16 U.S. Air Force Bases and Naval Stations From Above
Langley Air Force Base – Photograph by Sgt Joe Springfield
Pictured above is the United States Air Force’s Langley Air Force Base located in Hampton, Virginia. The Air Force mission at Langley is to sustain the ability for fast global deployment and air superiority for the United States or allied armed forces.
The base is one of the oldest facilities of the Air Force, having been established on 30 December 1916, prior to America’s entry to World War I by the Army Air Service, named for aviation pioneer Samuel Pierpont Langley. It was used during World War I as a flying field; balloon station; observers’ school; photography school; experimental engineering department, and for aerial coast defense. It is situated on 3,152 acres of land between the cities of Hampton (south), NASA LaRC (west), and the northwest and southwest branches of the Back River.
Below you will find 15 more impressive US Air Force Bases viewed from above (you know the Sifter has an affinity for aerial photography). Enjoy!
2. Pacific Missile Range Facility
Photograph by POLIHALE
The Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands (IATA: BKH, ICAO: PHBK, FAA LID: BKH) is a U.S. Naval facility and airport located five nautical miles (9 km) northwest of the central business district of Kekaha, in Kauai County, Hawaii, United States.
PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional testing and training missile range. US Military and subcontractors favor its relative isolation, ideal year-round tropical climate and encroachment-free environment (see “PMRF Agriculture Preservation Initiative” below). It is the only range in the world where submarines, surface ships, aircraft and space vehicles can operate and be tracked simultaneously. There are over 1,100 square miles (2,800 km2) of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles (109,000 km2) of controlled airspace. The base itself covers roughly 2,385 acres (9.7 km²).
The base includes a 6,000-foot (1,800 m) runway with operations and maintenance facilities. It has roughly 70 housing units and various recreational facilities for those who can access the base. The base has support facilities at Port Allen, Makaha Ridge, and Koke’e State Park. The base also uses a portion of the nearby island of Niihau for a remotely operated APS-134 surveillance radar, an 1100 acre (4.5 km²) Test Vehicle Recovery Site, the Perch Electronic Warfare site, multiple EW Portable Simulator sites, and a Helicopter Terrain Flight training course. [Source]
3. Naval Air Station Brunswick
Photograph by U.S. Navy Naval Air Station
Naval Air Station Brunswick, also known as NAS Brunswick, was a military airport located 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of Brunswick, Maine. The base was home to a number of Navy-operated Maritime patrol aircraft. Before closing, the base continued to operate as part of its closing procedures while the airport was operating publicly under the name Brunswick Executive Airport.
The base closed on May 31st, 2011, as per the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure committee decision. As of November 28, 2009, the last aircraft (P-3 Orions) left. The runways were permanently closed in January 2010. After closing, the base will be known as Brunswick Landing. Base redevelopment officials hope to reopen the former Navy airfield as a civilian airport and a “Green Energy Park”. On April 2, 2011, the airport reopened as Brunswick Executive Airport. [Source]
4. Naval Air Station Fallon
Photograph by BOB LAWSON
Naval Air Station Fallon or NAS Fallon (IATA: NFL, ICAO: KNFL, FAA LID: NFL) is the United States Navy’s premier air-to-air and air-to-ground training facility. It is located southeast of the city of Fallon in western Nevada in the United States. Since 1996, it has been home to the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and the surrounding area contains 84,000 acres (340 km²) of bombing and electronic warfare ranges. It is also home to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), which includes TOPGUN, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME) and the Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School. Navy SEAL Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) training also takes place here.
The base is named Van Voorhis Field in honor of Lieutenant Bruce Van Voorhis (1908-1943) who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. [Source]
5. Eielson Air Force Base
Photograph by USAF
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. The host unit at Eielson is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. The 354 FW primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, provides joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment.
Eielson AFB was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field. It is named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by General James N. Post III. [Source]
6. Naval Station Pascagoula
Photograph by US Navy
Naval Station Pascagoula was a base of the United States Navy, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The base officially closed November 15, 2006. The base’s property, on Singing River Island in the Mississippi Sound at the mouth of the Singing (née Pascagoula) River, was formally transferred to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office July 9, 2007.
This 437-acre (1.8-km²) island is man-made, having been created over the years as dredge materials from the Pascagoula federal channel and nearby Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard were deposited in the area. In the early 1980s Congress approved the strategic homeporting initiative to build additional bases and disperse the Fleet from the main concentration areas. Naval Station Pascagoula was created in 1985 when the Navy selected the Singing River Island location as one of the new Gulf Coast strategic homeport sites. Base construction began in 1988, and the station became an operational homeport of Perry-class guided-missile frigates in 1992 with the arrival of the first ship, USS Gallery. [Source]
7. Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Naval Air Station Patuxent River (IATA: NHK, ICAO: KNHK, FAA LID: NHK), also known as NAS Pax River, is a United States Naval Air Station located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River. It is home to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and serves as a center for test and evaluation and systems acquisition relating to Naval Aviation. Commissioned on April 1, 1943 on land largely acquired through eminent domain, the air station grew rapidly in response to World War II.
The base became a center for testing as several facilities were constructed throughout the 1950s and 1960s; including the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (1958), the Weapons Systems Test Division (1960), and the Propulsion System Evaluation Facility. The base also served as the testing facility for the V-22 Osprey.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure measures have migrated research and testing facilities for both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft to NAS Patuxent River from decommissioned bases. The complex now hosts over 17,000 people, including active-duty service members, civil-service employees, defense contractor employees, and military dependents. NAS Patuxent River is home to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Headquarters, the Air Test Wing Atlantic, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Commands. [Source]
8. Naval Support Activity Mid-South
Photograph by MC2 Melissa Russell
Naval Support Activity Mid-South (NSA Mid-South, NAVSUPPACT Mid-South, NSAMS), in Millington, Tennessee, is a base of the United States Navy. A part of the Navy Region Midwest and the Navy Installations Command, NSA Mid-South serves as the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence. Headquartered onboard NSA Mid-South are Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center. More than 7,500 military, civilian, and contract personnel are assigned/work on base. [Source]
9. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth
Photograph by PH2 Bruce Trombecky
Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base or NAS Fort Worth JRB (IATA: FWH, ICAO: KNFW, FAA LID: NFW) includes Carswell Field, a military airfield located 5 nautical miles (9 km; 6 mi) west of the central business district of Fort Worth, in Tarrant County, Texas, United States. This military airfield is operated by United States Navy. It is located in the cities of Fort Worth, Westworth Village, and White Settlement in the western part of the Fort Worth urban area.
Several Navy headquarters and operational units are based at NAS Fort Worth JRB, including aviation squadrons, intelligence commands and Seabees. The Air Force Reserve Command’s Tenth Air Force headquarters and 301st Fighter Wing continue to be based at the installation, as well as the 136th Airlift Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. A number of Marine Corps aviation and ground units are also co-located at NAS Fort Worth JRB.
Aircraft types initially based at NAS Fort Worth JRB were the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II. Current based Navy aircraft are the C-40 Clipper and McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II. The only Air Force aircraft is the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Texas Air National Guard flies the C-130 Hercules. Currently based Marine Corps aircraft are the F/A-18 Hornet and KC-130 Hercules. Recently, the Army based a squadron of RC-12 aircraft at NAS Fort Worth JRB. [Source]
10. Clear Air Force Station
Photograph by US Army Corps
Clear Air Force Station (ICAO: PACL) is a United States Air Force Station located 5 miles (8 km) south of Anderson, Alaska, USA, 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Mount McKinley, and 78 miles (126 km) southwest of Fairbanks. Its primary mission is to detect incoming ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Clear AFS is operated by the Alaska Air National Guard 213th Space Warning Squadron (213 SWS). The primary mission of is to provide Early Warning of Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) and Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBMs) to the Missile Correlation Center (MCC) at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The secondary mission of Clear AFS is to provide Space Surveillance data on orbiting objects to the Air Force Space Command Space Control Center (SCC) also located in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Clear accomplishes these missions using the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) radar. [Source]
11. Naval Station Norfolk
Photograph by PH1 D.E. ERICKSON, USN
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean. NS Norfolk, also known as the Norfolk Naval Base, occupies about four miles (6 km) of waterfront space and seven miles (11 km) of pier and wharf space of the Hampton Roads peninsula known as Sewell’s Point. It is the world’s largest Naval Station, supporting 75 ships and 134 aircraft alongside 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars, and houses the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces. Port Services controls more than 3,100 ships’ movements annually as they arrive and depart their berths.
Air Operations conducts over 100,000 flight operations each year, an average of 275 flights per day or one every six minutes. Over 150,000 passengers and 264,000 tons of mail and cargo depart annually on Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft and other AMC-chartered flights from the airfield’s AMC Terminal. It is the hub for Navy logistics going to the U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command theaters of operations, as well as to the Caribbean areas under U.S. Southern Command. [Source]
12. Naval Base San Diego
Photograph by Workman
Naval Base San Diego is the largest base of the United States Navy on the west coast of the United States, in San Diego, California. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 54 ships and over 120 tenant commands. The base is composed of 13 piers stretched over 977 acres (3.95 km2) of land and 326 acres (1.32 km2) of water. The total on base population is 20,000 military personnel and 6,000 civilians. [Source]
13. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Photograph by Edibobb
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is a base of the United States Navy located adjacent to the town of St. Marys in Camden County, Georgia, in southeastern Georgia, and not far from Jacksonville, Florida. The Submarine Base is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s home port for U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarines armed with Trident missile nuclear weapons. This submarine base covers about 16,000 acres (6,400 hectares) of land, of which 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) are protected wetlands. [Source]
14. Washington Navy Yard
Photograph by PH1 DAVID C. MACLEAN
The Washington Navy Yard is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Washington Navy Yard was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and designated a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976.
The Yard currently serves as a ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy, home to the Chief of Naval Operations, and is headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Historical Center, the Department of Naval History, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Naval Reactors, Marine Corps Institute, the United States Navy Band, and other more classified facilities. In 1998, the site was listed as a Superfund site. In 2006, the headquarters of the Marine Corps Historical Center was moved from here to Quantico. [Source]
15. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Photograph by Jelson25
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) (IATA: NUW, ICAO: KNUW, FAA LID: NUW) is a naval air station located in two sections around Oak Harbor, Washington, USA. It was commissioned as an active U.S. Navy installation on 21 September 1942. The main portion of the base is called Ault Field in memory of Commander William B. Ault, who was listed ‘missing in action’ during the Battle of the Coral Sea (1942). Ault Field is located approximately three miles north of Oak Harbor.
The other section of the air station is known as the Seaplane Base. Originally home to PBY Catalina flying boats, the air station’s main Navy Exchange and DeCA Commissary are located here, as is most of the Navy housing on the island.
A lightly utilized satellite airfield, Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Coupeville, is located on central Whidbey Island at 48°11?24?N 122°37?48?W, roughly nine miles south of Ault Field. Primarily utilized for Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) by carrier-based jet aircraft, this field has no permanently assigned personnel and falls under the command of the Commanding Officer of NASWI.
NASWI currently supports MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, EA-18G Growler, EA-6B Prowler, P-3C Orion, EP-3E ARIES II and C-9 Skytrain aircraft. [Source]
16. Naval Station Mayport
Photograph by PH1 Slaugenhaupt, USN
Naval Station Mayport (IATA: NRB, ICAO: KNRB, FAA LID: NRB) is a major United States Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains a military airfield (Admiral David L. McDonald Field) with one asphalt paved runway (5/23) measuring 8,001 x 200 ft. (2,439 x 61 m).
Since its commissioning in December 1942, NS Mayport has grown to become the third largest naval fleet concentration area in the United States. Mayport’s operational composition is unique, with a busy harbor capable of accommodating 34 ships and an 8,000-foot (2,400 m) runway capable of handling most any aircraft in the Department of Defense inventory.
Naval Station Mayport is also home to the Navy’s United States 4th Fleet, reactivated in 2008 after being deactivated in 1950.
The base has historically served as the homeport to certain conventionally-powered aircraft carriers of the Atlantic Fleet, including the USS Shangri-La (CV-38), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42), USS Forrestal (CV-59), USS Saratoga (CV-60), and most recently the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). With the decommissioning of all conventionally-powered aircraft carriers by the Navy, no carriers are presently assigned to Mayport. However, both houses of Congress have passed legislation authorizing about US $75 million for dredging and upgrades at Mayport to accommodate a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. [Source]
If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: