California is a large state, and with that comes a large number of military bases.
The state holds 8 Army bases total, 5 of which currently house Active Army units, 2 of which house Reserve or National Guard units or training, and one of which is completely inactive at this time.
Many of California’s Army bases were founded during the time of the second world war, while a couple were formed in the early-to-mid 1800s.
These various founding dates show that every base in California has a rich history as well as a unique way of running today.
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Active Army Bases in California
Most of the bases in California are active, or at least semi-active. Active bases have units stationed year-round, while semi-active bases serve as a place for history and for occasional Reserve or National Guard training.
Each of the state’s Army bases is shown below along with their location, years of use, mission, well-known units, and a link to their official site for any additional information you may need.
Location: Barstow, California (Mojave Desert)
In Use: 1800’s- Present
Overall Mission: Fort Irwin has a few main goals in its mission. These include conducting “tough and realistic” training, preparing Brigade Combat Teams for combat, and taking care of soldiers, families, and local civilians.
- 1st Squadron
- 57th WG “Ravens Air Warriors”
- 11th ACR “Ironhorse”
- 11th ACR “Eaglehorse”
- U.S. Army Garrison
- NTC Support Battalion
Official Site: https://home.army.mil/irwin/index.php
Presidio of Monterey
Location: Monterey, California
In Use: 1846- Present
Overall Mission: Monterey works to provide BASPOS support to everyone they serve, as well as to enhance readiness.
- 229th Military Intelligence Battalion
- 517th Training Group
- Center for Intelligence Dominance Detachment
- Defense Military Pay Office
Official Site: https://home.army.mil/monterey/index.php
Fort Hunter Liggett
Location: Southern Monterey County
In Use: 1940- Present
Overall Mission: Fort Hunter Liggett’s main mission is to be a place to “live, work, and train.” They work to build mission readiness and quality of life for their soldiers and families along the way.
- 31st Seabee Readiness Group
- First Naval Construction Regiment
- Ninth Naval Construction Regiment
- Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment
Official Site: https://home.army.mil/liggett/index.php
Sierra Army Depot
Location: Susanville, California
In Use: 1942- Present
Overall Mission: Sierra plays a significant role in Army readiness through craftsmen, equipment operators, machinists, and support personnel.
- 104th Quarter Master
- Combat Support Units
- Medical Material Agency
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
Official Site: https://www.sierra.army.mil/index.html
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Camp Parks PRFTA
Location: Dublin, California
In Use: 1943- Present
Overall Mission: Camp Parks PRFTA runs under Fort Hunter Liggett. It is known for its academics and battlefield stimulation, as well as its Military Intelligence facility.
- Mainly utilized by California Reserve units
Official Site: https://home.army.mil/parks/index.php
Camp San Luis Obispo (Semi-Active)
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
In Use: 1928- Present
Overall Mission: Camp San Luis Obispo was the first home to the California National Guard and was used by the Active Army during the Vietnam war. Today, they continue to provide excellent training opportunities to the California National Guard.
- California National Guard units
Official Site: https://calguard.ca.gov/cslo/
Camp Roberts (Semi-Active)
Location: San Miguel, California
In Use: 1940-1970, National Guard use from 1970- Present
Overall Mission: Camp Roberts began as a WWII base, and is mainly used for training National Guard troops today. It also provides space for civilian hunting and fishing.
- California National Guard units
Official Site: https://calguard.ca.gov/cr/
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Inactive Army Bases in California
The following California Army base no longer hosts units or training of any kind, but they are open to the public as a historical site:
Location: Riverside, California
In Use: 1940-1945
Overall Mission: Fort Haan started as a place for training, ad later added a Prisoner of War camp as well as an Army hospital.
- Coast Artillery Antiaircraft Gunners
Official Site: N/A
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