The number of US foreign military bases is a variable with rather fuzzy criteria. Independent analysts list the Pentagon’s 865 facilities on all continents - excluding CIA secret prisons, military bases of allied countries, and potential options for deploying personnel, equipment, and equipment in third countries (such as H-4, Jordan’s airbase, provided by the US Air Force during Operation Desert Storm or a transport hub at Ulyanovsk-Vostochny Airport).
Air warfare is the basis of US global hegemony. For the conquest of superiority in the air there are few deadly F-15 Eagle, all-seeing E-3 Sentry and powerful C-5 Galaxi. To deploy aircraft, hundreds of first-class air bases with many kilometers of runways and the corresponding infrastructure are required.
I suggest that readers take a virtual tour of the most famous air bases of the US Air Force outside North America.
Aviation Base Thule - Greenland
The northernmost US air base, located in 1500 kilometers from the North Pole, is a key air defense point during the Cold War. From here, strategic B-52 with thermonuclear bombs on board took off for combat patrols (Operation Chrome Dome), the F-102 Delta Dagger supersonic interceptors were based here, and an early warning radar was installed.
In 1958, in the vicinity of the airbase, a fantastic project “Iceworm” began - the construction of 600 launch missile positions under the Greenland ice sheet. According to the plan, the length of the tunnels was to reach 4000 km; completely autonomous underground base with a nuclear power plant and its own social infrastructure. Like any utopian project, the Iceworm ended in failure - the movement of glaciers irreversibly destroyed the constructed tunnels.
Thule was brought to world fame by another unique event - in the 1968 year, the B-52 with nuclear weapons on board. A strategic bomber fell on the ice of the Gulf of North Star in 11 kilometers from the airfield runway - a blow caused a detonation of the fuses of all four bombs, and the burning fuel melted the multi-meter ice - the radioactive debris went to the bottom. The termination of a monstrous ecological catastrophe began - according to official data, it was possible to find the tritium reservoirs of all the bombs, one practically whole uranium shell and fragments corresponding in weight to two more. The fate of the fourth bomb uranium core remains unknown.
Wreck site B-52G. Visible blackened by soot ice, in the upper part of the picture - 50-meter polynya
Ramstein Air Base - Germany
The famous airbase, designed by French engineers and built using German gratuitous labor from the American occupation zone. Actively operated from 1952 year.
Ramstein is part of Kaiserslautern Military Community, which, in addition to the airbase, includes the largest in Europe Landstuhl military hospital, training grounds, barracks and repositories of the US Army, a small air base Kapaun, a nuclear arsenal, and an underground command center of the joint NATO air defense system. Currently there are more than 50 thousands of US military and civilian specialists and 6 thousand German personnel stationed there.
Ramstein's worldwide fame was brought by the terrible performance of the Italian aerobatic team “Frecce Tricolori” - three aircraft collided in the air at the Flugtag 88 air show. One of the crippled cars at high speed collapsed right into the crowd of spectators, 70 people were killed in a fiery hell, 350 were also seriously injured.
Currently, Ramstein is the key transshipment point of the US Airborne Command, and 16 squadrons of military transport aircraft of the 86 air wing are constantly deployed at the airbase.
In addition, there are three other US air bases on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany: Büchel, Geilenkirchen and Spangdalen. [/ I]
28 August 1988 of the year. After the tragedy in Germany on 3, the ban on airshow was introduced
Mildenhall Air Base - United Kingdom
Old British airfield, built back in the year 1934. In 1950, the Yankees appeared here and the real frenzy began - after assessing the fortunate position of the “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, the US Air Force immediately deployed strategic wing bombers with nuclear weapons, as well as a couple of squadrons of tankers and reconnaissance vehicles on Mildenhall. The sky of Misty Albion boomed from B-52, Stratotanker and SR-71 Black Bird.
Currently, the 100 aircraft wing of the US Air Force air tankers, special operations command aircraft (MC-130 airplanes and MC-53 heavy helicopters), reconnaissance RC-135, and E-4 air command posts (based on the passenger Boeing) are constantly deployed here. -747).
In addition to Mildenhall, there are several other official US Air Force bases in the UK:
- Faaford (location of the strategic bombers B-52);
- Leukenhit (location of F-15E fighter-bombers);
- Alconbury (location of the 501-th combat support wing);
- as well as Crowton, Feltwell, Flyingdales, Minvit Hill, Molesworth and Welford airbases ...
Squadron "Stratotankerov" taxiing to take off
United States Secretary of Defense Air Command at Mildenhall AFB
Cadena Air Base - Japan
The legendary super-airbase on the island of Okinawa is a symbol of the subordinate and humiliated position of Japan. For the Land of the Rising Sun, the Kadena airbase, like an awl in a famous place - for almost 70 years, the debate over its closure has not stopped. Ethno-gangsterism and the atrocities of the American military contingent fuel the fire, after each high-profile case, parents are afraid to let their children go outside, hundreds of thousands of demonstrations are raging under the walls of the airbase, the Japanese government protests and somehow uncertainly, with a trembling voice, calls for the immediate elimination of Cadena.
As if teasing the Japanese, the Americans in response equipped the second Misawa air base in the north of Honshu Island (50 F-16 fighters and several squadrons of the naval base are based here aviation), the third Yokota airbase (tankers and aircraft of the Airmobile Command) and the fourth Futemma airbase for airborne base of the Marine Corps.
On the technical side, Cadena is a first-class airfield with two concrete runways, 3700 meters in length, built in 1945 year using the free labor of occupied Japan. Currently, the 18 Air Wing is constantly based here - the largest and most powerful tactical unit of the US Air Force, armed to the teeth with the F-22 Raptor fighter jets and AWACS E-3 Flying Scenter fighter jets. The main specialization is air combat.
F-22 from Holloman, New Mexico. After the 10 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean
Injirlik Air Base - Turkey
A three-kilometer-long “concrete” Inzhirlik, as an arrow, is visible from afar. A large American base built at the beginning of 1950's became one of the main actors of the Cold War - the close proximity to the borders of the Soviet Union, as well as a good location in relation to Iraq, Syria and the entire Arab-Israeli conflict zone turned Inzhirlik into a priceless treasure USAF.
From here, they made their reconnaissance flights EC-130 and U-2, with the help of their airbase the Americans continuously “monitored” the situation in the Middle East, Injirlik provided the entire northern sector of Operation Storm in the Desert, served as a reference point during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
To date, 3048-meter runway and 57 protected aircraft hangars and armored concrete caponiers have been erected at the Inzhirlik airbase, the 39-e aircraft wing of the US Air Force is constantly based, and the Injirlik is actively used by the Turkish and Royal Air Forces of the United Kingdom.
In addition to the Injirlik airbase, there is a large US naval / air base Izmir and an Ankara military transport terminal in Turkey.
Diego Garcia - Indian Ocean
Not so long ago, the domestic media published an intriguing news on the planned opening of the Russian naval base in the Seychelles. Unfortunately, the press service of the Ministry of Defense immediately refuted this "stupid information." And in vain. After all, the Americans in this paradise of the planet have long been equipped with a cool object - a military base on the Chagos Archipelago in 250 miles south of the Maldives.
In 1965, the United Kingdom, for £ 3 million, bought the paradise island of Diego Garcia from Mauritius, intending to use it as a reference point of its overseas territories in the Indian Ocean. The times were turbulent - one after another, the countries of Africa became independent, the differences between India and Pakistan did not cease for a minute, the navy of the Soviet Union persistently burst into the Indian Ocean ...
It is not surprising that a year later, on the island of Diego Garcia, the Yankees drew themselves. The climate, the white sand and the endless blue ocean were so liked by the American military that they are still sitting there and are not going to leave. The place for the base, as usual, was taken for free - instead of a discount on the purchase of American nuclear weapons, the UK signed a 50-year free lease agreement (+ another 20 years in the form of an additional agreement) - in total, before the 2036 year, the Americans were able to relax for free in one of the most beautiful corners of the earth.
Having concluded a lucrative contract, the Yankees set about quickly turning the island into a real military fort. The entire local population was thrown out of the island under the British. In the middle of the jungle, Diego Garcia was equipped with a concrete strip of 3650 meters long, capable of receiving B-52 and B-1B Lancer strategic bombers, currently building defenses based on B-2 stealth airplanes.
Not bypassed the lagoon - among coral reefs were equipped 20 sites for transports of the Shipping Command.
The Diego Garcia airbase is of particular importance when conducting military operations in the Middle East, a convenient place to base strategic aviation, in addition, with Diego Garcia, control is exercised over maritime communications in the Arabian Sea and throughout the Indian Ocean.
Emergency landing of B-1B on the fuselage
Kandahar Air Base - Afghanistan
The next remarkable object is Kandahar International Airport (Kandahar International), built at the end of 1950. The only civilized place in the middle of the endless stone wastelands of the Registan desert.
2 January 1980 was a Soviet landing force that took control of a strategically important object, and all subsequent 9 years of war Kandahar Airport served as the most important stronghold in southern Afghanistan, where the 40 Army military transport and combat aircraft were based.
In 1990, Kandahar became the main base of the Taliban movements, and in 2001, the Americans came here. During the fighting, the airport was seriously damaged - the restoration of the runway and aerodrome infrastructure lasted six years.
At the moment, Kandahar International, along with the international airport of Kabul and the air bases of Shindad and Bagram, are the main points of deployment of the troops of the International Coalition in Afghanistan. The 451-e Expeditionary Air Wing of the US Air Force, several aviation units of NATO countries and a dozen units of newborn aircraft equipment of the Afghan Air Force are based in Kandahar.
Despite the military presence and millions of anti-personnel mines in the vicinity (Soviet troops, enraged by the constant attacks of the Mujahideen, “planted” all the approaches to the airport with mines-frogs) “Kandahar International is still engaged in civilian activities, flights of nine foreign airlines arrive here from Iran, UAE, USA, Bahrain and even from Azerbaijan (Silk Road carrier)!
UAV MQ-9 Reaper. On the suspension are visible UR Hellfire and a laser-guided bomb.
Manas Air Base - Kyrgyzstan
If the NATO invasion of Afghanistan seemed commonplace (someone triumphed even secretly - the Yankees repeat the mistake of the USSR), then the soldiers in the American uniform at the Manas airbase became a real shock for the Russian public. Never before have the Yankees made their way so deep into Central Asia. What do they want? Where will their next base be?
In 2001, the government of Kyrgyzstan, in exchange for some financial assistance, agreed to provide part of Manas International Airport for the needs of the US Air Force. Having gained access to the Kyrgyz airport, the Americans zealously set to work: they set up new barracks for military personnel, provided the soldiers with international telephone communication and wireless Internet. Built a dining room, brought the library. Manas was almost renamed Ganci Air Base (in honor of the deceased fireman in the September 11 attacks).
After a few years, problems started: in December 2006, an American soldier Zachary Hatfield, "stoned" with drugs, shot Alexander Ivanov (the driver who worked at Manas airport). There was a rumor among the locals that the cause of the death of the gardens in the vicinity of Bishkek was a consequence of the uncontrolled flow of fuel from the landing of the C-17 Globalmaster transports. Under public pressure, the Kyrgyz authorities demanded the withdrawal of American troops. In vain. The Pentagon paid 117 million dollars - and the base still exists today. In order to cut the ear less, it was renamed Manas Transit Center.
By the way, there is an assumption that, in addition to military transport aircraft, Manas airbase has radio intelligence systems capable of listening to radio communications in most of western China and Central Asia and Siberia.
Al Dafra Air Base - United Arab Emirates
The advanced US Air Force base at 250 km off the coast of Iran. From here, TR-1 regularly fly reconnaissance missions (modern versions of the legendary U-2 “Dragon Lady”) - ascending to an altitude of 20 kilometers, they slowly hover along the borders of Iran, tracking all movements on the other side of the Iranian border. The hot air of the Arab East is buzzing with the engines of UAVs and E-3 “Sentry” long-range radar detection aircraft, Al-Dafra airbase is a key hub of the United States intelligence aircraft in this region.
Last year, an F-22 Raptor squadron was deployed here to cover the airbase. Fearing a sudden Iranian raid on the “peacefully sleeping airfield”, the Patriot air defense system is deployed here, and in addition to long-range anti-aircraft missiles, the Phalanx anti-aircraft guns on mobile trailers are guarding the airspace of the base.
Dressed in a spacesuit, the U-2 pilot on takeoff does not see anything but a narrow strip of sky.
Assistants help the pilot from racing behind the car
Assistants help the pilot from racing behind the car
Gary Powers Jr