Bases, U.S.

Military bases are the foundation of the national defense infrastructure, serving as centers of housing, operational training, and logistical coordination. Defense installations have always been a part of the American military experience, ranging from small outposts guarding against Native American raids on the national frontier, to harbor forts protecting strategic ports, to the 21st-century military communication centers facilitating operations on a global scale. While serving a variety of functions over the span of American history, these facilities are the geographic embodiment of the power of the American military. These installations also wielded considerable influence on nearby civilian communities. Military bases often serve as sites of economic stimulus, social upheaval, environmental change, and demographic growth. During the late 20th century, issues surrounding the nation’s domestic military ...

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