When a government decides that a military base is obsolete, it sometimes tries to update the structure. However, government officials often find it more cost effective to just abandon the outdated base and build a new one elsewhere.
Similarly, if a certain base is no longer needed at all, then once again they simply just abandon it instead of spending the money required to operate and maintain a facility that is no longer required.
Below are five abandoned military bases that can be found across the globe.
Johnston Atoll. This U.S. Navy base is located in the central Pacific, roughly 750 nautical miles west of Hawaii. It started out as a wildlife refuge, but was handed over to the Navy in 1932.
From then on, the bases provided much needed port of call for U.S. Naval ships in the Pacific. It also was the stage for several nuclear tests, and later the facility was used as a dumping ground for nuclear and chemical waste.
In 2003, the site was handed back over to the Fish and Wildlife Department, and is now part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
The Air force base closed in 1967 as part of the military’s attempt to pay for the expenses accrued during the Vietnam War. In recent years, the defunct base was being used as an airplane graveyard where decommissioned planes are stored to be sold or refurbished.
However, by the end of World War II, most of the complex was being used as a University. The entire site was closed in 1998, with the exception of a small corner, which was used for a kindergarten. Nevertheless, most of the site remains abandoned.
The base also consisted of tunnels that ran deep into the mountain. The entire base, along with the entire town of Balaklava, was considered to be classified information by the Soviets. However, the facility was finally decommissioned in 1993 and is currently a museum.
Fuchu Communications Station. Used primarily during the Vietnam and Korean Wars, the Fuchu Communications Station was built shortly after World War II ended. Prior to its abandonment in the 1980’s, the communications station was a vital hub for American troops. So much so, that the base often took in wounded men from Korea and Vietnam.
Since its abandonment, much of the complex has been either refurbished or destroyed. A portion of the old base was refurbished, and now houses the Japan Self-Defense Forces base, and another portion of the old base was converted into a public park. However, much of the original facility remains intact and abandoned.
There is definitely no shortage of abandoned military bases around the world. These structures are ruins of a bygone era that provide a unique glimpse into the world’s military history.
However, much of that history is destined to be lost, since these facilities are often left to crumble and decay.