Military Bases In North Carolina (List of 7)

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

military bases in north carolina

Several military bases in North Carolina have a rich military service history. We’ll answer all your curiosities about the military bases in North Carolina in this article.

Did you know that some of the most notable military installations in the United States are in North Carolina? Those bases are home to our brave service members who serve and defend our country from the highlands to the shore.

How many military bases are there? Where in North Carolina are they located? If you are interested in military bases and their history, continue reading.

List of North Carolina Military Bases

Here’s a map of the military bases in North Carolina:

Air Force Bases

1. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base


  • In use: 1942 – Present
  • Location: 1500 Vermont Garrison St. Bld 3801 4 FSS/FSFR Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
  • Area: 1335-hectare
  • History: A Goldsboro native and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Seymour A. Johnson was recognized with the base’s name “Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.”

He was an aircraft test pilot who tragically passed in a plane crash on March 5, 1941. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was first established as Seymour Johnson Field at the height of WWII.

It was built on June 12, 1942, two miles from Goldsboro, North Carolina, and approved by the United States War Department.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is home to the 4th Fighter Wing and F-15E Strike Eagles for missions.

  • The Mission: The 4th Fighter Wing is the main unit at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and they use F-15E Strike Eagles for their missions.

They have four groups of planes; two are ready to fight anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, 10 planes, called KC-135R Stratotankers, are used for refueling other aircraft in the air.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • 916th Air Refueling Wing
    • 4th Operations Group
    • 4th Maintenance Group
    • 944th Fighter Wing

2. Pope Air Force Base


  • In use: 1919 – Present
  • Location: 1526 Hurst Dr, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • History: Pope Air Force Base was established by the U.S. War Department on March 27, 1919. It is part of Fort Bragg barracks and one of the Air Force’s earliest bases.

The base became named after two great men, 1st Lt. Harley Halbert Pope and Sgt. Walter W. Fleming.

On January 7, 1919, both men died when the plane they were piloting, a JN-4 Jenny, plummeted into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.

In the present day, the Pope Army Airfield teaches special operations soldiers for special missions around the world.

  • Mission: At Pope Army Airfield, it gives the American military airlift and close air support in addition to flying charity operations worldwide.

The 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps of the U.S. Army use Pope AFB constantly for plane service.

In fact, Fort Bragg has airmen stationed there to assist the 82nd Airborne Division with their airborne training.

Aircrews and healthcare professionals are trained in the base to mobilize to Southwest Asia.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • 317th Tactical Airlift Wing
    • 43d Airlift Wing
    • 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing
    • Air Force Special Operations Command

Coast Guard Bases

Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City


  • In use: 1940 – Present
  • Location: Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  • Area: 800 hectares
  • History: Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City began its operations on August 15, 1940. Elizabeth City’s initially intended use was as an aviation base.

From then on, the base is known to have been one of the most significant Coast Guard and Navy locations on the East Coast throughout WWII.

After the war ended, the Coast Guard made Elizabeth City an important headquarters for training and maintenance.

  • Mission: The Coast Guard’s Elizabeth City base is now a boat station, main logistics port, and even caters to a small air patrol base.

The station’s main mission is rescue operations, providing many other airborne patrols.

Including monitoring icebergs in the Atlantic and shipping from the Atlantic coast to the Azores. All of which contribute to the safety of the North Carolina coast.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • Air Station Elizabeth City
    • National Strike Force
    • Small Boat Station Elizabeth City
    • Aviation Technical Training Center

Marine Corps Bases

1. Camp Lejeune


  • In use: 1941 – Present
  • Location: 812 Holcomb Blvd, Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Area: 157,440 acres
  • History: The 1st Marine Division initially developed Camp Lejeune in September 1941 amid a sandy pine forest near the Atlantic coast.

During World War II, the United States Department of the Navy first purchased roughly 110,000 acres of property in 1942 as an infantry training facility on the East Coast.

Today, nearly 150,000 people (including active duty service members, family members, retirees, and civilian employees) live inside and build homes closest to the base.

Camp Lejeune has won the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence seven times, among many other honors.

  • Mission: Camp Lejeune’s purpose is to keep becoming the primary facility where U.S. Marines learn how to battle and be excellent Marines.

Camp Lejeune is considered to be one of the biggest military bases on the East Coast. In fact, it is home to more than 47,000 active-duty soldiers and their families.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • 2nd Marine Division
    • 2nd Marine Logistics Group
    • 22nd Marine Expeditionary Units
    • 24th Marine Expeditionary Units
    • 26th Marine Expeditionary Units

2. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point


  • In use: 1942 – Present
  • Location: 100 Roosevelt Blvd, Havelock, North Carolina
  • History: The Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point base land was first bought on July 9, 1941, with the funding of the U.S. Congress.

Later on May 20, 1942, Cunningham Field was officially named after Lt. Col. Alfred A. Cunningham. He was the first aviator of the Marine Corps.

The former Cunningham Field is known as Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. But it was later changed and named after the nearest post office surrounded by cherry trees.

  • Mission: Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s mission is to provide the U.S. Marine Corps with the best aviation force and facilities.

It supports maintaining the highest possible quality of necessary supplies and morale for the Marines, guaranteeing they are always prepared for any mission.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training
    • 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
    • 2nd Marine Logistics Group
    • 2nd Marine Air Control Group 2B
    • Fleet Readiness Center East

Army Bases

Fort Bragg


  • In use: 1918 – Present
  • Location: Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Area: 284 sq. miles
  • History: Fort Bragg was first established as an artillery training ground in 1918.

During World War I, “Camp Bragg” was a training ground for artillery troops preparing to become front liners in Europe.

The North Carolina army base Fort Bragg was named after a great native of the state, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg. His participation in the Mexican-American War with the U.S. Army was widely known and respected.

Since then, Fort Bragg has been known to be the largest military base in North Carolina. It is the home to the Special Operations Forces and Airborne.

  • Mission: As part of America’s Contingency Corps, Fort Bragg is responsible for training different types of soldiers and readying them for their deployment.

The soldiers at Fort Bragg are expected to be always ready to fight and equipped for deployment locations such as in sea, air, and land missions.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • XVIII Airborne Corps
    • S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team
    • 82nd Airborne Division
    • United States Army Special Operations Command

Navy bases

Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point


  • In use: 1955 – Present
  • Location: 6280 Sunny Point Road, Southport, North Carolina
  • Area: 25 sq. miles
  • History: The Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) was first opened in 1955. MOTSU was one of the most useful naval bases in the country during the wars. It served as an ammunition shipping center on the Atlantic coast. It loaded tons of munitions during the Gulf War and Vietnam War.

Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point has been recognized as the world’s largest ammunition terminal.

From cargo and explosives to DOD ammunition, aircraft bombs, and others, MOTSU imports and exports almost every weapon and military equipment for the U.S. military.

However, its piers and terminals are closed to the general public.

  • Mission: Vital ammunition for the East Coast is stored and distributed at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point. The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command operates it.

The base is also the primary U.S. Department of Defense ammunition port for European, Middle Eastern, and African foreign military operations.

  • Some military units at this base:
    • 596th Transportation Brigade

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Camp Lejeune still open?

Yes, it remains open and in operation to this day. The current population of the base holds around 99,615 people, including active duty members, retirees, their families, and civilians.

What army bases are in North Carolina?

Beside Fort Bragg are two other Army bases stationed in North Carolina. It is the Camp Mackall and Simmons Army Airfield in North Carolina.

How big is Fort Bragg?

Fort Bragg’s land area is around 163,000 acres. Its area is vast, and its size compares to the size of 123 football fields.

Are there military bases near Charlotte NC?

Yes. Situated west of downtown Charlotte, Charlotte Air National Guard Base is a part of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.


Now that you’ve learned more about the military bases in North Carolina, you can visit them and understand their histories.

In addition to their importance to national security, North Carolina’s bases have a major economic influence on the state.

Each military base has its unique story to tell and how it is involved in the war. As the world progresses, military bases also upgrade their facilities.

If you are an active military member or just a civilian fascinated by the army bases’ history, you should check out North Carolina military bases.

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