Arizona Air Force Bases
Barry M. Goldwater Range Phoenix
The Barry M. Goldwater Range, formerly known as the Luke Air Force Range, is located in southwest Arizona. It operates as an armament and high hazard testing site for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps. It also facilitates training for electronic warfare, tactical maneuvering, rocketry and aerial gunnery, as well as the development of equipment and tactics and defense-related purposes. Approximately 95% of all the fighter pilots who took part in the Persian Gulf War were trained at the Barry M. Goldwater Range. It was established in 1941 to train U.S. Army Air Corps pilots for World War II. At the time, military aircraft was able to shoot down a target from a distance of 600 feet. Now, with the development of both equipment and training, pilots can shoot down an enemy target from as far as 25 miles. The Barry M. Goldwater Range is run by 56th Fighter Wing Range Management Office, Airspace and Range Operations office.
Davis-Monthan AFB Tucson
The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is a United States Air Base located near Tucson, Arizona. The air base was completed on 1925 and is currently operated by the Air Combat Command. It is home to the 355th Fighter Wing which is composed mostly of A-10s and is tasked to train A-10 pilots and provide close support to ground forces around the world. The air base is named after famed World War I pilots, Samuel H. Davis and Oscar Monthan. The air base was renamed Tucson Municipal Airport in October 6, 1927 but the original name, Davis-Monthan Field, was retained on December 1941. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh, flew Spirit of St. Louis to Tucson to dedicate Davis-Monthan Field, during his famous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. The air base is also popular because of the nearby aircraft boneyard, where hundreds of retired aircraft are stored.
Luke AFB Glendale
Luke AFB is a military base in Glendale, Arizona. It is commanded by Brigadier General Kurt F. Neubauer and is home to the 56th Fighter Wing. The Air Base is named after Medal of Honor recipient, Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr., who had shot down 14 German Balloons and 4 enemy planes in World War I. It was completed on 1941. On July 1942, barely a year after completion, the base was ravaged by a flood that disrupted fighter training for more than 2 weeks. The base is currently home to 22,000 military and civilian personnel together with their 15,000 family members as well as 80,000 retired members. Every odd numbered year in the month of March, the air base celebrates the Luke Days, a popular air show.
Arizona Army Bases
Camp Navajo Flagstaff
Camp Navajo is, in essence, a training site for multiple braches of the military, from the Army to the Air Force, Navy and Marines (which includes both active and reserve forces). Camp Navajo is the number one training site in the state of Arizona offering maneuver training and can also capacitate battalion-sized units. It stretches over an area more than 114 square kilometers, or approximately 28,255 acres, in size. All this space contains a fire department, medical clinic, living quarters, firing range, hand grenade range, classrooms, helicopter landing zone, obstacle course, training site and company headquarters to name a few. Camp Navajo is located in Bellemont, north-central Arizona and consists of 227 miles of roads, and 38 miles of railroads. It also boasts multiple storage areas for ammunition and its own water, waste and electrical systems. It is run by the Arizona National Guard and its primary mission is training, with a secondary mission of leasing space for storage to other federal and state organizations.
Fort Huachuca Cochise
Fort Huachuca is an Army fort located in Cochise County, Arizona. It is operated by the United States Army Installation Management Command and is home to the US Army Intelligence Center, the 9th Signal Command, the 11th Signal Brigade, and the 1st Battalion of the 210th Aviation. The installation was established in 1877 as Camp Huachuca and was designated as a fort 5 years later. Among other tenants in the fort is the Military Auxiliary Radio System headquarters, the Joint Interoperability Test Command, the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center’s Western Division, the Electronic Proving Ground, and one of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s radar-equipped aerostat. Libby Army Airfield, located within the fort also serves as an alternative landing site for Space Shuttle missions. This Airfield shares its runway with Sierra Vista Municipal Airport under a joint-user agreement.
Yuma Proving Ground Yuma County
Yuma Proving Ground is one of the largest military bases in the entire world covering 1,300 square miles in the Sonoran Desert. The base has a tremendous economic impact on the area and is the single largest employer in the county. Yuma conducts tests on almost every weapon system used in ground combat within its 2,000 square miles of restricted airspace. Annually, half a million mortars and missiles are fired, 36,000 parachute drops take place, 200,000 miles are driven by vehicles, and 4000 air sorties are flown from the airfield. While most of the proving ground is used for evaluation and testing of munitions systems, units do come here for desert training.
Arizona Marine Corps Bases
MCAS Yuma Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma is the busiest air station in the Marine Corps located in Yuma, Arizona. It was established in 1928 as Fly Field using temporary dirt runways to serve military and civilian aircraft. The station is now commanded by Colonel Mark A. Werth and is home to the Marine Aircraft Group 13 and the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1. The air station is now the third busiest air station of the Navy. The air station is tasked with supporting aerial weapons training of Marine and Navy Forces assigned to the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet. The station shares its airfield with Yuma International Airport under a shared-use agreement. MCAS Yuma maintains bombing and training ranges with 2.8 million acres in land area.