Illinois Military Bases
Map of Illinois Military Bases
Charles M. Price Support Center
This base is located just a few miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, and was designated as an Army supply installation during WWI. However, the base wasn’t put to use until WWII when it was constructed and named the Granite City Engineer Depot. In the early 1940s, the depot produced over 4,000 railroad cars of material, employed over 5,000 people, and trained over 2,000 enlisted men and 1,500 officers. Like many other bases in the U.S., this military installation saw a sharp drop in activity after the major wars. Today around 75 agencies (military and federal) are supported by the base. However, the Charles M. Price Support Center is currently in process of being excessed.
Rock Island Arsenal
As the name suggests, this Army base is located on an island in the Mississippi River. Congress designated the island as a federal military reservation back in 1809, but Rock Island Arsenal was not established until 1862. The arsenal became a repository for Civil War surplus after the Civil War. During the Spanish-American War, the arsenal provided equipment to support troops, and then in 1902, it again provided thousands of sets of equipment to troops in the Philippines. In WWI, the base helped with ammunition production for the first and only time in its history. It then developed tanks, artillery, and machine guns. Today the base is the largest arsenal owned and operated by the U.S. government. It manufactures various combat equipment in addition to kits, outfits, and tool sets that support field equipment.
Scott Air Force Base
This Air Force Base is located in St. Clair County. The U.S. Transportation Command has its headquarters here, and it coordinates transportation across all military branches. Around 13,000 people are currently employed here, which includes civilians, active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard, and Reservists. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is also located here and is used by civilians. Throughout the decades since its establishment, the base has been used primarily as flight training grounds during wartime and peacetime, but in the 1920s, it briefly emphasized balloon operations. Current plans for the base include new cybersecurity squadrons that have increased cyber operations.
Naval Station Great Lakes
Under the inspiration of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Naval Station Great Lakes was established in Illinois on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. The training station here was intended to give soldiers solid training on real ships before they ever got to the ocean. Interestingly, a group of sailor-musicians started here and were led as a musical group by the famous John Philip Sousa. Eventually, Sousa became the bandmaster of Great Lakes.
The mission of Naval Station Great Lakes is to provide support for tenant commands by enabling and sustaining fleet, fighter, and family. This station also strives to provide sailors that are skilled, proficient, motivated, and disciplined.
Coast Guard Stations
One Coast Guard station located in Illinois is Station Calumet Harbor. It is the busiest in all of the Coast Guard’s 9th District and has an average of 100 search-and-rescue missions each year. It is also Station Chicago’s parent command.