The world's biggest military bases4 September 2013
All five of the world's biggest military bases belong to the US, with Fort Bragg housing a staggering 52,280 active duty soldiers. Army-technology.com lists the largest army bases in the world, ranked by population.
Fort Bragg (population: 238,646, area: 163,000 acres)
Fort Bragg is the largest US Army base in terms of population. Located west of Fayetteville in North Carolina, the base is home to the 82nd Airborne.
Fort Bragg serves 52,280 active duty soldiers, 12,624 reserve components and temporary duty students, 8,757 civilian employees, 3,516 contractors and 62,962 active duty family members. It is also home to 98,507 army retirees and family members.
The tactics proved in World War II were developed at Pope Field of Fort Bragg. Known as the "Home of the Airborne and Special Operation Force", Fort Bragg also houses the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division, the US Army Special Operations Command and the US Army Parachute Team (the Golden Knights).
Several other units, such as the Corps Support Command, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, 16th Military Police Brigade, 20th Engineer Brigade, 108th ADA Brigade, 44th Medical Command and 18th Fires Brigade are also stationed at Fort Bragg.
Fort Campbell (population: 234,914, area: 105,000 acres)
Fort Campbell is located between Hopkinsville and Clarksville, on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. The military base was set up in 1942 and was first activated during World War II. Fort Campbell accommodates the fifth largest active duty member population in the army and the seventh largest in the Department of Defence.
The base is home to the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, the only Air Assault Division of the US Army.
The six major tenants units at Fort Campbell include 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), US Army Medical Activity, TN Valley District Corps of Engineer, Veterinary Command and US Army Dental Activity.
The total base population includes 30,438 military, 53,116 family members and 151,360 personnel including army retired personnel, retiree family members and reserve component.
Fort Hood Military Base (population: 217,003, area: 214,968 acres)
Located 60 miles north of Austin and 50 miles south of Waco, Fort Hood is spread across 214,968 acres of land in Bell and Coryell Counties. Fort Hood is the largest active duty armoured post in the United States, and is the only post in the United States which can support two full armoured divisions.
The base population of 217,003 includes 4,733 active duty officers, 39,262 enlisted active duty members, 74,294 family members, 89,805 retirees, survivors and family members, as well as 8,909 civilian/NAF/other employees.
Fort Hood was established to house tank destroyers and mobile anti-tank guns during World War II. The base now acts as a mobilisation station for Army Reserve and National Guard units and as a strategic power projection platform.
The installation serves a wide variety of tenant organisations and ensures the highest quality of life support for a diverse community of more than 200,000 troops, family members and retirees.
Joint Base Lewis - McChord (JBLM) (population: 209,486, area: 414,000 acres)
Fort Lewis (Joint Base Lewis - McChord) is situated in the Pacific Northwest on the Puget Sound, in the state of Washington. It began operations a Joint Base in January 2010 as a result of the consolidation of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force bases.
The base population of 209,486 includes 27,000 military, 52,486 family members, 10,000 civilians and 120,000 retirees. The base serves as a training and mobilisation centre for all military services.
The strategic location of the JBLM allows the air force units to conduct combat and humanitarian airlift to any location in the world with the C-17A Globemaster III, the most advanced cargo transport aircraft in the force.
Fort Benning (population: 107,627, area: 182,000 acres)
Fort Benning occupies an area commonly known as the "Tri-Community", in Columbus; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Phenix City, Alabama. The base was established in 1918. It is spread across an area of 182,000 acres. Known as Manoeuvre Centre of Excellence, Fort Benning is the home of the Armour and Infantry.
The Fort Benning's total population of 107,627 includes 27,436 active duty members, 6,639 reserve component, 13,248 retired personnel, 30,478 off-post retirees, 21,414 dependants and DoD/AAFES/other employees of 5,162.
Fort Benning initially provided basic training for World War I units. The base was home to about 4,000 officers and 95,000 enlisted persons during World War II.
The US Army office responsible for financial management, known as Army G-8, has released an ambitious equipment modernisation plan for fiscal year 2014.
However tight budgets are, defence departments are always willing to invest in body armour and helmets, and the US military is the world's biggest market for protective gear.