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Military Presence

The Emerald Coast is home to several notable bases for multiple branches of the Military. On any given day, you may be able to look to the skies and see any number of the amazing planes and helicopters that call this area home including the Blue Angels!

BASES & AIRFIELDS

  • Hurlburt Field

    Hurlburt Field is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command. The 1st Special Operations Wing has a long, distinctive history. Hurlburt Field was originally designated as Auxiliary Field No. 9, one of the original small pilot and gunnery training fields built on the sprawling Eglin Air Force Base complex in the 1940s. The 1st SOW was redesignated the 16th SOW on Oct. 1, 1993, by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, as part of Air Force-wide unit renumbering. The mission of the 16th SOW continued to provide a rapid reaction force for global special operations and to train aircrews to instruct and assist allied forces in all phases of special air operations. On Nov. 16, 2006, the Air Force re-designated the 16th SOW back to the 1st SOW. Hurlburt Field is proud of its history and it stands ready to perform its unique mission “Any Time, Any Place.”
  • Eglin Air Force Base

    Eglin Air Force Base is located southwest of Valparaiso, Florida, and covers 463,128 acres. Eglin AFB was established in 1935 as the Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base. It is named in honor of Lt. Colonel Fredrick I. Eglin (1891–1937), who was killed in a crash of his Northrop A-17 pursuit aircraft. Eglin is the home of the Air Armament Center (AAC) and is one of three product centers in the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Serving as the focal point for all Air Force armaments, the AAC is the center responsible for the development, acquisition, testing, deployment and sustainment of all air-delivered weapons.
  • Naval Air Station Pensacola

    The site now occupied by Naval Air Station Pensacola has a colorful historical background dating back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna founded a colony here on the bluff where Fort Barrancas is now situated. Construction began in April 1826, and the Pensacola Navy Yard became one of the best equipped in the country. Today, the Pensacola Naval Complex in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.
  • Naval Air Station Whiting Field

    Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., is the busiest Naval Air Station in the world, responsible for an estimated 46 percent of the Naval Air Training Command’s total flight time and more than 11 percent of Navy and Marine Corps total flight time. More than 1,200 personnel complete their initial flight training every year. NAS Whiting Field and Training Air Wing Five have an outstanding and unmatched safe flying record. The station has served as a naval aviation training facility since it was established as a naval air auxiliary station in July 1943. Its present mission is to train student naval aviators in the primary and intermediate phases of fixed-wing aviation, and in the advanced phases of helicopter training.

    AIRPLANE ID

    HH-60 Jayhawk

    The Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. It was originally designated HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated in 2007.

    MQ-9 Reaper

    The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, one component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS)) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF). The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the USAF to indicate ground control by humans.

    T-6 Texan II

    The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (Textron Aviation since 2014). A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 replaced the United States Air Force’s Cessna T-37B Tweet and the United States Navy’s T-34C Turbo Mentor during the 2010s.

    UH-60 Blackhawk

    The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility military helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army’s Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972. The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61.

    U-28 Draco (Pilatus PC-12)

    The Pilatus PC-12 is a pressurized, single-engined, turboprop aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Stans, Switzerland since 1991. It was designed as a high-performance utility aircraft that incorporates a large aft cargo door in addition to the main passenger door. Due to its efficient, high-utility design, the PC-12 is used by a large variety of operators.

    F-15 Eagle

    The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing). Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force (USAF) selected McDonnell Douglas’s design in 1969 to meet the service’s need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976.

    CH-47 Chinook

    The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem-rotor helicopter originally developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and now manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Oregon and Washington state.

    F-16 Falcon

    The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is an American single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft with over 4,600 built since 1976.

    F/A-18 Hornet

    The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather supersonic, twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole combat aircraft, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation). Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter’s YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations, and formerly by the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

    A-10 C Thunderbolt II

    The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic attack aircraft developed by Fairchild Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). In service since 1976, it is named for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, but is commonly referred to as the “Warthog” or simply “Hog”. The A-10 was designed to provide close air support (CAS) to friendly ground troops by attacking armored vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces; it is the only production-built aircraft designed solely for CAS to have served with the U.S. Air Force.

    AC-130

    The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance, ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport, fixed-wing aircraft. It carries a wide array of ground-attack weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and fire-control systems. Unlike other modern military fixed-wing aircraft, the AC-130 relies on visual targeting. Since its large profile and low operating altitudes around 7,000 feet (2,100 m) make it an easy target, its close air support missions are usually flown at night.

    F-22 Raptor

    The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is an American single-seat, twin-engine, supersonic all-weather stealth fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). As a product of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program the aircraft was designed as an air superiority fighter, but also incorporates ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence capabilities. The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, built most of the F-22’s airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while program partner Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

    F-35

    The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin is the prime F-35 contractor, with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

    UH-1N Twin Huey

    The Bell UH-1N Twin Huey is a medium military helicopter designed and produced by the American aerospace manufacturer Bell Helicopter. It is a member of the extensive Huey family, the initial version was the CUH-1N Twin Huey (later CH-135 Twin Huey), which was first ordered by the Canadian Forces in 1968.

    CV-22B Osprey

    The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.