Governed by the Department of the Army, the Army is the largest branch of the U.S. armed forces. It is responsible for training thousands of soldiers, both male and female. There are 51 distinct U.S. Army bases located in the United States. California is home to three of these bases.
Located in the Mojave Desert in California’s San Bernardino County on roughly 1,000 square miles of land, Fort Irwin is a large training camp for the U.S. Army. The area has a long history of being used as an army facility. The location was first used as an Army camp in the 1800s. Following the gold-rush era and discovery of borax in the 1880s, the area expanded greatly as mining operations blossomed, which led to the influx of workers, railroads and businesses in the nearby town of Barstow. In 1941, Fort Irwin was designated the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Range and renamed Camp Irwin the following year. A few years later, the camp was disbanded and put on the U.S. Army’s surplus list.
When it finally reopened in 1951 as the Armored Combat Training Area, the base was responsible for training and deploying troops to the Korean War. After being officially named Fort Irwin in 1961, the base was used for the ramp-up to the Vietnam War. However, after that war, the fort was again disbanded until 1979, when it was chosen as the preeminent site for the National Training Center. Fort Irwin returned to active military status in July 1981. Fort Irwin has its own schools, churches, post office, a movie theater, a museum and numerous restaurants and banks.
Fort Irwin Fort Irwin Road Fort Irwin, CA 92310 760-256-1735 irwin.army.mil/Post/Pages/default.aspx
Located 73 miles south of San Jose in the coastal city of Monterey, the Presidio is a U.S. Army installation that is the home of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLI-FLC). The area was originally founded by the Spanish in 1770 but fell into disrepair upon the rule of Mexico in 1822. The United States seized the fort in July 1846. Today, the Presidio is one of the leading foreign language training schools in the world, and the U.S. Congress granted it permission in 2001 to award students associate of arts in foreign language degrees.
The Presidio of Monterey Lighthouse Avenue Monterey, CA 93940 831-242-510 army.mil/info/organization/presidio/
Fort Hunter Liggett
Opened in October 2005, the U.S. Army Combat Support Training Center (CSTC) at Fort Hunter Liggett in California is the U.S. Army’s newest training facility dedicated to providing premier training areas for combat support and combat service support units. Situated 86 miles south of Monterey and 76 miles north of San Luis Obispo, it is known as the Army Reserve’s foremost training center for the western United States. The CSTC at Fort Hunter Liggett provides ranges, training areas and facilities to support and train the finest U.S. Army soldiers. The base encompasses more than 165,000 acres of difficult terrain, including valleys, rivers, mountains and forests. Fort Hunter Liggett is the largest Army Reserve installation and the U.S. Army's eighth largest base.
Fort Hunter Liggett King City, CA 93930 831-386-3000 liggett.army.mil