The Department of Defense doesn’t say exactly how many missions it conducts each day around the world. But you can bet that on any given day, there are America troops training for action and plunging into danger at every moment. Many of those exercises and firefights start at one of the country’s bases, small and large. If we name a city or town, do you think you can name the nearest major military base?
Since its earliest days, the U.S. has constructed and maintained headquarters for the Army and Navy. Without these facilities, the military would lack structure and efficiency, allowing enemy troops to infiltrate and capture swaths of territory. Do you know the names of some of the nation’s most important bases … and do you have any idea where they are located?
Some of the biggest bases are – for obvious reasons – strategically placed on America’s coasts. From there, the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and Coast Guard deflect and destroy any forces that try to invade. A few bases are little more than storage depots. Others are literally cities in and of themselves.
From Fort Bragg to Fort Robinson, give us your sharpest salute, soldier! And fire up this military base quiz now!
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, VA, is home to United States Fleet Forces Command. It is the biggest naval base on Earth, with miles of docks and piers … and guns.
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was a critical training hub for soldiers in WWII. It's still a vital base and home to the 1st Marine Division.
They're not tinkering around at Tinker Air Force Base. It's a deadly serious facility, and named for Major General Clarence L. Tinker, the first Native American major general.
Home to the 36th Wing, Andersen Air Force Base is a indispensable base in Guam. It's the only place in the region that America can deploy huge long-range bombers.
At Naval Station Newport, in Rhode Island, you'll find the Naval War College. It's also a place where inactive ships rest, waiting impatiently for World War III.
Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson is a often just called "J-BER," and it's located near Anchorage. It helps to maintain America's strategic strength in the area so that the Red Army can't just march in whenever they feel like it.
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is located at Beale Air Force Base, in California. This scouting element of the Air Force is hugely important to the military's ability to make informed defense decisions.
Vandenberg Air Force Base isn't just for the Air Force. There, engineers launch huge rockets, too, and they tweak their skills for intercontinental ballstic missile attacks.
Naval Station Mayport is no average port. This Florida facility has a harbor that can allow huge aircraft carriers to dock. It was created during the craziness of WWII.
Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst is a combined military not far from Trenton. Dozens of mission commanders work here, making this base one of America's most multifaceted headquarters.
The 28th Bomb Wing, at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, is home to a real rarity -- the B-1B Lancer. These huge supersonic bombers can blast targets just about anywhere on Earth.
Naval Station Great Lakes is home to the Navy's only boot camp. It's the biggest training facility in the entire Navy, and it is literally built like a small city.
Devouring more than 250 square miles, Fort Bragg might be America's most important base. More than 50,000 active duty service members work here.
Located in the swells of the Kansas plains, Fort Riley is an old outpost that currently serves as a major base. It's also home to the legendary 1st Infantry Division.
Barksdale Air Force Base sweats in the hot Louisiana sun. It's home to the 2d Bomb Wing, the oldest bomb wing in the entire Air Force.
Founded in the Civil War, Fort Knox is a big Kentucky Army base. It's also home to the famous United States Bullion Depository.
Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, is home to U.S. Strategic Command. There, top commanders evaluate threats to national security and occasionally seriously consider nuking other countries.
The Fort Irwin National Training Center, in California, is where Army units go for massive training exercises. They practice against the famous Blackhorse Cavalry, which forces new troops to learn … or die trying.
In Tennessee you'll find Naval Support Activity Mid-South. Thousands of Navy personnel work here, including some of the branch's top human resources folks.
Do you like to drop huge bombs out of gigantic planes? Head on down to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. There, if you manage to qualify as a pilot, you'll get to blow up things using fancy new experimental weapons that the CIA found in the wreckage of alien ships.
Fort Benning is one of America's biggest bases, and it's located in Georgia. It was founded in 1909, and since then, hundreds of thousands of troops have learned their deadly arts on its soils.
Fort Leavenworth, near Kansas City, is one of the oldest and most renowned bases in America. It's where many officers learn their trade, and it's also home to a menacing maximum-security prison.
Fort Hood is a gigantic Army base in Texas. It's also been the tragic scene of multiple high-profile shootings.
In Puerto Rico you'll find Fort Buchanan. It's America's only active U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean, and as such, vital for strategic tanning purposes.
It was founded during the bloody Indian Wars of the 19th century. These days, Fort Sill, in Oklahoma, is a massive Army base, one of the few that trains green recruits in boot camp.
Dobbins Air Reserve Base is no backwater location. It's a major air base with very long runways that can accommodate the Air Force's largest and heaviest planes.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island sounds like a lovely place to spend a vacation. But instead, it's a brutal training ground for enlisted Marines. It was built in the days of the Civil War.
At more than 1 million acres, Fort Bliss is a massive Army base in Texas. It's also the home to the 1st Armored Division, a famed division that spent decades in post-war Germany.
Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, was built during WWII as an air base for the Rocky Mountain region. Now, it's a critical headquarters for all manner of air- and space-related endeavors.
Shaw Air Force Base is home to the United States Air Force 20th Fighter Wing. It's also downright huge -- so big that it has its own railroad.