There are 11 Military Bases in California.
Beale Air Force Base is situated approximately 13 miles away from Marysville, California, and is in Yuba County. The base is surrounded by grazing land and rice fields and is only about 50 miles north of the state capital of California, Sacramento. The base's host unit is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which is a part of the Twelfth Air Force and has been assigned to the Air Combat Command.
Camp Pendleton, located on the west coast of southern California, has served primarily as a training facility for the USMC since 1942. The base is located north of San Diego and Oceanside and south of Riverside, Orange County, and San Clemente. The base carries the name of Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who was influential in setting up this west coast training facility.
Located in the western part of the Mojave Desert, Edwards Air Force Base is situated in California and is approximately 100 miles to the northeast of Los Angeles. Edwards Air Force Base is the home of the Air Force Flight Test Center and is located in Kern County. Edwards Air Force Base is a relatively large base, with an active duty and active duty family population of approximately 10,000.
Fort Irwin is surrounded by the Mojave Desert’s high hills. The installation is located in southern California, less than three hours from Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Named in honor of Major General George Irwin, a World War I commander, the installation has been known as Fort Irwin since 1961. In 1981, Fort Irwin was designated as the National Training Center and is the U.S. Army’s premier training facility.
Today, March Air Force Base is known as March Joint Air Reserve Base. It’s located in Riverside County in southern California sitting between the cities of Riverside and Moreno Valley. As one of the oldest airfields under the US military command the base continues to serve as the largest air mobility wing unit. The base has been in operation since 1918 when it carried the name of Alessandro Flying Training Field.
The Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), Naval Surface Forces is home to the Pacific Fleet and the largest Navy presence on the west coast, sustaining the Navy’s Southwest Regional headquarters and providing homeport to over 50 ships. Since its origins the base has carried several names, and today the base is still known as the 32nd Street Naval Station, which happens to be the location of main entrance to the base.
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is located in the western area of the Mojave Desert in a small area of California, and a small town known as Ridgecrest, California is located nearby. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake's primary mission is to support testing, research and evaluation for the United States Navy and is the assignment location for approximately 860 military service members.
The Presidio of Monterey is located on California’s Pacific central coastline, approximately 2 hours south of San Francisco. As part of the Monterey Peninsula, it's an important part of this coastal maritime history, unique seascapes along with unexpected land developments from rugged mountains, ocean cliffs, some of the best California wineries are in the area and abundant agricultural produce.
Travis Air Force Base is home to the 60th Air Mobility Wing command, and located in northern California in the county of Solano. The base handles more cargo and passengers than another other military installation in the USA. At any given time its crews are prepared to support missions anywhere in the world, delivering and retrieving precious cargo under the command of the Air Mobility Command.
The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is quite synonymously referred to as Twentynine Palms. It is one of the largest training grounds, not only for the Marine Corps but for the every single military branch. This base has a rich history stemming from America's past wars. Twentynine Palms is located in central southern California and has an estimated population of 9,000 which includes civilians.
Vandenberg Air Force Base is home to the 30th Space Wing, headquartered on the central coast of California. It manages space and missile testing, sending satellites into orbit for the Department of Defense. Today, the base remains one of the few launching unmanned satellites into polar orbits, allowing the satellite to pass over both the north and south poles during its travels.
Military Installations in CA
There are so many things to do and see in such a wide variety of environments in California that you have to wonder if that’s why they put so many bases throughout the state. Whether for recreation or just touring, California has things to do and see in the mountains, deserts, forests, beaches, and others from one end of the state to the other. No matter where you are stationed, there will always be something close to where you are.
Explore as a Family
There are probably few other states that can compare with California for the variety of attractions, man-made or natural. Most importantly, though, is the fact that so many attractions are family-friendly.
So Much to See
Want to have some kid-sized fun, whether you’re a kid or not, there’s Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in the Los Angeles area. Or head to San Diego for the splendid beaches. Want to hob-knob with the rich and famous, try the Palm Springs desert area, which includes the natural attractions spread throughout the golden sands. If the cool sea air is more your thing, try going north to San Francisco for its historic areas, including most notoriously, Alcatraz.
Enjoy Monterey Bay
Monterey, nestled around the bay by the same name, with its boat lined harbor and ancient canneries made immortal by author John Steinbeck. Not had enough yet? Going further north still will put you right in the middle of redwoods territory to enjoy what John Muir spent so much time working to protect for generations to come.
Regardless of where you go in California, there’s something to do. The problem will never be what to do, only what to do first.