Hawaii Military Bases
Hawaii became our 50th state in 1959. The Aloha state is a popular vacation destination and a highly desirable place for military service members to be stationed. Below is more information on the military bases in Hawaii and their locations.
Map of Military bases in Hawaii
Fort DeRussy (MWR Resort)
This Army reservation is located in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the Waikiki area. There are actually four military installations named Fort DeRussy, one each in Hawaii, Louisiana, Washington, DC, and Kentucky. This fort was named after Rene DeRussy who served as a general on the Union side during the Civil War while his brother served in the Confederate Army.
Fort DeRussy and other batteries like it were built to defend the coast. During the Vietnam War, the fort was used as a Rest and Recuperation site for soldiers. Fort DeRussy includes three official military facilities: the Fort DeRussy Chapel, the Hale Koa Hotel, and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. The U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii is also located here inside of Battery Randolph and contains an amalgamation of relics and information about Army warfare in the Pacific.
Fort Shafter Army base is located in Honolulu, Hawaii, and opened in 1907, making it the oldest military base on Oahu island. It is a National HIstoric Landmark and hosts the Pacific Region’s Major Command of U.S. Army Forces, the U.S. Army Pacific Command, and the Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division. This base is home to the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, which has defended Hawaii for over 90 years. After Pearl Harbor, this division was immediately deployed to defend the southern and eastern coasts of the island.
Kunia Field Station
In response to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the military realized it needed a station that could operate underground as a bomb-proof base, so Kunia was built. Throughout the major wars since the base’s creation, it has operated as an intelligence site for the Army and the Navy, but ownership of Kunia Field Station changed hands several times. The units located at the base include the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade of the Military Intelligence Corps and the Naval Security Group Activity Hawaii. This base is most famous for the story of Edward Snowden who worked here and ended up revealing classified PRISM surveillance program files.
Pohakuloa Training Area
Pohakuloa Training Area sits on about 133,000 acres on a high plateau between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and it contains Bradshaw Army Airfield. This base was built during WWII and was first used as a live-fire training area for the Marine Corps. At its start, soldiers there slept in tents and almost all of the structures were temporary. The base now contains several firing ranges, a fuel yard, a few police departments, and the airfield, among other facilities. The PTA is the Pacific region’s premier military training area. Because of its realistic training opportunities, foreign ally military forces train here in addition to members of every U.S. branch.
This is an Army installation located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was named after Lieutenant General John McAllister Schofield and was established in 1908. It is home to the 25th Infantry Division, which has received the nicknames “Electric Strawberry” and “Tropic Lightning.” The training areas include several firing ranges, concrete sleeping pads that are covered for field operations, and air assault operation areas that are large enough for takeoffs and landings. Also located on Schofield Barracks ground is the 25th Infantry Division Memorial, which includes 4 statues, each representing a major war: WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and War on Terrorism.
Tripler Army Medical Center
Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) was constructed in response to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, though Tripler Hospital had been built several decades earlier in 1907. It’s the Pacific Basin’s only federal tertiary hospital and is the headquarters of the Pacific Regional Medical Command. It supports over 264,000 military personnel, families, and beneficiaries. The coral pink color of the hospital can be seen anywhere in the Honolulu District and was chosen by General Richardson who used the Royal Hawaiian Hotel as inspiration. The color choice was also influenced by Colonel Robert B. “Woody” Wood whose reasoning was that the building would eventually turn that color because of the surrounding dirt on the island.
Wheeler Army Airfield
Two canvas hangars were constructed in 1922, marking the beginning of the Wheeler Army Airfield. Just a little over a year later, more hangars and a few oil storage tanks were set up, but it wasn’t until 1930 that permanent structures were constructed. Several events of historic aviation took place here, including the first flights from California to Hawaii (1927) and from Hawaii to Australia (1928). It was also used as the destination point for the Dole Air Race (1927) and as Amelia Earhart’s first solo Hawaii-to-Mainland flight (1935). In 1941, Wheeler Army Airfield was the first attack site leading up to Pearl Harbor. It was targeted by the Japanese in order to prevent intervention from the air during the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, not all planes were destroyed and pilots from the airfield still engaged immediately in dogfights with the Japanese.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam
In response to the Base Realignment and Closure Law in 2005, Hickam Air Force Base and Naval Station Pearl Harbor were combined to form the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. All the locations that make up the joint base occupy around 28,000 acres combined. This base supports the Pacific Fleet’s ships and is home to the 15th Wing of the Air Force.
Both bases have rich histories. Pearl Harbor was built in the early 1900s to monitor and promote its interests in the Far East, and the first large warship to enter Pearl Harbor was the USS California. Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, and this marked the beginning of U.S. involvement in WWII. This was an event that broke the hearts of the American people, and it is one of just a few foreign attacks that have ever occurred on U.S. soil since the nation’s beginning. Although this isn’t the only historic event to take place at Pearl Harbor, it is easily the most heart-wrenching.
Hickam Air Force Base was also attacked on that day in 1941. Its planes were targeted to prevent the base’s personnel from opposing the Japanese by air, and 189 people were killed in the bombings. The base also played a major role in the following U.S. wars.
NS Barking Sands
The Barking Sands Missile Range is one of the Navy’s most important facilities. This base holds operations for ships, spaceships, planes, and submarines all at the same time. Although the actual base only sits on about 1,000 acres, it controls about 3,000 kilometers of underwater space and 110,000 kilometers of airspace. The Army took over the land and facilities of the private plane company that operated here in 1940. The base’s first missile testing occurred over a decade later in 1956. The base changed hands in 1964 from the Army to the Navy. The NS Barking Sands also developed and tested the Aegis Defense System, which can intercept and destroy two separate targets simultaneously.
This Marine Corps base is located in Honolulu on the Mokapu Peninsula, which offers almost 3,000 acres of land to operate on. The Marine Aircraft Group 24, 3rd Radio Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and Combat Logistics Battalion 3 are all located here in addition to a few other units. This base has worked on one of the first projects in the U.S. dealing with ocean wave power. The MCB Hawaii has also incorporated other ways to stay “green,” including installing solar water heaters and primarily using hybrid and electric vehicles. In fact, this base installed the first E85 pump in the state. This base also has a tragic history, however. Just 9 minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor, this station was attacked (though it was called Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay at that point).
Coast Guard Stations
There are just 3 coast guard stations in Hawaii, all of which are active and part of the fourteenth district. One each is located in Honolulu, Maui, and Kauai. The station in Honolulu is the headquarters for the fourteenth district. The Area of Responsibility here extends south to American Samoa and west to Wake Island.