Are you stationed at one of the top 5 US Navy installations?

Jessica Evans
Updated onDec 6, 2022
3 minute read

PUGET SOUND, Wash. (July 12, 2018) The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) transits the Hood Canal as it returns home Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following the boat’s first strategic patrol since 2013. Nebraska recently completed a 41-month engineered refueling overhaul, which will extend the life of the submarine for another 20 years. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray/Released)


Did you know that the US military has an installation in almost every state in our union? That’s pretty impressive,…

Did you know that the US military has an installation in almost every state in our union? That's pretty impressive, right? What's more impressive is the sheer size of some of these bases. Our country's coasts are home to more than 40 bases!

Here's an overview of the five biggest Navy installations in the country.

1. Naval Station Norfolk

Naval Station Norfolk is not only the biggest naval base in the US, it’s the biggest in the world. Located in southeastern Virginia in the city of Norfolk, this base was established in 1917. Correspondingly, it's enormous! Right now, NAS Norfolk clocks in at over 3,400 acres and supports around 149,000 personnel. It ensures the US Atlantic Fleet is always operationally ready. Its facilities house and service 75 ships and 134 aircraft. When you call NAS Norfolk home, be prepared for lots of seafood and lots of history!

9 Flattops at Norfolk naval base, December 20, 2012. (USN photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott)

2. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is strategically located just outside Honolulu, Hawaii. That means it's not only a beautiful installation but it's also home to over 55,000 marines and their families, plus over 5,000 air force service members and their families. While Pearl Harbor originated as solely a naval base, it joined up with Hickam Air Force Base in 2010. The base occupies over 27,000 acres of land (it’s massive) and is home to over 160 commands, 11 ships, and 19 submarines and aircraft. And since it's a joint base, you'll get the best of both worlds when you call this installation home!

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (June 30, 2004) - Ships from seven participating nations sit pier side at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, awaiting the start of exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2004. U. S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class (NAC) John T. Parker (RELEASED)

3. Naval Air Station Jacksonville

Established in 1940, Naval Air Station Jacksonville encompasses 3,400 acres in northeast Florida and accommodates roughly 53,500 personnel. With this in mind, it's no surprise that NAS Jacksonville's mission is a big one. In fact, this installation exclusively trains airmen for war and supports anti-submarine warfare efforts by US and allied troops. Florida offers plenty for everyone - from amusement parks to beaches and everything in between.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 20, 2018) An aerial view of Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. NAS Jacksonville is comprised of 28,000 acres of land which includes the air station, Outlying Field Whitehouse, and the Pinecastle Range Complex. NAS Jacksonville recently received encroachment funds to protect the installation's assets with incompatible development through restrictive easements. (U.S. Navy photo)

4. Naval Base San Diego

Naval Base San Diego was established in 1922 as a destroyer base and majorly expanded during the Korean War. Now, it operates as a primary homeport for the US Pacific Fleet. It supports around 48,000 military and civilian personnel and houses roughly 180 commands and 56 ships. This base covers over 2,000 acres of land. In case you were wondering, being so close to San Diego means the world is at your fingertips. World-class shopping, outdoor activities, and a wide array of eating options await.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 12, 2017) An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 flies over San Diego Bay while conducting training near the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

5. Naval Base Kitsap

This might be one of the Navy's best-kept secrets! Located in the Puget Sound, in Washington state's Kitsap Peninsula, Naval Base Kitsap was formed in 2004 by the joining of the former Naval Station Bremerton and Naval Submarine Base Bangor. It houses over 45,000 personnel and is one of the Navy’s four nuclear shipyards. Encompassing more than 12,000 acres, Naval Base Kitsap is a large base in terms of area as well. When you're stationed in the Pacific Northwest, you'll love the fresh air, amazing seafood, and great nature activities.

Ever wonder what all military installations have in common? When you see one of these eight stores, you know you're close to a base.