By Buddy Blouin
Arizona, from a distance, may invoke images of dry deserts. This is partially right, but there are diverse natural environments that help make The Grand Canyon state the perfect place for a variety of military institutions. You’ll find many different military branches calling military bases in Arizona home and featuring a wide range of operations, including training, testing, communications, and more.

What Are the Military Bases in Arizona?

The state of Arizona is home to seven different military bases. Throughout the deserts, you’ll find members of various military branches working to improve their skills and keep Americans safe. The Air Force, Army, and Marines are all well represented throughout the state; however, there is no major waterfront or coast in the landlocked state, so you won’t find the Navy or the Coast Guard stationed here. Let’s explore the different military bases in Arizona below.

Fort Huachuca

Fort Huachuca is in Sierra Vista, AZ, just north of the Mexican border. Here, you’ll find the U.S. Army operating with a specialized focus on technology and communications. It is one of the most elite centers for such operations and is a first-class Arizona Army base for training within those respective fields. The Army Intelligence Center and the Network Enterprise Technology Command are both located at Fort Huachuca and serve as prime examples of what this military base can do. The base is also home to the first African-American Colonel to serve in the Army, Colonel Charles Young.

Yuma Proving Ground

Go big or go home is a mantra proclaimed by many, but Yuma Proving Ground proves it, as the base is a whopping 3,400 square kilometers. This Army base in Arizona is so wide that it stretches over both Yuma County and La Paz County in the southern region of Arizona, allowing it the capability to test a wide range of weapons. In fact, almost every weapon in the world is tested at Yuma Proving Ground. As if the range’s land space wasn’t enough, there are also around 5,000 square kilometers for aircraft to conduct tests, which helps explain why more than 35,000 parachutes can be seen falling from the sky over Yuma every year. There are massive miles being put on by military vehicles for testing and training here, and over 3,000 civilians work in this military institution to help keep things going. The U.S. Army continues to see this base improve, and with a dry climate offering only around 3 inches of rain per year, it is a perfect spot to test weapons year-round. Visitors can enjoy learning more about the facility at the Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center.

Camp Navajo

Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Camp Navajo is a training ground for the U.S. Army and National Guard. This institution also acts as an ammunition storage facility and features many types of heavy ammunition. Although the National Guard is the main resident, because the facility is capable of holding large amounts of troops and is home to a variety of heavy artillery, many units from other branches come here to train. Even the U.S. Navy, which does not have military bases in Arizona, finds themselves stationed here for exercises every once in a while.


Near Yuma, Arizona, U.S. Marines of various units and squads are stationed on 3,000+ acres of desert, serving at one of the most important training facilities for the USMC. The history of MCAS Yuma started in 1928 as a military institution, as well as a place for civilian planes to land. Over the years, objectives shifted and evolved, and in 1959, it would be taken over by the Marines and become what it is today. The year-round weather conditions make this an excellent place to train Marines.

Luke Air Force Base

Luke AFB is located near Glendale, AZ, and began in 1940. The height of this base’s use was during WWII, when more than 12,000 pilots would graduate each year. This number would drop dramatically after the war, and the base would eventually be disestablished. It would return to use due to the Korean War, but what it serves as today is a great place to train using the F-16 Falcon plane, which was brought over in the ‘80s. This Air Force base in Arizona serves as a place for advanced pilot training with a focus on the F-16.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Davis-Monthan AFB is a military base in Tucson, Arizona, operated by the U.S. Air Force. The focus here is all on training pilots to be ready should they be needed, including for occasional humanitarian missions. Pilots trained here have served in fighting terrorism around the globe and have seen much success as a result of their training.

Barry M. Goldwater Range

It’s bombs away in Phoenix, Arizona, as the Barry M. Goldwater Range provides both the USAF and Marines a place for live-fire bombing exercises by pilots. Both air-to-air and air-to-ground testing and training are conducted here to help advance technology and techniques for use in the field.

Military Bases in AZ Test the Best

Arizona military bases serve as cornerstones of places that can be called upon to test important components of the American military. The diverse environments provide the perfect backdrop to train troops for a variety of circumstances. Large, spacious areas make the state an ideal one for testing vehicles, large-scale weapons, and operations. There are many military bases in Arizona, and they are all working diligently to advance our Armed Forces in the best ways imaginable.

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