Largest Naval Bases in the World

The military might of many countries can be seen in how big their bases can get. The largest naval bases in the world, for example, could be mistaken for full cities.

If there's one thing that America really, truly seems to love, it's showing off how much we spend on our military. Over the years, our military has become one of the most powerful in the world—and has spread US influence throughout the globe. 

In many parts of the world, America keeps its presence by establishing local military outposts. To a point, the size of our outposts are large due to both strategy and statement. We really, truly like showing the size of our fleets. 

Some of the largest outposts in America belong to the Navy, and if you've ever been skeptical about military spending, touring some of the largest naval bases we own will make you think differently. 

Don't believe it? Check out the biggest naval outposts America owns below. 

Naval Station Norfolk (NS)

Naval Station Norfolk, also known as NS, currently tops the charts of the largest naval bases in the world. This base, owned by the US Navy, was created in 1917 and has a total of 3,400 acres as part of its territory. This is where the Atlantic Fleet lives. 

Sprawling grounds aside, another reason for NS to be one of the biggest bases is the sheer population who call Naval Station Norfolk home. Currently, the base is home to over 149,000 soldiers and military families—not to mention its fleet of over 130 aircraft and 70 ships.

Norfolk is so famous and highly regarded, press even covered Norfolk's centennial anniversary

Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH)

Created in 2010 by joining Naval Base Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base, this massive conglomerate base now hosts over 55,000 people who live there, work there, or otherwise conduct business within its limits. 

Its sprawling 27,000 acres of land make it one of the largest naval bases in terms of physicality. Over 160 different commands are based at Pearl Harbor Hickam, making it one of the most active bases on this list as well.

Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville

NAS currently reigns supreme as one of the largest naval bases in America's South-East region. In fact, it even won the Commander Navy Installations Command Excellence Award in 2013 because of the fact that it's one of the largest naval bases in America.

Around 53,000 different people live and work on this massive 3,400-acre plot of land. Much of the work here involves America's most elite training and some of our most advanced anti-submarine tactics. If you want to see stunts like what you'd see in Navy SEAL movies or see the most notable Navy SEALs currently on the force, this would be the place to go. 

Naval Base San Diego (NBSD)

San Diego's naval base remains one of the largest naval bases on the West Coast, and not only because of its sheer size. NBSD is home to the majority of the Pacific Fleet and remains the base where over 48,000 military-linked personnel work. 

Approximately 180 different commands call Naval Bases San Diego home, making it one of the more active places for the biggest navy in the world to do work. 

Naval Station Mayport

Believe it or not, Jacksonville isn't the only member on this list of the largest naval bases in the world in the Jacksonville region. Mayport's Naval Station, which is literally only half an hour away from Jacksonville, also made the cut. 

48,000 more soldiers call this place their home base. Over the years, Naval Station Mayport has served as a major center during important missions like Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Fox, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi

Texas's own NAS Corpus Christi remains a chart topper when it comes to the largest naval bases in the world. Like many other mega-bases, NAS Corpus Christi has a population that tops many small towns: 48,000, to be precise. 

Currently, the majority of airmen who serve in the Navy get their training at this base. Around 600 airmen find their training at Corpus Christi every year. Many of the aviators that get trained at this base end up working with the Department of Defense. 

Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) Fort Worth

With Corpus Christi creating so many pilots, it definitely seems like a lot of the largest naval bases in Texas have an affinity for air. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) Fort Worth, which comes in close to Corpus Christi in size, has a population of 27,000—and also focuses on air training. 

That being said, this is a joint reserve base that gets quite a bit of action. Though it's a base for reserves, Fort Worth still has around 40 different commands inside its grounds. 

Naval Base Kitsap

Located right on the Kitsap peninsula in Washington, Naval Base Kitsap remains one of the largest naval bases in the US when it comes to population. 12,000 active duty members, 14,000 civilians, 12,000 veterans, and a number of military families all call this base home.

Much of the work that goes on around Kitsap deals with submarines, primarily because of its close proximity to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Naval Air Station Patuxent River

Yet another base to be called one of the largest naval bases in the world, Naval Air Station Patuxent River is located right near the Chesapeake Bay. Right now, it's one of the most physically impressive naval bases out there thanks to its 6,400-acre size.

50 naval tenant commands and the recordings of over 165,000 different aircraft movements per year make this one of the most active bases on the East Coast. 

Naval Base Coronado (NBC)

Naval Base Coronado (NBC) rounds out our list of the largest naval bases in the world, and currently spans approximately 57,000 acres in size. This sprawling naval base has it all—air fields, training ranges, and special command centers, too. 

The base is actually an amalgamation of eight different installations, including Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, and Camp Morena. Four SEAL teams, the Pacific Fleet, and much, much more are housed here. 

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