi Armed Forces and the United States Armed Forces base in Al Anbar Governorate.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, this base served as the second-largest US military base in Iraq. Until 2010, it housed many forces and units. But recently, some of them have gone home.
In December 2018, Donald Trump visited the soldiers stationed at the base. In January 2020, the base came under an Iranian ballistic missile attack in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani, a Quds leader.
Fort Bliss – New Mexico
The headquarters of this base is in El Paso, Texas. Named after LTC William Bliss, a mathematics professor, the base has the largest installation in FORSCOM (Army Forces Command).
The base also provides the largest contiguous tract of restricted air space in the Continental United States. It is used for missile and artillery training and testing.
With a maneuver area of 992,000 acres, it has the largest area of all US military bases.
Eglin Air Force Base – Western Florida
Located just three miles southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County, the Air Force base serves as a test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons. The army also tests navigation, guidance, and command and control systems here.
Fun fact: the base has found its way into popular culture. Some of the movies filmed in the base include Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, On the Threshold of Space, and Search for Paradise.
Established in 1935, the base continues to serve its purpose.
Ramstein Air Base – Germany
This base serves as the headquarters for the US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. It is also home to the NATO Allied Air Command.
From 2004 to 2006, the base underwent an extensive expansion thanks to a major construction project. That project included a new airport terminal.
Fun fact: the base served as temporary housing for the US men’s national soccer team during the 2006 World Cup.