Beale Air Force Base in Marysville on map

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Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, CA California Military Bases


Just east of Marysville, California, Camp Beale is one of the larger US Air Force bases on the west coast. The military camp hosts the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which is assigned to the Air Combat Command. It’s also a part of the 12th Air Force. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is responsible for collecting intelligence that directly affect presidential and congressional decisions in relate to national defense. For this purpose, they have access to a fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady planes, MC-12 Liberty aircraft and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The base is always on alert for readiness to support combat situations and provide services for forces to threats within and outside of the country.

A Closer Look at Camp Beale


While Camp Beale is known as a large air force base, it’s also home to a chemical warfare service depot and the quartermaster depot. The base has an outstanding history of providing the latest technology. As a large base, it’s also vigorously protected and has five gates that can provide access to parts of the base. However, visitors may only enter through the main gate that also allows for local merchants. The base covers 23,000 acres and is home to 4,000 military personnel.


Camp Beale has a long historical and cultural heritage within the area. The land is rich with resources and was once home to Native Americans, and you can still find the mortar bowls that they carved in nearby bedrocks surrounding the streams. German prisoners of war were also held here after World War II, and this block of prison cells still exists on the base with drawings of several POWs on the walls. To preserve this heritage, the base maintains 38 Native American historical sites, 41 World War II sites and 45 homestead sites.


There is a lot of natural beauty surrounding the base. Woods, streams, fields and scenic trails provide a natural landscape to admire even on the hottest days in Marysville. However, there are some still spots where it is clear that the environment was not always a top priority. For example, a rusted 55-gallon drum used to fill a trench can be near Best Slough, a stream that leads to the Bear River. While the drums were discovered in 1985, it’s unclear how they got there or what they contained. It’s a reminder of carelessness and irresponsible environmental policies.



Most air force bases are named after famous aviators, but Camp Beale is named after Edward Fitzgerald Beale who was a 19th century pioneer who graduated from the Naval academy and went on to serve in the California State Militia between 1840 and 1860. Camp Beale was opened in 1942 as a training camp for infantry divisions fighting in World War II. Back then, Camp Beale sprawled 86,000 acres and was home to 60,000 solders in addition to prisoners of war and a hospital that allowed for 1,000 beds.


In 1948, Camp Beale switched from US Army to US Air Force and started conducting bombardier and navigator training in 1951. A bombing and gunnery range was constructed.


Campe Beale has transformed into different commands depending on what the Department of Defense has needed most. It was an Air Training Command, Continential Air Command, Aviation Engineer Force, Strategic Air Command and in 1992, it became what it is now, Air Combat Command.


In 1956, the U-2 became the latest aircraft to be used by the Air Force. A few years later, Colonel Paul K. Carlton would take command of the activated 4126th Strategic Wing. Later, the 31st Bombardment Squadrom with B-52s would arrive at Beale in 1960. Beale also became a support base for Titan I missile sites, and plans were developed for more weapons facilities. The base became home to mechanical, cryogenic, propulsion, pneudraulics and liquid oxygen shops to support missiles being developed.


Camp Beale is not as large as it used to be. Much of it is grasslands and rolling hills. The facilities here serve all kinds of purposes that aren’t all related to air combat. Weapons testing, storage and chemical weapons are just a few of the responsibilities that Camp Beale continues to handle.


Camp Beale’s Mission Today

The 9th Reconnaissance Wing has a mission of environmental and historical preservation in addition to military services. The base is home to cattle that graze on base lands thanks to a partnership between the air force base and local cattle ranches. There are also wild turkeys, who live near the streams on the base without any disruption. The preservation of the land and natural resources is one of the major goals of the air force base command.


Beale’s host wing is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which has more than 3,000 personnel in different areas of the base as well as operations overseas. There’s also the 9th Mission Support Group, Medical Group, 9th Operations Group and 9th Maintenance Group. Several military units are also hosted here including an air refueling station of the Air Force Reserve Command.


Military family housing at Camp Beale is privatized. There is the Balfour Beatty Communities, which owns the housing development and is responsible for maintaining, constructing, repair and managing the privatized military communities. Families have the option to purchase or rent housing in the local community. Tenants sign a lease with BBC.


The community has several amenities and has wider support services than other communities located around the base. For instance, military housing provides a youth center, swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic areas, community center, fitness center, athletic fields, golf course and bowling center.


To apply for privatized housing, you must contact the HMO once you know you are being transferred to Beale. You’ll receive all of the latest information and application to fill out and return to HMO.


There are several schools nearby but the closest to Camp Beale include Lone Tree Elementary School, Bear River Middle School and Wheatland Union High School.

Beale Air Force Base in Marysville on map

Beale Air Force Base


Beale AFB is is a United States Air Force base and home to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.



Beale AFB is located in Yuba County, approximately 8 miles east of Marysville, California. It is approximately 50 miles north of Sacramento and 140 miles east of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Camp Beale opened in October 1942, as a training site for the 13th Armored Division and later the 81st and 16th Infantry Divisions. It was named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a man who experimented with camels as replacements for Army mules and who was one of California’s largest landholders.


In 1948, the camp transferred from the Army to the Air Force. The Air Force conducted bombardier and navigator training at Beale and in 1951 activated the Beale Bombing and Gunnery Range for aviation engineer training.


Beale AFB is steeped in history, yet at the same time it soars in the forefront of the Air Force’s future in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance technology.



Beale AFB’s mission is to train, deploy and employ Beale Airmen and assets to deliver globally integrated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance in support of National Objectives


Population Served

    Active Duty 4,587

    Family Members: 4,284

    Civilian Employees 1,494

    Reservist 1,071

    Retirees 25,000



Your sponsor is a personal representative of your gaining squadron commander who is assigned and trained to assist you and your family in all aspects of your relocation to Beale AFB. He or she will be knowledgeable about Beale and the surrounding communities and available to aid you from assignment notification until you are settled in your home and work center here. Do not hesitate to ask questions of your sponsor, as they have the resources of the squadron and the relocation assistance professionals at Airman and Family Readiness to help them address your concerns and needs.


If you need help in obtaining a sponsor, please contact your Airman and Family Readiness Center at (530) 634-2863 or DSN 368-2863.


Temporary Quarters

Temporary lodging is available to all categories of personnel.


Beale has 29 temporary lodging facilities for personnel and their family members. These units are located in the family housing area and are completely furnished including washers, dryers, stoves and kitchen utensils. Size of the units varies from two- to four-bedrooms. Housekeeping services are provided on a daily basis.


All personnel can make lodging reservations by calling (530) 634-2953/3662 or DSN 368-2953/3662.


Relocation Assistance


The Housing Management Office (HMO) is ready to support you in the transition to your new home and community.