THESE ARE THE LARGEST U.S. MILITARY BASES IN THE WORLD
By Buddy Blouin
It’s well known that Americans take a "go big or go home" approach to many things in life, and our military is no different. This is why it should come as no surprise that the nation that's larger than life and has been at war for 92% to 93% of its existence is also home to the largest military bases in the world. We’re here to run down the top 10. Check out the largest U.S. military bases from around the world.
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What Is the Largest Military Base in the U.S.?Fort Liberty is the largest military base in the U.S., and it’s also the largest base for the U.S. Army. When you combine all the branches that call the base home, however, it grows even larger and claims the top spot. It makes perfect sense that the largest American military base is bolstered by the nation’s most populous branch. But there's more to the base than that. Even though you won’t find the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Space Force (USSF) there, everyone else defending America is represented.
The 5 Largest U.S. Military Bases in AmericaIn total, there are almost 800 U.S. military bases found throughout the world, and this comes after the many closures in the Middle East following decades of conflict. Yes, there’s a lot to choose from, including the largest U.S. military bases overseas and those back home. Nevertheless, we’re here to pinpoint the biggest installations available to the American Armed Forces. Without further ado, here are the largest military bases in the U.S.:
1. Fort LibertyHailing from North Carolina, you’ll find Fort Liberty in the number one spot in terms of the largest U.S. military bases in the world. It’s home to the largest population of Soldiers and features 57,000 military members, 23,000 family members of those troops, and 11,000 civilian workers. When you’re looking at land, Fort Liberty is almost 500 square miles, with a large majority, ~90% of the total acreage, used for training. Serving the U.S. since 1918, it continues to be a key installation in the security of American interests.
2. Fort CampbellThe second-largest U.S. military base, known as Fort Campbell, is along the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. You can find a growing population pushing almost 27,000 Soldiers with almost 51,000 family members of those serving. On top of all of this, you can also find military retirees totaling over 70,000 and around 6,500+ civilians, which creates a large population for the area. Because most of the Soldiers live off-base, many expect the facility, capable of operating with almost 250,000 personnel, to become the largest in the world someday.
3. Fort CavazosThe second-largest state by both population and land size is home to the third-largest military base in the world. In terms of physical size, however, Fort Cavazos is 214,968 acres and is larger than even Fort Liberty. Its size comes in handy. Fort Cavazos is the only place where the U.S. can train two full armored divisions. Around 36,000+ military members live on the base, but if the total population connected to the base, more than 500,000 people, were to live on-site, it would be the largest base in the world.
4. Joint Base Lewis-McChordJoint Base Lewis-McChord might not be the oldest military base, but it’s still mighty. This is also complicated because this joint camp was created as a way to create a better overall military post and provide the facilities to house more people. This is a good thing considering that around 115,000 total people live on the installation. From a physical standpoint, mainly thanks to the Yakima Training Center, it’s bigger than Fort Liberty, reaching 413,714 acres.
5. Fort MooreFort Moore is more than 182,000 acres. It begins in Georgia but finds itself extending into Alabama territory. This is ample size for a base that between 107,000 and 108,000 people call home. You need size if you’re going to train an elite fighting force, and considering basic training is conducted here, it’s no wonder the installation is one of the largest on the planet.
Five More Outside of the U.S.When you consider the largest U.S. military bases in the world, well, you have to consider the entire planet. We have a lot of bases, and many of them are keeping the peace in other parts of the world. Here are the five largest helping maintain safety for America and its allies:
1. Camp HumphreysIf you travel to Pyeongtaek, South Korea, you'll find the largest U.S. military base overseas. Known as Camp Humphreys, this testament to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1953 continues to expand while helping maintain peace in Asia. It’s still being completed and will reach 3,538 acres when it's finished. The U.S. Army controls the base presently; however, Marines have a strong history in the area due to their service during the Korean War.
2. Thule Air BaseWhat started out as a secret is now one of the biggest international bases for the United States. Furthermore, it’s also the most northern military base for the U.S., being only about 930 miles from the North Pole and facilitating around 3,000 flights per year. You won’t find as many troops here, as it’s a less-than-ideal place to live, but there are more than 233,000 acres of Greenland that assist America in holding a key strategic area for the Arctic and Europe.
3. Camp FujiUnlike other locations, Camp Fuji has a deeper military past than most, even if its history is deeper outside of American roots. Long before America maintained its presence in Japan, samurais came to Mount Fuji to become the best warriors possible. Today, Marines do the same.
4. Naval Station Guantanamo BayTo say that Cuba and the U.S. have a complicated relationship is putting it lightly; however, the Pearl of the Antilles is where you will find more than 28,800 acres that have been helping the U.S. Navy maintain an elite fighting fleet since 1903.
5. Camp HansenOkinawa, Japan, is home to 31 military bases belonging to the United States, but the biggest of them all is Camp Hansen. Over 12,000 acres house thousands of Marines, and it’s expected to grow. It's an important base as the U.S. military shifts its focus back to Asia. Its capabilities include a focus on live fire exercises.
An Alternative PerspectiveQualifying what constitutes the largest base can be done in a number of ways. Primarily, we’ve focused on military bases that have larger populations, even if they do have impressive landmass. However, some of the American bases by acreage can far surpass what we’ve discussed. The nice folks over at The Buzz have compiled a list of some of the largest U.S. institutions that focus more on physical size than population. Spoiler alert: The largest base surpasses 3.5 million acres: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNA9FuZg6ao
The Largest U.S. Military Bases... for Now?As U.S. Air Force cadets study the idea of Space Force bases on the Moon, it’s hard not to consider what’s next in the evolution of the military base for American Forces. Considering our Moon has over 9.3 billion acres, there’s a lot of room, and that’s just the beginning. The virtually endless range of outer space could open up new doors to military exercises that are frankly difficult to comprehend. This also goes for further expansions on Mars. But for now, you can find the largest U.S. military bases down on planet Earth. An already impressive showing that houses the brave people responsible for maintaining our freedoms and rights.
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