Rather than utilising the greatest developed area or most populous base, we will refer to the base with the largest footprint as the largest base in the state for the purposes of this article. However, we’ll talk about those kinds of bases as well.
What Is the Largest Military Base in California?
At 1.1 million acres, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is the largest military post in California.The base is known by its shortened name, NAWS China Lake. The name “China Lake” is presumably derived from the fact that Chinese prospectors once used the area to gather borax. This enormous military installation is located in the southeast of the state, operating in portions of the counties of Inyo, San Bernardino, and Kerm.
To access various areas of the base, NAWS China Lake features more than 2,000 buildings and more than 2,000 km of paved and unpaved roads.
Research, Development, Acquisition, Test, and Evaluation Appropriations (RDAT&E) is the Navy’s primary purpose of the site. “To support the Navy’s research, testing, and evaluation missions to provide cutting-edge weapons systems to the warfighter” is the mission statement of the base.
The military installation has airfields, a garrison, research centres, and other infrastructure in order to achieve this goal. Three distinct runways, each measuring 7,111 feet, 9,013 feet, and 10,001 feet, are located within the base. At the base, thousands of flights take place annually.
The majority of the installation is made up of undeveloped terrain. As a matter of fact, more than 90% of the land is not significantly developed. That’s crucial, of course, given that the area is used for unexploded ordinance destruction, target development drills, and live-fire bombing testing.
Just How Large Is Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake?
|1.592 million acres
|2,489 sq mi
|NAWS China Lake
|1.1 million acres
|1,718.75 sq mi
|1,214 sq mi
The total area of NAWS China Lake is 1,718 square miles, or 1.1 million acres. With a state area of 776,960 acres, or 1,214 square miles, larger than Rhode Island is the largest military base in California. The base is somewhat smaller than Delaware, which has an area of 2,489 square miles and 1.592 million acres.
Due to its immense size, this facility accounts for over 40% of the U.S. Navy’s global land holdings. The U.S. Navy uses 85% of the land at NAWS China Lake for RDAT&E.
Where is California’s Largest Military Base on a Map?
Southeast California is home to the state’s largest military base, which occupies a sizable region. Approximately 115 miles northeast of Los Angeles, 140 miles southeast of Fresno, and 145 miles west-southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, are the locations of the bases. The enormous base stretches far to the north of Ridgecrest and is situated on the edge of the town.
What Is the Most Populous Military Base in California?
Despite being the biggest military installation in California, NAWS China Lake is not the most populated. Less than 1,000 military personnel work at the base, which also employs 5,500 civilian workers and contractors. However, the number of people living in the region increases to about 30,000 when we include the people in the surrounding area.
The Defence Department reports that more than 42,000 active-duty marines and sailors, as well as tens of thousands of family members, civilian staff, and reservists, live at Camp Pendleton North in Southern California.
Consequently, Camp Pendleton sees significantly more daily activity than NAWS China Lake, despite the latter’s size being much larger.
What Animals Live Near Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake?
NAWS China Lake encompasses a vast but largely desolate region. Nonetheless, a lot of wildlife and the military coexist on this portion of the nation. This region of the state is home to a variety of creatures, some of which are as follows:
Typical side-blotched reptile
Ground squirrels in California
The white-crowned sparrow
Western rattlesnake mule deer
Lizard with zebra-like tail
These are simply a handful of the numerous animals that inhabit the region; there are many more.
Scattered across 1.1 million acres is California’s largest military base. It’s a remarkable field that is essential to the continuous improvement of American military equipment and expertise. This sizable base will most likely keep expanding in the future, bringing in more personnel, new buildings, and other facilities.