Florida is the 27th state admitted to the Union, and it also happens to be the state I reside in.
From its lush, tropical landscape and weather, to its white sandy beaches and cultural diversity, I personally think it’s one of the best places in the United States to live.
It also happens to be home to six Air Force bases, all of varying sizes.
Below is a list of all of these bases, including their location, units headquartered at the Air Force base, when it was built, and their official website.
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Air Force Bases in Florida
Eglin Air Force Base
Location: Okaloosa County, Florida
In Use: 1935 – Present (Originally Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base)
Overall Mission: It serves as the heart of all Air Force armories. This is where acquisition, testing, development, deployment, and sustenance of non-nuclear weapons is done. It is named in honor of Fredrick I. Eglin, a Lieutenant Colonel killed in a crash.
Units Stationed At Eglin Air Force Base:
- 96th Test Wing
- 33rd Fighter Wing
- 82nd Training Wing
- 53rd Wing
- 926th Wing
- 21st Space Wing
- 1st Special Forces Command (US Army – Airborne)
Official Site: https://www.eglin.af.mil/
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Homestead Air Force Base
Location: Homestead, Florida
In Use: 1942 – Present
Overall Mission: Homestead Air Force base is home to the 482nd Fighter Wing, which is an F-16 unit providing fighter operations. This Air Force base was actually destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and was subsequently rebuilt.
Units Stationed At Homestead Air Force Base:
- 482nd Fighter Wing (host unit)
Official Site: https://www.homestead.afrc.af.mil/
Location: Gulf of Mexico, Florida
In Use: 1942 – Present
Overall Mission: It is the headquarters of 1st Special Operations Wings and Air Force Special Operations Commands. It serves as a training ground for Air Force Special Forces to prepare them for different missions.
Units Stationed at Hurlburt Field:
- 1st Special Operations Wing
- 24th Special Operations Wing
- 492nd Special Operations Wing
- 57th Wing
- 505th Command and Control Wing
- 557th Weather Wing
- 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing
- 96th Test Wing
- 919th Special Operations Wing
- 688th Cyberspace Wing
Official Site: https://www.hurlburt.af.mil/
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MacDill Air Force Base
Location: Marina DR Tampa, Florida
In Use: 1939 – Present
Overall Mission: It serves as an operation base for the Air Force. It is responsible for deploying and maintaining tactical emergency communication around the world in both peace and war times.
Units Stationed at MacDill Air Force Base:
- 6th Air Refueling Wing
- 927th Air Refueling Wing
- 23rd Wing
- Florida Air National Guard
- US Navy Reserve
- US Marine Forces Central Command
- National Intelligence University
- US Central Command
- US Special Operations Command
- US Transportation Command
- National Defense University
Official Site: https://www.macdill.af.mil/
Patrick Air Force Base
Location: Between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, Florida
In Use: 1940 – Present (Originally Naval Air Station Banana River)
Overall Mission: Named in honor of Maj. General Mason Patrick, this Air Force base in Florida is home to the 45th Space Wing. One of their primary objectives is the management of all launches of unmanned rockets taking off from nearby Cape Canaveral to the north.
Units Stationed At Patrick Air Force Base:
- 45th Space Wing
- 53rd Wing
- 114th Space Control Squadron (Air National Guard Unit)
- 920th Rescue Wing
Official Site: https://www.patrick.af.mil/
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Tyndall Air Force Base
Location: Panama City, Florida
In Use: 1941 – Present
Overall Mission: This serves as the home base for 325th Fighter Wing, 1st Air Force, and 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group. It also trains F-22A Raptor pilots as well as air battle managers and maintenance personnel to support Air Force combat actions.
Units Stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base:
- 325th Fighter Wing
- 44th Fighter Group
- First Air Force
- 53d Weapons Evaluation Group
- 125th Student Flight
- 337th Air Control Squadron
Official Site: https://www.tyndall.af.mil/
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How many Air Force bases are there in Florida?
Florida is home to six Air Force bases, from Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, and Tyndall AFB in the panhandle to MacDill AFB in Tampa, to Homestead Air Reserve Base near Miami, and Patrick AFB near Cocoa Beach.
Does Patrick AFB work for NASA?
Patrick AFB has provided support for NASA for over 60 years. Currently dedicated to missile launches, it serves as primary defense for the Space Coast. With existing 45th Space Wing in residence already, it was designated a Space Force base.
Is Eglin the largest Air Force base?
Located on the Emerald Coast of Florida, Eglin is the largest Air Force base in the world, measuring 640 square miles.
Is Homestead Air Force still active?
Homestead Air Reserve base was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that hit on August 24, 1992. Since that time, the base has been rebuilt and hosts the 482nd Fighter Wing.
Do Florida Air Force bases have beaches?
Eglin AFB is only a few miles from Fort Walton Beach. Patrick AFB, by Kennedy Space Center, is close to Cocoa Beach. MacDill AFB is located in an urban center but boasts a recreational beach and marina on Tampa Bay.