McClellan Air Force Base

Coordinates: 38°40′04″N 121°24′02″W / 38.66778°N 121.40056°W / 38.66778; -121.40056
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McClellan Air Force Base
Sacramento County, California in the United States
The Peacekeeper Gate at McClellan AFB during 1995
McClellan AFB is located in the United States
McClellan AFB
McClellan AFB
McClellan AFB is located in California
McClellan AFB
McClellan AFB
Coordinates38°40′04″N 121°24′02″W / 38.66778°N 121.40056°W / 38.66778; -121.40056
TypeAir Force Base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defense
OperatorUnited States Air Force
WebsiteOfficial website (archived)
Site history
Built1935 (1935) (as Pacific Air Depot)
In use1935 – 2001 (2001)
FateAirfield became Sacramento McClellan Airport and McClellan Business Park. Partially realigned to US Coast Guard as CGAS Sacramento
Garrison information
GarrisonSacramento Air Logistics Center
Airfield information
IdentifiersFAA LID: MCC, WMO: 0724836
Elevation23 metres (75 ft) AMSL

McClellan Air Force Base (1935–2001) is a former United States Air Force base located in the North Highlands area of Sacramento County, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Sacramento, California.[1]


For the vast majority of its operational lifetime, McClellan was a logistics and maintenance facility for a wide variety of military aircraft, equipment and supplies. Initially known as the Pacific Air Depot and Sacramento Air Depot, in 1939 the base was renamed for Major Hezekiah McClellan, a pioneer in arctic aeronautical tests. Born in 1894, he died on 25 May 1936 when his Consolidated P-30 which he was flight testing crashed near Centerville, Ohio.[2]

In 1986, the U.S. Air Force established the McClellan Aviation Museum on what was then McClellan Air Force Base. The museum was later chartered by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The United States Coast Guard previously operated Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento at McClellan AFB as a tenant activity, operating and maintaining several HC-130 Hercules aircraft. CGAS Sacramento continues to operate at McClellan following its closure as an Air Force Base and is the only remaining military aviation unit and installation on the airfield.

An aerial image of McClellan AFB from 2002

In 1993, the base was selected by the Pentagon for closure. At first, McClellan was scratched from a list of bases to be closed, but that decision was faced with allegations that the Clinton administration was playing politics.[3] The base was eventually selected for closure, and there were plans to offset the expected loss of $1.5 billion, and 11,000 jobs, to the California economy. The plan relied on privatization and other investment to offset the economic and employment losses.[4] The base is now McClellan Business Park, a growing business enclave that hosts a diverse mix of companies spread across more than 8 million square feet of space of all types. This former military facility is now home to hundreds of private companies, as well as state, federal and local government agencies.[5]

It is also home to AmeriCorps*NCCC Pacific Region[6]

The Air Force Reserve's 604th Regional Support Group, part of Fourth Air Force, was planned to move to March Air Reserve Base, CA., in July 1997, as a result of various Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) changes.

In 2005, the McClellan Aviation Museum changed its name to the Aerospace Museum of California. Various military aircraft sit on display inside one of the hangars, and many more are outside on the flightline. The museum has displays which highlight the mission of the base when it was active, as well as neighboring bases such as Beale AFB, Travis AFB and the since closed Mather AFB. The museum hosts educational programs to schools in the local area.[7]

In 2015, the Sacramento Bee reported that McClellan Airfield had been designated as a Superfund site, because the Environmental Protection Agency has identified 326 waste areas on the base.[8] Water wells closest to the base in the Rio Linda-Elverta district, have had the highest levels of hexavalent chromium, which is a known carcinogen. Water from six of 11 wells tested above the state’s maximum contaminant levels for chromium-6, which is 10 parts per billion.[9]


  • Pacific Air Depot, 1935 - 1 February 1937
  • Sacramento Air Depot 1 February 1937 - 1 December 1939
  • McClellan Field, 1 December 1939 - 13 January 1948
  • McClellan Air Force Base (dates to be confirmed, closed 2001)
  • McClellan Business Park, 2009–present

Major command assignments[edit]

Environmental contamination[edit]

The McClellan Restoration Advisory Board provides a forum for the local community, regulatory agencies, and Air Force to share information on current and future environmental cleanup programs and reuse at the former base.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "McClellan Air Force Base". United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 2015.
  2. ^ "History". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  3. ^ Pine, Art (1993-03-23). "2 California Bases May Return to Closure List : Defense: Head of review panel cites concerns that McClellan, Presidio were dropped for political reasons". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  4. ^ Pine, Art; Richter, Paul (1995-07-10). "Revised Plan for McClellan Base Sent to Clinton". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  5. ^ "History".
  6. ^ "History".
  7. ^ "About the Aerospace Museum of California". Aerospace Museum of California. Archived from the original on 2006-06-20.
  8. ^ OSRTI, US EPA. "Search Superfund Site Information". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  9. ^ EDWARD ORTIZ (June 21, 2015). "Groundwater search turns up high carcinogen readings near McClellan". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  10. ^ "McClellan Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)". Retrieved 2022-08-04.

External links[edit]