Whopper Landing Pads: Exploring the Largest US Military Airfields

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The United States Airbases

The United States boasts one of the world’s largest militaries, with over a million active personnel. To accommodate its extensive operations, the country requires massive military bases, both domestically and internationally. These bases serve as hubs for operational planning, personnel training, and housing.

Military air bases, in particular, are vast complexes supporting air operations. They offer amenities like shopping, entertainment, and social events for military personnel, their families, and civilian employees. Here, we’ll list some of the largest US air military bases based on surface area, many of which are akin to cities with their own zip codes.

The Fort Irwin Airbase of Barstow, California, United States

Fort Irwin, located 37 miles northeast of Barstow, California, covers a surface area of 1,000 square miles. Established in 1940, it serves as an active military base and is home to approximately 21,000 people. Originally designated as the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Range, it was later renamed in honor of Major General George Irwin.

Twentynine Palms, also known as the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), spans 1,100 square miles in San Bernardino County, California. With a population of around 28,000, it focuses on conducting live-fire combined arms training and urban operations.

Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), combined with Hill Air Force Base (Hill AFB), covers a vast area of 2,624 square miles, straddling northwestern Utah and eastern Nevada. Hill AFB, established in 1934, is renowned for its Ogden Air Logistics Center and supports various military units, including the 75th Air Base Wing and the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings.

The White Sands Missile Range is in New Mexico, USA.

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico spans an extensive area of 3,200 square miles, comparable to the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Established in 1945, it serves as a cornerstone of US defense infrastructure, focusing on national security modernization.

Nellis Air Force Base, located approximately eight miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, covers about 5,000 square miles of land and an additional 7,700 miles of airspace. Established in 1929, Nellis AFB is renowned for its advanced combat aviation training and hosts various aircraft catering to combat and support roles within the Air Combat Command.

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