Map of Military Bases in Nebraska
Camp Ashland is an Army National Guard station. U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and Active Component soldiers conduct training here year round. This facility is also home to the 209th Regional Training Institute. It’s located about 30 miles west of Omaha. Annual training for the Army National Guard is divided into three phases and phase II takes place at Camp Ashland. Here the soldiers receive classroom instruction in addition to exercises for field training in field artillery, military intelligence, engineering, tactics, and leadership.
There is also an interesting competition held here called the Guard’s Best Warrior competition which helps the soldiers get motivated for training. Whoever performs best in practical evaluations gets to move on to the state level.
Offutt Air Force Base
This base has actually played several very important roles in the history of the U.S, military. When it was first constructed in about 1894, the fort (first named Fort Crook) was used as a dispatch center for Indian conflicts. Troops from this site also fought in the Spanish-American War, but only a little more than a fourth of the troops from that regiment survived. Part of Fort Crook’s original structure still stands today and is used as the oldest operating jail in Nebraska.
During WWI, around 260 acres of land was prepared and used as an airfield for takeoffs, landings, and as a station for refueling mail planes. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, the airfield was used frequently as a flight training location and as a mail flight area for the Post Office Department. Shortly after WWII, the Air Defense Command Second Air Force established their headquarters here.
The Offutt base has played many more important roles such as becoming the new headquarters of the Strategic Air Command (later succeeded by the U.S. Strategic Command) and hosting a conference by President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks. In fact, Offutt AFB built the first two bombers to drop atomic bombs in WWII. The base has also been represented several times in popular culture.