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List of United States military bases[edit]

Name City/district U.S. state or Country Owning branch IATA/ICAO code Other
Anniston Army Depot Bynum Alabama Army
Fort Rucker Dale County Alabama Army Cairns Army Airfield: OZR
Hanchey Army Heliport: HEY
Lowe Army Heliport: LOR
Redstone Arsenal Huntsville Alabama Army Marshall Space Flight Center: none
Maxwell Air Force Base Montgomery Alabama Air Force MXF
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Anchorage Alaska Joint Elmendorf: EDF
Bryant Army Heliport: FRN
Consists of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson
Kulis Air National Guard Base Anchorage Alaska National Guard Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport: ANC Due to be closed realigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base
Clear Air Force Station Anderson Alaska Air Force PACL
Fort Greely Delta Junction Alaska Army Allen Army Airfield: BIG
Fort Wainwright Fairbanks Alaska Army Ladd Army Airfield: FBK
Naval Special Warfare Cold Weather Detachment Kodiak Kodiak Alaska Navy
Big Mountain Air Force Station Lake and Peninsula Borough Alaska Air Force BMX
Eielson Air Force Base Moose Creek Alaska Air Force EIL
Camp Navajo Bellemont Arizona National Guard
Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range Gila Bend Arizona Air Force Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field: GBN
Luke Air Force Base Glendale Arizona Air Force LUF
Camp Papago Park Phoenix Arizona National Guard
Fort Huachuca Sierra Vista Arizona Army Libby Army Airfield: FHU
Davis–Monthan Air Force Base Tucson Arizona Air Force DMA
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Yuma Arizona Marine KNYL
Shares runway with Yuma International Airport (YUM)
Yuma Proving Ground Yuma Arizona Army Laguna Army Airfield: LGF
Fort Chaffee Fort Smith Arkansas Army Fort Smith Regional Airport: FSM
Little Rock Air Force Base Jacksonville Arkansas Air Force LRF
Beale Air Force Base Marysville California Air Force BAB
Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Imperial & Riverside Counties California Joint none
Presidio of Monterey Monterey California Army
Coast Guard Air Station San Diego San Diego California Coast Guard San Diego International Airport: SAN
Edwards Air Force Base Edwards California Air Force EDW
Los Angeles Air Force Base Los Angeles California Air Force
March Joint Air Reserve Base Riverside California Joint RIV
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Twentynine Palms California Marine Twentynine Palms Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field: KNXP
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar San Diego California Marine NKX
Naval Base Point Loma San Diego California Navy
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Oceanside California Marines Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton: KNFG
Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow Barstow California Marines
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego San Diego California Marines
Naval Air Station Lemoore Lemoore California Navy NLC
Naval Base Coronado Coronado and San Diego County California Navy Consists of NAS North Island, NAB Coronado, NOLF Field Imperial Beach, NALF San Clemente Island, Silver Strand Training Complex, La Posta MWTC, Camp Michael Monsoor/Morena, and Remote Training Site, Warner Springs.
Naval Air Station North Island Coronado California Navy NZY Part of Naval Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado Silver Strand California Navy Part of Naval Base Coronado
Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach Imperial Beach California Navy KNRS Part of Naval Base Coronado
Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island San Clemente Island California Navy KNUC Part of Naval Base Coronado
Silver Strand Training Complex Silver Strand California Navy Part of Naval Base Coronado
La Posta Mountain Warfare Training Facility Campo California Navy Part of Naval Base Coronado
Naval Base San Diego San Diego California Navy
Naval Medical Center San Diego San Diego California Navy
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey California Navy
Navy Broadway Complex San Diego California Navy

List of United States military aviation unit designations[edit]

The following details the naming conventions of aviation units in the United States military.


The basis of the system is similar to the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system, where the mission of a unit, along with a prefix defining other capabilities, is matched with a numberic serial number denoting the individual unit. When shortened to an abbreviation, missions and prefixes are coded with a corresponding letter and the unit's number.

The base unit in military aviation is the squadron, a battalion-sized unit with 6 to 24 aircraft (depending on type and mission). Groups are the next highest, typically being equated as regiment-sized, and made up of at least two squadron, possibly as many as ten; the Navy refers to these units as Carrier air wings. Wings are generally the largest units designated with a specific role, and can be equated to a division, with anwhere from 50-100 aircraft.

The first digit represents the method used to generate lift. Fixed-wing aircraft squadrons are denoted by the letter "V", which comes from the French verb "Voler", meaning "to fly". Rotary wing (helicopter) squadrons use "H." Squadrons flying lighter than air vehicles (balloons) were indicated by the letter "Z" in naval squadron designation.[1]

Marine squadrons are always noted by the second letter "M." The next digit denotes the primary mission of the squadron, usually similar to the basic or modified mission code of its aircraft. The unit may also have a seconday mission digit prefix.

The remaining letter digits denote the primary mission and secondary missions or modifiers. The letter codes correspond to:

Code Meaning
A attack
B Bomber
C Composite
D photography
F Fighter
G Aerial refueler
J Reconnaissance
L Glider
M Minesweeper or Tiltrotor
O Observation
P Maritime patrol
Q Electronic warfare
R Transport (cargo & passenger)
S Scout or Anti-submarine
T Torpedo or Training
U Unmanned
W Early warning
X Experimental

The final digits are the unique unit number, which will not change over the unit's life, even if its mission if modified. Squadron numbering is not linear as some were numbered in ascending order and others took numbers from the wing or the ship to which they were assigned.[2]

Each squadron has a unique two digit tail code painted onto the vertical stabilizer that tends to remain the same for the entire life of the squadron (though it will sometimes change temporarily as a squadron is assigned to a ship).[3][4]

List of designations[edit]


  • HC - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron
  • HM - Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron
  • HS - Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron
  • HSC - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron
  • HSL - Helicopter Anti-Submarine (Light) Squadron
  • HSM - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron
  • HT - Helicopter Training Squadron
  • VA - Attack Squadron
  • VAQ - Electronic Attack Squadron
  • VAW - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
  • VC - Fleet Composite Squadron
  • VF - Fighter Squadron
  • VFA - Strike Fighter Squadron
  • VFC - Fleet Fighter Composite Squadron
  • VP - Patrol Squadron
  • VQ - Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron
  • VR - Fleet Logistics Support Squadron
  • VRC - Fleet Logistics Support Squadron
  • VS - Sea Control Squadron
  • VT - Training Squadron
  • VX - Air Test and Evaluation Squadron

Marine Corps[edit]

From 1920 to 1941, Marine flying squadrons were identified by one digit numbers. This changed on July 1, 1941 when all existing squadrons were redesignated to a three-digit system. The first two numbers were supposed to identify the squadron's parent group, but with the rapid expansion during the war and frequent transfer of squadrons, this system fell apart.[5] Non-flying squadrons generally are abbreviated directly, without use of a code system.

Marine helicopter squadrons are classified primarily by size, because the transport maission is the same for all squadrons (attack units being the exception). "H" denotes "Heavy", the largest size, "M" denotes "Medium", and "L" denotes "Light".

  • HMX - Marine Helicopter Squadron
  • HMH - Marine Heavy Helicoper Squadron
  • HML - Marine Light Helicopter Squadron
  • HMLA - Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron
  • HMLAT - Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron
  • HMM - Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron
  • HMT - Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron
  • HMMT - Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron
  • LAAD Bn - Low-altitude Air Defense Battalion
  • MACS - Marine Air Control Squadron
  • MASS - Marine Air support squadron
  • MALS - Marine Aviation Logisitics Squadron
  • MOTS - Marine Operational Training Squadron
  • MTACS - Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron
  • MWSS - Marine Wing Support Squadron
  • MWCS - Marine Wing Communications Squadron
  • MWHS - Marine Wing Headquarters squadron
  • VMAQ - Marine Electronic Warfare Squadron
  • VMA - Marine Attack Squadron
  • VMAT - Marine Attack Training Squadron
  • VMB - Marine Bombing Squadron
  • VMC - Marine Composite Squadron
  • VMCJ - Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron
  • VMD - Marine Photographic Squadron
  • VMF - Marine Fighter Squadron
  • VMF(N) - Marine Night Fighter Squadron
  • VMFA - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron
  • VMFA(AW) - Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron
  • VMFAT - Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron
  • VMFP - Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
  • VMGR - Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Squadron
  • VMGRT - Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Training Squadron
  • VMJ - Marine Reconnaissance Squadron / Marine Target Towing Detachments
  • VML - Marine Glider Squadron
  • VMM - Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron
  • VMMT - Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron
  • VMO - Marine Observation Squadron
  • VMP - Marine Patrol Squadron
  • VMR - Marine Transport Squadron
  • VMS - Marine Scouting Squadron
  • VMSB - Marine Scout Bombing Squadron
  • VMTB - Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron
  • VMTD - Marine Target Towing Detachment
  • VMU - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron
  • VMX - Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron
  • ZMQ - Marine Barrage Balloon Squadron

Marines organize thier aviation groups based on function:

Marine aircraft wings are not specialized, being a coordinated mix of all available assets. As such, they are typically only abbreviated directly, not based on a code system.


  1. ^ "Bats in Military Service". Bathead. Scott Pedersen. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  2. ^ "World War II Naval Aircraft Squadron Designations". Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  3. ^ tail code search
  4. ^ tail code index
  5. ^ Rottman USMC WWII OOB, p.396-7.

USMC history map[edit]

Mapping battles to File:BlankMap-World gray.svg with Inkscape

  1. American Revolutionary War
    1. Birth of the Marine Corps: Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, November 10, 1775
    2. Battle of Nassau: New Providence, March 3–4, 1776
    3. Battle of Trenton: Trenton, New Jersey, December 26, 1776
    4. Battle of Princeton: Princeton, New Jersey, January 3, 1777
    5. Penobscot Expedition: Castine, Maine, July 24 – August 12, 1779
    6. Battle of Lake Pontchartrain: Lake Pontchartrain, September 10, 1779
  2. Quasi-War
    1. Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor: Puerto Plata (city), May 11, 1800
  3. First Barbary War
    1. Battle of Tripoli Harbor: Tripoli, October, 1803 - September, 1804
    2. Battle of Derne: Darnah, Libya, April 27-May 13, 1805
  4. War of 1812
    1. First Battle of Sacket's Harbor: Sackets Harbor, New York, July 19, 1812
    2. Battle of York: Toronto, April 27, 1813
    3. Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor: Sackets Harbor, New York, May 28–29, 1813
    4. Battle of Bladensburg: Bladensburg, Maryland, 24 August, 1814
    5. Battle of New Orleans: Chalmette, Louisiana, December 23, 1814 - January 26, 1815
  5. Second Seminole War
    1. Battle of Wahoo Swamp: Sumter County, Florida, November 21, 1836
    2. Battle of Hatchee-Lustee: Lake Tohopekaliga, January 1837
  6. Mexican–American War
    1. Battle of Monterey: Monterey, California, July 7, 1846
    2. Siege of Los Angeles: Los Angeles, August 13 - September 30, 1846
    3. Battle of Dominguez Rancho: Dominguez Hills, October 8-9, 1846
    4. Battle of San Pasqual: San Pasqual Valley, San Diego, California, December 6, 1846
    5. Battle of Rio San Gabriel: Montebello, California & Pico Rivera, California, January 8, 1847
    6. Battle of La Mesa: Vernon, California, January 9, 1847
    7. Siege of Veracruz: Veracruz, Veracruz, March 9–29, 1847
    8. First Battle of Tuxpan: Tuxpan, Veracruz, April 18, 1847
    9. Second Battle of Tuxpan: Tuxpan, Veracruz, June, 1847
    10. Second Battle of Tabasco: Villahermosa, June 15-16, 1847
    11. Third Battle of Tuxpan: Tuxpan, Veracruz, June 30, 1847
    12. Battle for Mexico City: Mexico City, September 8–15, 1847
    13. Battle of Chapultepec: Chapultepec Castle, September 12-13, 1847
    14. Battle of Mulege: Mulegé, October 1, 1847
    15. Battle of La Paz: La Paz, Baja California Sur, November 16-17, 1847
    16. Battle of San José del Cabo: San José del Cabo, November 20-21, 1847
    17. Siege of La Paz: La Paz, Baja California Sur, November 27 - December 8, 1847
    18. Siege of San José del Cabo: San José del Cabo, January 22 – February 14, 1848
  7. American Civil War
    1. John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry: Harpers Ferry Armory, October 17-18, 1959
    2. First Battle of Bull Run: Manassas, Virginia, July 21, 1861
    3. Battle of Drewry's Bluff: Drewry’s Bluff, May 15, 1862
    4. Second Battle of Fort Sumter: Fort Sumter, September 9, 1863
    5. Battle of Honey Hill: Jasper County, South Carolina, November 30, 1864
    6. Second Battle of Fort Fisher: Fort Fisher, January 13–15, 1865
    7. Battle of Sayler's Creek: Petersburg, Virginia, April 6, 1865
    8. Union blockade: 1861 to 1865
  8. Spanish–American War
    1. Battle of Cienfuegos: Cienfuegos, May 11, 1898
    2. 1898 invasion of Guantánamo Bay: Guantánamo Bay, June 6 – June 10, 1898
    3. Puerto Rican Campaign: Puerto Rico, May 8 – August 13, 1898
    4. Siege of Baler: Baler, Aurora, July 1, 1898 – June 2, 1899
    5. Battle of Manila Bay (1898): Cavite, May 2, 1898
    6. Capture of Guam: Guam, June 20-21, 1898
    7. Philippine–American War: Philippines, June 2, 1899 - July 4, 1902
  9. Other 19th century
    1. Spanish pirates: Cumberland Island in May 1811, Fernandina Beach, Florida from 18 March 1812 - May 1813
    2. Amelia Island Affair: Amelia Island, December 23, 1817
    3. West Indian pirates: Fernandina Beach, Florida from 1817 to 1821, Key West in 1823, Pensacola, Florida in 1825
    4. First Sumatran Expedition: Quallah Battoo Sumatra, February 6–9, 1832
    5. Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan: Edo on July 8, 1853, Yokosuka, Kanagawa on July 14, 1853, Ryukyu Islands and Bonin Islands in late 1953, Edo on February 1854
    6. Battle of the Pearl River Forts: Canton, November 16–24, 1856
    7. United States expedition to Korea: Ganghwa Island, June 10–11, 1871
    8. Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii: Honolulu, January 17, 1893
    9. Samoan Civil War: Samoan Islands, 1899
  10. Pre-WWI
    1. Panamanian independance: Panama, November, 1903
    2. Boxer Rebellion: China, 1899–1901
      1. Battle of Tientsin: Tianjin, July 13-14, 1900
      2. Battle of Peking: Peking, June 20 - August 15, 1900
    3. Banana Wars
      1. Cuban Occupation: Cuba, January 1899-1902, 1906-1909, 1912, and 1917-1922
      2. United States occupation of Nicaragua: Nicaragua, 1912-1933
      3. United States occupation of Veracruz: Veracruz, Veracruz, April 21 - November 23, 1914
      4. 1916 United States occupation of the Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic, 1916 - 1924
      5. United States occupation of Haiti: Haiti, 28 July, 1915 - 1 August, 1934
  11. World War I
    1. Battle of Belleau Wood: Château-Thierry, June 1–26, 1918
    2. Battle of Château-Thierry (1918): Château-Thierry, July 18, 1918
    3. Battle of Soissons (1918): Soissons, July 18–22, 1918
    4. Battle of Saint-Mihiel: Saint-Mihiel, September 12-15, 1918
    5. American Expeditionary Force Siberia: Vladivostok, June 1918 - June 1920
    6. Russian Occupation: Russky Island, 16 February, 1920 - 19 November, 1922
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