Beale Air Force Base

Beale Air Force Base

Infobox Airport
name = Beale Air Force Base
nativename = Part of Air Combat Command (ACC)

image-width = 250
caption = USGS aerial photo as of 28 July 1999

image2-width = 150
caption2 = FAA airport diagram
type = Military: Air Force Base
owner = United States Air Force
operator =
location = Marysville, California
elevation-f = 113
elevation-m = 34
built = 1942
used = October 1942 - present
commander = Brigadier General Robert P. "Bob" Otto
occupants = 9th Reconnaissance Wing
940th Air Refueling Wing
548th Intelligence Group
7th Space Warning Squadron
372nd Training Squadron Detachment 21
coordinates = coord|39|08|10|N|121|26|11|W|region:US_type:airport
website = []
r1-number = 15/33
r1-length-f = 12,000
r1-length-m = 3,658
r1-surface = Concrete
footnotes = Sources: official site [ [ Beale Air Force Base] , official site] and FAAFAA-airport|ID=BAB|use=PR|own=MA|site=01873.3*A, effective 2007-12-20]

Beale Air Force Base airport codes|BAB|KBAB|BAB is a United States Air Force base near Marysville, California, that was established in 1943. It is also a census-designated place (CDP) with a population of 5,115 as of the 2000 census.

The host wing is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) of the Air Combat Command (ACC), which includes an operations group, a maintenance group, a mission support group and a medical group.

Beale's mission is to produce immediate Battle Space Effects, and uses the U-2 and the RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft and associated support equipment to accomplish this. The wing also operates the T-38 Talon and previously operated the SR-71 Blackbird. The base is also home to the 940th Air Refueling Wing (940 ARW), an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) unit operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and flying the KC-135 Stratotanker. Additionally, the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron, part of the 610th Regional Support Group in the 10th Air Force, conducts RQ-4 training at Beale.


The base is named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822–1893), an American Navy Lieutenant and a Brigadier General in the California Militia who was an explorer and frontiersman in California. In 1940, the "Camp Beale" area consisted of grassland and rolling hills and the 19th century mining town of Spenceville. Then Marysville city officials encouraged the Department of War to establish a military facility in the area. The U.S. government purchased 87,000 acres (352 km²) in 1942 for a training post for the 13th Armored Division, the only unit of its kind to be entirely trained in California. Camp Beale also held training facilities for the 81st and 96th Infantry Division, a 1,000-bed hospital, and a prisoner of war camp. Dredge materials from the area's abandoned gold mines were used to build streets at the Camp.

As a complete training environment, Camp Beale had tank maneuvers, mortar and rifle ranges, a bombardier-navigator training, and chemical warfare classes. During WWII, Camp Beale had 60,000 personnel. It also housed a POW camp for German POWs, and served as the main camp for a series of satellite POW camps around northern California.

In 1948, Camp Beale became Beale Air Force Base, its mission being to train bombardier navigators in radar techniques. Beale AFB established six bombing ranges of 1,200 acres (4.9 km²) each and the U.S. Navy also used Beale for training. From 1951 on, Beale trained Aviation Engineers and ran an Air Base Defense School. These additional activities led to rehabilitation of existing base facilities and construction of rifle, mortar, demolition, and machine gun ranges.

One year later, the installation stopped being used as a bombing range and the U.S. Government declared portions of Camp Beale/Beale AFB as excess, eventually transferring out 60,805 acres (246 km²). On December 21, 1959, 40,592 acres (164 km²) on the eastern side of the Base were sold at auction. An additional 11,213 acres (45 km²) was transferred to the State of California between 1962 and 1964, and now comprise the Spenceville Wildlife and Recreation Area. In 1964-1965, another 9,000 acres (36 km²) were sold at auction. In deeds for the former Camp Beale property, the Federal Government recommended that the property have surface use only. []

Beale is currently home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) and is also considered by many to be one of the show places of the United States Air Force. A base steeped in history, it is in the forefront of the Air Force’s future in high technology. Located in northern California, Beale AFB is about convert|10|mi|km east of the towns of Marysville and Yuba City and about convert|40|mi|km north of Sacramento, the state capital. Beale is a large base in terms of land and has five gates providing access on all sides of the base. Visitors enter the base through a main gate that local merchants, individuals and the Beale Military Liaison Committee donated $100,000 to construct. The base, covering nearly convert|23000|acre|km2, is home for approximately 4,000 military personnel.

Beale Air Force Base spans convert|23000|acre|km2 of rolling hills in northern California. The base's natural resources are as rich as its significant cultural and historical heritage. Native Americans lived on this land; the mortar bowls they carved into the bedrock lie embedded in a shallow stream. German prisoners of war were held captive on the base during World War II; a block of barred prison cells still stands at the base, and the drawings of the POWs remain vivid on the walls of the prison cells. To preserve these and other historic areas, the base proudly maintains 38 Native American sites, 45 homestead sites, and 41 World War II sites.

Although Beale AFB enjoys a wealth of historical significance and natural beauty, the results of poor environmental practices in the past are evident in some places. Rusted 55-gallon drums fill a trench located near Best Slough, a waterway that flows into the Bear River. The trench is found in a riparian preservation area that is hidden away from most base activity. The drums were discovered in 1985, but their exact origin remains unknown, and the environmental damage inflicted by the drums is decades old. Long-emptied, the drums serve as a reminder of the consequences of irresponsible environmental practices on future generations.

Today, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at the base achieves its mission in harmony with historical and environmental preservation efforts. Dozens of cattle graze on base lands because of a successful partnership between Beale AFB and local cattle ranchers, while flocks of wild turkeys abound alongside bushes and streams.

Unlike most Air Force bases, which since the birth of the Air Force in September 1947 have carried the name of famous aviators, Beale AFB honors the man who founded the Army Camel Corps and who was one of California's largest landholders. Camp Beale opened in October 1942 as a training site for the 13th Armored and the 81st and 96th Infantry Divisions. During World War II, Camp Beale’s convert|86000|acre|km2 were home for more than 60,000 soldiers, a prisoner-of-war encampment and a 1000-bed hospital. In 1948, the camp transferred from the Army to the Air Force.

The Air Force conducted bombardier and navigator training at Beale and, in 1951, reactivated the Beale Bombing and Gunnery Range for aviation engineer training. The base has been under several commands including: Air Training Command (ATC), Continental Air Command, Aviation Engineer Force, Strategic Air Command (SAC) and, on 1 June 1992, the newly created Air Combat Command (ACC).

In May 1959, Colonel (later General) Paul K. Carlton assumed command of the recently activated 4126th Strategic Wing. The first two KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft arrived two months later on 7 July 1959. On 18 January 1960, the 31st Bombardment Squadron with its B-52s arrived at Beale to become part of the wing. The 14th Air Division (14 AD) moved to Beale from Travis Air Force Base one week later. On 1 February 1963, SAC redesignated the 4126th as the 456th Strategic Aerospace Wing. That same year, the base and the wing also served as the location for the fictional "Carmody AFB" in the Rock Hudson film, "A Gathering of Eagles", with the Air Force, SAC and the wing providing maximum support to the Universal Studios film crews.

During the 1960s and 1970s, SAC used various of Air Force Bases for dispersal. As part of this effort, the by then-redesignated 456th Bombardment Wing at Beale deployed its Detachment 1 to Hill AFB, Utah. Det 1 was activated 1 January 1973 and discontinued on 1 July 1975. A $2 million dollar alert facility large enough to accommodate seven B-52 and KC-135 aircraft was constructed and the first of four B-52s assigned there arrived on 28 December 1973.

On 15 October 1964, the Department of Defense announced that Beale would be the home of the new, supersonic reconnaissance aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird. The 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (4200 SRW) activated on 1 Janunary 1965 and the new wing received its first aircraft, a T-38 Talon, on 8 July 1965. The first SR-71 did not arrive until 7 January 1966. On 25 June 1966, the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (9 SRW) and its 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (1 SRS) replaced the 4200 SRW as Strategic Air Command's only SR-71 unit.

On 30 September 1975, SAC's 456th Bombardment Wing (456 BW) inactivated and the 17th Bombardment Wing (17 BW) activated in its place. On 30 September 1976, the 17 BW inactivated and its B-52 aircraft distributed to other SAC units. The 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (100 SRW) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, which had been operating the U-2 aircraft, was identified for redesignation as the 100th Air Refueling Wing (100 ARW) and transfer to Beale to fly the KC-135Q. Concurrent with this action the 100th's U-2 aircraft would merge with the 9 SRW and its SR-71 operations at Beale. The first U-2 arrived from Davis-Monthan on 12 July 1976, and until 26 January 1990, when budget restrictions forced the retirement of the SR-71, Beale was the home of two of the world’s most unique aircraft. The 100 ARW remained at Beale until 15 March 1983, when the Air Force inactivated the wing and consolidated its refueling mission and assets into the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. From 1959 until 1965, Beale was support base for three Titan I missile sites near Lincoln, Chico and the Sutter Buttes. On 30 January 1959, the Air Force announced plans to conduct surveys in the vicinity of Beale to determine the feasibility for missile bases. Site investigations, topographic explorations, and surveys were performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District. On 17 September, Col (later Gen) Paul K. Calton, Commander of Beale’s 4126th Strategic Wing, announced that the base would be the fifth Titan I missile installation. Three complexes with three weapons each (3 x 3) were located convert|25|mi|km southwest, convert|37|mi|km west, and convert|71|mi|km northwest of Beale near the respective communities of Lincoln, Live Oak, and Chico. The Army Corps of Engineers also oversaw the construction at Beale AFB of mechanical, pneudraulics, cryogenic, propulsion and liquid oxygen shops to support the nine deployed and one spare missile assigned.

Bids were opened on 12 January 1960 in the Empire Room of Sacramento’s Hotel Senator. Peter Kiewit Sons’ Company won the contract to build the silos after submitting a low bid of approximately $30.2 million. Before the job was completed, some 400 modifications to the original plans boosted construction costs to over $40 million. Construction began on 22 January 1960. More than convert|600000|cuyd|m3 of rock and earth had to be excavated and reused as backfill. By the time the project was completed, each of the three complexes had received convert|32000|cuyd|m3 of concrete, convert|90|mi|km of cables, 300 tons of piping, and 1,800 separate supply items. Supervision of the construction initially fell on the Sacramento District; however, this responsibility was shifted on 1 November 1960 to CEBMCO.

There were six wild-cat work stoppages; only one caused an appreciable delay. In the wake of earlier labor strife at other missile sites, the Federal Government established Missile Site Relations Committees for each project. At Beale this mechanism contributed to successful management-labor relations and allowed construction to forge ahead. In addition to good labor relations, the Beale project enjoyed a good safety record. There was only one accident-related fatality.

The first missile was moved to the 4A complex at Lincoln on 28 February 1962, where workers encountered some difficulty placing the missile in the silo. Follow-on missile installations went smoothly and the last missile was lowered into Chico complex 4C on 20 April 1962.

On 16 May 1964, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara directed the accelerated phaseout of the Atlas and Titan I ICBMs. On 4 January 1965, the first Beale Titan I was taken off alert status and within 3 months the 851st Strategic Missile Squadron was deactivated.

On 1 July 1979, the 7th Missile Warning Squadron (7 MWS) brought a Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) radar site to Beale, a Protection Level 1, 10-story structure that can detect possible attack by land-based and sea-launched ballistic missiles. Located in a cantonment area on the outskirts of Beale, the 7 MWS is now an Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) unit and it primarily uses its PAVE PAWS radar to detect submarine launched ballistic missiles and disintergrating spacecraft and space debris. Mock missile attacks, site emergencies and simulated equipment failures also keep the Canadian and American crew busy. 9th Security Forces Squadron provide security for the PAVE PAWS restriced area.

On 1 September 1991, the 14th Air Division (14 AD) inactivated and the 2nd Air Force (2 AF), with a lineage stretching back to World War II, activated at Beale. Following the disestablishment of Strategic Air Command (SAC), 2 AF inactivated on 1 July 1993 and reactivated at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi as part of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) the same day. The 9 SRW was transferred to the newly established Air Combat Command (ACC) and was redesignated as the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RQW), operating the U-2 and T-38 Talon, while its KC-135Q tanker assets and 350th Air Refueling Squadron (350 ARS) were transferred to the newly established Air Mobility Command (AMC).

In July 1994, the 350 ARS transferred from Beale to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, taking the last of the KC-135Q tankers with it. Tanker aircraft returned to Beale in 1998 when the 940th Air Refueling Wing (940 ARW), an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) unit operationally gained by AMC, transferred to Beale with its KC-135R aircraft following the closure of its former home station, Mather AFB, California due to BRAC 1988 action.

Under the subsequent BRAC 2005, the 940 ARW's KC-135R aircraft were realigned and the last aircraft are currently scheduled to depart Beale by the end of 2008 as the 940th converts to an associate reconnaissance wing mission in partnership with the 9 RW, operating the RQ-4 Global Hawk. [ [ Beale Air Force Base] at]

In early 2008 Beale AFB submitted their application package to be home to the new Air Force Cyber Command, the newest United States Air Force major command whose development was announced by the Secretary of the Air Force on November 2, 2006.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 5,115 people, 1,463 households, and 1,357 families residing in the base. The population density was 195.9/km² (507.5/mi²). There were 1,662 housing units at an average density of 63.7/km² (164.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the base was 71.53% White, 10.73% African American, 1.13% Native American, 5.20% Asian, 0.59% Pacific Islander, 5.08% from other races, and 5.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.20% of the population.

There were 1,463 households out of which 70.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 85.8% were married couples living together, 4.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 7.2% were non-families. 5.0% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.27 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the base the population was spread out with 37.8% under the age of 18, 19.7% from 18 to 24, 40.6% from 25 to 44, 1.8% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 111.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.2 males.

The median income for a household in the base was $33,944, and the median income for a family was $34,667. Males had a median income of $23,581 versus $18,839 for females. The per capita income for the base was $12,096. About 5.7% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Beale AFB is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 3rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Rick Keene. Federally, Beale AFB is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url= | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.

Emerging Politics @ Beale AFB, CA:

As of early 2008, Beale AFB, California, has been placed into contention as one of the possible main military base locations for the new U.S. Air Force CYBER Command.

[References: [] ; "8th Air Force to become new cyber command" @: []

The planned date for phase one of the AFCYBER stand up is Oct. 1, 2008. Upon formal activation, the Air Force Cyberspace Command (AFCYBER) will trace its historical lineage back to the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC).

Re-designation of SAC to AFCYBER resurrects and reconnects within the USAF a historic lineage that began in World War II and a heritage that embodies the Core Values of the Air Force - "Integrity, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do." []

Beale AFB and Camp Beale, CA is deeply steeped in all nature of US histories. Beale AFB's hidden history encompasses: Native American history, California environmental conservation history, California militia history, US Army history, USAF Strategic Air Command history and California's long US National Security history. [] and [] .

Due to its long and storied military and national security history and due to Beale AFB's current base assets and missions, it should comes as no surprise that Beale AFB, CA is now in "political contention" as a possible new home base for SAC's successor AFCYBER Command.

In May 2008, in a second formal "request for hosting and basing location information", the Air Force informed the governors of the several states who are candidates to house the new command asking for specific information regarding existing conditions and infrastructure. [] ; [] .

The survey of sorts addresses the following issues:

* If similar cyber activities such as intelligence and space/satellite operations already operate at the installation.
* The detail of the high-speed network capabilities and capacity for growth (i.e. fiber or cable, secure communications, joint or other Department of Defense networks available, support/maintenance level).
* Proximity to existing high-technology processes or centers.
* If local universities or businesses support an existing cyber-related workforce.
* The level of security available for the mission (i.e., local threat assessment favorable or low? Is encroachment an issue? Would it adversely affect beddown of a headquarters operation?).
* Is there adequate, existing facilities with both secure and un-secure contiguous office space to accommodate both the AFCYBER headquarters and numbered Air Force staff.
* Is there practical and economical accessibility to multiple routes of travel, including air transport (i.e. close to an airport, train, does it have its own runway, major interstates).
* Is the area subject to recurring natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, extensive flooding, fires, blizzards, ice storms, or earthquakes (as indicated by governmentally declared emergencies in the past 10 years) and does the local area have a reasonable disaster preparedness plan in place.

The 18 governors who received letters are from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia

A decision on AFCYBER basing was due to be released on 29 February 2008, but has been delayed until October 2009. These are the list of Air Force bases in competition to host the new Cyber Command headquarters, listed alphabetically by state:

* Maxwell AFB, Alabama
* Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
* Beale AFB, California
* Peterson AFB, Colorado
* Scott AFB, Illinois
* Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
* Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts
* Michigan - several Air National Guard bases
* Keesler AFB, Mississippi
* Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
* Offutt AFB, Nebraska
* Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
* Pennsylvania - several Air National Guard bases
* Lackland AFB, Texas
* Hill AFB, Utah
* Langley AFB, Virginia

[Source of this story:; Search: 23 May 2008]


ee also

*Strategic Air Command


External links

* [ Beale Air Force Base] (official site)
* [ South Yuba County Live Weather and Scanner Feed]

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