Military base

Military base

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A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations. In general, a military base provides accommodations for one or more units, but it may also be used as a command center
Command center
A command center is any place that is used to provide centralized command for some purpose.While frequently considered to be a military facility, these can be used in many other cases by governments or businesses...

, a training ground
Bivouac
Bivouac may refer to:* Bivouac Peak, a mountain in the Teton Range, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA* A military camp** Bivouac shelter** Bivouac sack, or "bivy sack" or bivy bag, an extremely lightweight alternative to traditional tent systems...

, or a proving ground
Proving ground
A proving ground is the US name for a military installation or reservation where weapons or other military technology are experimented or tested, or where military tactics are tested...

. In most cases, a military base relies on some outside help in order to operate. However, certain complex bases are able to endure by themselves for long periods because they are able to provide food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 and other life support necessities for their inhabitants while under siege.

The word base is first recorded in English language from c.1325, and comes from Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 bas, which is derived from Latin basis "foundation", itself derived from Archaic Greek basis "step, pedestal," from bainein "to step". The military sense of the word only dates from the 1860s. The verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 meaning "to place on a foundation" is from 1841.

Jurisdictional definition



Bases are usually extra-legal jurisdictions not subject to civil law
Civil law (common law)
Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim...

. They can range from small outposts to military cities containing up to 100,000 people. Some military bases may belong to a different nation or state than the territory surrounding it.

Naming


The name used generally refers to the type of military activity that takes place at the base.

A military base may go by any of a number of names, such as the following:
  • airbase, airfield or field
  • air station
  • shipyard
    Shipyard
    Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

     or yard
  • garrison
    Garrison
    Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

  • station
  • post
  • Marine Corps base
  • Naval base
  • dock
  • activity
    DoDAAC
    The Department of Defense Activity Address Code is a six position code that uniquely identifies a unit, activity, or organization that has the authority to requisition and/or receive material...

  • magazine
    Magazine (artillery)
    Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".-Ammunition storage areas:...

  • arsenal
    Arsenal
    An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

  • presidio
    Presidio
    A presidio is a fortified base established by the Spanish in North America between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fortresses were built to protect against pirates, hostile native Americans and enemy colonists. Other presidios were held by Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth...

  • proving ground
    Proving ground
    A proving ground is the US name for a military installation or reservation where weapons or other military technology are experimented or tested, or where military tactics are tested...

  • armory
    Armory (military)
    An armory or armoury is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

  • fort
    Fortification
    Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

  • camp
    Military camp
    A military camp or bivouac is a semi-permanent facility for the lodging of an army. Camps are erected when a military force travels away from a major installation or fort during training or operations, and often have the form of large campsites. In the Roman era the military camp had highly...

  • barracks
    Barracks
    Barracks are specialised buildings for permanent military accommodation; the word may apply to separate housing blocks or to complete complexes. Their main object is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training and esprit de corps. They were sometimes called...

  • casern
    Casern
    In fortification, caserns, also spelled cazern or caserne, are little rooms, lodgments, or apartments, erected between the ramparts, and the houses of fortified towns, or even on the ramparts themselves; to serve as lodgings for the soldiers of the garrison, to ease the garrison, in Portugal and...

  • facility
  • reservation
  • installation (in the generic)
  • joint base

Types of establishment



Depending on the context, the term 'military base' may refer to any establishment (usually permanent) that houses a nation's armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

, or even organized paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 forces such as the Police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, Constabulary
Constabulary
Constabulary may have several definitions.*A civil, non-paramilitary force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in Britain, in which all county police forces once bore the title...

, Militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, or Guards. Alternatively, the term may refer solely to an establishment which is used only by an army
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 (or possibly other land fighting related forces, such as marines) to the exclusion of a base used by either an air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 or a navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. This is consistent with the different meanings of the word 'military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

'.

Some examples of permanent military bases used by the navies
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 and air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

s of the world are the Royal Dockyards
HMNB Portsmouth
Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the British Royal Navy...

 in Portsmouth, UK, the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is a naval air station located in two sections around Oak Harbor, Washington, USA. It was commissioned as an active U.S. Navy installation on 21 September 1942....

, Washington State, USA, or Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe and is also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation...

, Germany (the last two are each designated as a Main Operating Base
Main Operating Base
Main Operating Base is a term used by the United States military defined as "an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces, and with robust sea and/or air access." This term was used to differentiate major strategic overseas military facilities...

). Other examples of non- or semi-permanent military bases include a Forward Operating Base
Forward Operating Base
A forward operating base is any secured forward military position, commonly a military base, that is used to support tactical operations. A FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, or other facilities. The base may be used for an extended period of time. FOBs are traditionally supported...

 (FOB), a Logistics
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 Base (Log base) and a Fire Base
Fire support base
A fire support base is a military encampment designed to provide indirect fire artillery fire support to infantry operating in areas beyond the normal range of direct fire support from their own base camps....

 (FB).

A military base may also contain large concentrations of military supplies in order to support military logistics
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

. Most military bases are restricted to the general public and usually only authorized personnel may enter them (be it military personnel or their relatives and authorized civilian personnel).

Military bases usually provide housing for military personnel, a post office and dining facilities (DFACs). They may also provide support facilities such as fast food restaurants like Burger King, or AAFES snack bar, a gas station, chapels, schools, a hospital or clinic (dental or health clinics), shopping and convenience retail stores such as a Base/Post exchange (BX/PX) or shoppette, beauty salon, and laundromats. Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) provides facilities such as fitness centers, libraries, athletic fields, basketball hoops, child development centers, automotive work shops, hobby/arts and crafts centers, bowling centers, and community activity centers.

In Russian usage "military base" or "naval base" is not limited to denoting a specific fence described facility and usually encompasses a broad territory within which a number of discrete facilities may be located. As an examples, 1) the Russian Sevastopol Naval Base comprises individual facilities located within the city of Sevastopol proper (waterfront moorings, weapons stores, a headquarters compound, and a naval infantry base) as well as an airfield at Kacha north of the city; 2) the Leningrad Naval Base comprises all naval facilities in the greater St. Petersburg area including training schools, commissioning institutes, the naval academy, and the Kronshtadt base on Kotlin island.

Overseas military base



An Overseas military base is a military base that is geographically located outside of the territory of the country whose armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 are the principal occupants of the base.

The overseas military base has, throughout its history of usage (and particularly in peacetime and the host country's period of civil unrest), been a contentious issue of debate, and is often a source of opposition for antimilitarists
Antimilitarism
Antimilitarism is a doctrine commonly found in the anarchist and, more globally, in the socialist movement, which may both be characterized as internationalist movements. It relies heavily on a critical theory of nationalism and imperialism, and was an explicit goal of the First and Second...

 and nationalists
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 in the host country. Such bases may be established by treaties between the governing power in the host country and another country which needs to establish the military base in the host country for various reasons, usually strategic and logistic.

Furthermore, overseas military bases often serve as the source of the military brat
Military brat
A military brat describes people who spend their childhood or adolescence while a parent serve full-time in the armed forces, and can also refer to the unique subculture and lifestyle of American military brats, the term refers to both current and former children of such families.Lifestyle: The...

 subculture due to the children of the bases' occupant military being born or raised in the host country but raised with a remote parental knowledge of the occupant military's home country.

British military bases


In the 18th and 19th Centuries the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 were largely responsible for erecting military bases in the British Isles and the British Empire. In 1792 the Chief Engineer was instructed to prepare the Barrack Construction estimates for Parliament and at the same time the Department of the Barrackmaster-General was established.

During the period from the 1840s through the 1860s barracks were constructed under supervision of the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 in:
  • Bristol
    Bristol
    Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

     (1847)
  • Preston (1848)
  • Tower of London
    Tower of London
    Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

     (1851),
  • Sheerness
    Sheerness
    Sheerness is a town located beside the mouth of the River Medway on the northwest corner of the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent, England. With a population of 12,000 it is the largest town on the island....

     (1854)
  • Sheffield
    Sheffield
    Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

     (1854)
  • Curragh Camp
    Curragh Camp
    The Curragh Camp is an army base and military college located in The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland. It is the main training centre for the Irish Army.- Brief history of the Curragh's military heritage :...

     (1855)
  • Devonport
    Devonport, Devon
    Devonport, formerly named Plymouth Dock or just Dock, is a district of Plymouth in the English county of Devon, although it was, at one time, the more important settlement. It became a county borough in 1889...

     (1856)
  • Chelsea
    Chelsea, London
    Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

     (1861)


The Cardwell Reforms
Cardwell Reforms
The Cardwell Reforms refer to a series of reforms of the British Army undertaken by Secretary of State for War Edward Cardwell between 1868 and 1874.-Background:...

 (1872) ushered in another period of intensive Barrack building at Aldershot
Aldershot
Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland about southwest of London. The town is administered by Rushmoor Borough Council...

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

, Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Woking
Woking
Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, UK. It is part of the Greater London Urban Area and the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of 24 minutes to Waterloo station....

, Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

, Dublin, Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

.

In 1959 the Corps' Work Services was transferred to the civilian War Department Works Organization (later renamed Property Services Agency (PSA)) and by 1965 the (Specialist Teams Royal Engineers (STRE)) were formed to plan and execute Works projects worldwide.

British naval bases are traditionally named, commissioned, and administered as though they were naval ships. For this reason they are sometimes called stone frigate
Stone frigate
Stone frigate is a nickname for a naval establishment on land. The term has its origin in Britain's Royal Navy after its use of Diamond Rock, off Martinique, as a 'sloop of war' to harass the French...

s.

See also

  • Category:Military installations of NATO
  • Lists of military installations
  • Air Force Base
    Air Force Base
    An Air Force Base is a military airbase of any of a number of air forces, such as the United States Air Force or South African Air Force ....


External links