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43 Responses

  1. Jill Methley-Robinson
    Jill Methley-Robinson at |

    My mother worked in an “American Outpost” in World War 2 in the UK possibly in Scotland? Does anyone have any knowledge of it or suggestions as to where I can try. Thank you
    Jill Methley

    Reply
  2. carpetbeetle
    carpetbeetle at |

    Shemya Island has winds, at times, well over 100 mph, even up to 140 when I was there in 1959. It’s winter time temps are at, or around 32. It does snow on Shemya contrary to the average temperature you give it. The base was originally built during WWII in late 1943 and 1944, and held as many as 12,000 troops. Originally intended to be a B29 base for bombing norther Japan. When it was repopulated for watching the Soviet Union missile launching bases in 1958/1959, it may have had as many people on as 200-300. For years it was simply a ghost town of empty buildings.

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    1. Al Roberts
      Al Roberts at |

      That’s our Shemya, kinda surprised “The Black Pearl of the Northern Pacific’ made your list, but seriously there isn’t a McDonald’s within 400 miles.

      Reply
  3. Cale C.
    Cale C. at |

    til it was closed (I was there) GALENA AB in AK was pretty remote too….could only reach it by air or barge….330+/- airmen to support 2 F-15 interceptors 🙂

    Reply
    1. Shell Harris
      Shell Harris at |

      Thanks for sharing, I imagine that was something you won’t forget.

      Reply
  4. Xyvoln
    Xyvoln at |

    Obama is no badass – he’s a liberal and was never in the military. He didn’t take down bin Laden – SEAL Team 6 did. Let’s give credit where credit is due – to the brave patriots that deserve it, not to the Comrade Premier.

    Reply
    1. Dennis
      Dennis at |

      Xyvoln

      I agree 100%.

      Reply
  5. Ciel
    Ciel at |

    Don’t really think number 7 belongs on the list. Kunsan is anything but remote. Its less than 100 miles, about an hour and a half, away from the SECOND MOST urban and populated city in the WORLD. And its only 80 miles from the US Army base in leechon and and the farthest US base on this peninsula is the US Naval base in Pusan which is about a 100 miles away. Nothing in Korea can even be labeled remote… Japans is right across the pond for Christ sakes, not to mention the US Bases in Japan. and Kunsan is very easy to get to. We’re just over there to keep the NK commies in check and it is the most forward Air Base of the US to deal with Chinese aggressions. Our bases in Taiwan could be labeled as the most forward and closest to China but the Taiwanese base is more for defense while Kunsan is our base to crush everything in case stuff escalates with support from bases in Japan.

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  6. Jim
    Jim at |

    Korengal… bad place, that one! I wasn’t too far away up in Kunar… RC East is no joke!

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  7. Grizz
    Grizz at |

    So “Diego Garcia” is an awesome name? Oh, okay…

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  8. Gracie
    Gracie at |

    OK, a few factoids about backofbeyond bases. First, guys? Gals get sent too. Some of the AF bases, like Wake, Thule, Shemya, are tagged remote tours, 12 month stay. Can do that standing on your head. Spousal unit served at Kunsan and Andersen. He says wasn’t that bad. The real hell holes are the stateside bases where you don’t serve a life time; it just seems that way. If you want to make a Zoomer turn Army green, just say Why Not Minot. I don’t know if it’s still active, but Mt Home AFB Idaho, situated in the middle of the only desert in the state, was another kiss of death.

    Reply
  9. Dennis
    Dennis at |

    You left out beautiful Johnston Island where the fish have 3 eyes and glow green due to the nuclear weapons testing in 1962.

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  10. scr_north
    scr_north at |

    HI folks. Wake Island fell to the the Jpanese on December 23rd, 1941 so there was no need for a “surprise attack by the Japanese in 1943”. I think what you may be referring to is the slaughter of US POW’s on the island after an American air attack on the island on October 5th, 1943. Good article though. The top ten Secret Bases may be interesting, at least the secret ones we know about that is.

    Reply
  11. Entertainer
    Entertainer at |

    I agree with the first post in the feed; Kwajalien belongs on this list. I travelled there ,to Anderson,to Kunsan, as well as many other bases in Japan/South Korea, etc. with the USO to entetain the troops.

    Kwajalien was incredible. A bizarre community of American citizens isolated from the mainland. They talked gossup like little school girls about eachother, and they all liked to party like Kwaj was a jimmie buffet concert. But Whenever you asked them what they did for a living they said “we look at space” and “we’d have to kill you, lol” (which they would say facetiously). Incrediblely nice people, but really strange culuture. Some weird stuff happens on that island.

    Reply
  12. Levothred
    Levothred at |

    Though not active now, my cousin was a civilian air traffic controller on the Johnston Atoll Airport which she described as little more than a “dirt aircraft carrier” . It was so remote that although there was amenities on the atoll, part of benefits of staying there was the ability to go to hawaii, expenses paid.

    Reply
  13. Turk
    Turk at |

    Sounds like no matter how remote the base is, you can still find a McDonalds within a couple hundred miles of it :). Is there some sort of greasy conspiracy in the works? Before you know it we will all have red nose, oversized clown shoe secret police people kickin in our doors shipping us off to french-fry sweet shops screamin HEIL RONALD.

    Reply
  14. SeanP
    SeanP at |

    Not really remote geographically speaking but it may as well be, since you can’t leave the base, is Guantanamo Bay. I was sent there twice on TAD assignments (luckily for only two weeks at a time) in the early to mid 90’s. There is really not a whole lot to do there except work, tan and drink while watching the huge iguanas and banana rats (but hey, they did have a McDonalds on the windward side). I couldn’t imagine being stationed there on a permanent billet.

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  15. Wombat
    Wombat at |

    Nothing of what is written here about Pine Gap is even vaguely correct! Pine Gap was opened in 1970 as a joint US/Australia missle tracking station, part of the world wide ECHELON signals intelligence gathering network. It does not have a runway or any facilities for aircraft of any description, also it’s about 18km (11m) from Alice Springs a town of 30,000 people, so why is it on this list is anybody’e guess. Try some research next time!

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    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      I don’t see the errors you are seeing.

      As for why its on this list, possibly this reason, “As published in ERSA by CASA, the airspace around Pine Gap is the only area in Australia designated as “prohibited”, which prohibits entering and overflying the airspace up to a height of Flight Level 180 (approximately 18,000 ft or 5,500 m).”

      Here is a Pine Gap video with lots of conspiracy theories:

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      1. Wombat
        Wombat at |

        I don’t know what conspiracy theories has to do with anything, but Pine Gap is not a solely owned and operated U.S. base like the others shown here and from the introductory paragraph ” But sometimes you find these bases on tiny islands that can’t be seen, even when you zoom in entirely on Google Maps and have no civilization for miles around. Why they put bases is there is a mystery. Here are ten of the most remote military bases”, Alice Springs is less that 20km away. Go to Google maps, check it out.

        Reply
    2. terence munroTerence Munro
      terence munroTerence Munro at |

      Thats not entirely true or fair. Pine Gap is remote I myself am quite familiar with the area and because it is close toAlice does not make it less so. Furthermore Pine Gap is to all intents and purpose an AMerican base run nearly solely by Americans . This was a bone of contention during the early seventies when Whitlam threated to have it closed down due shared info being reduced to a trickle.
      This would have meant a blind spot in America’s missile defence network and so could not be tolerated. It has always been controversial and remains so till this day.

      Reply
  16. James
    James at |

    does the author know the difference between length and width? (#10)

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    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Apparently not. Sorry for this mistake. Can we all just agree this list was very interesting, but had way to many typos?

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      1. Gabe
        Gabe at |

        too* – In the spirit of things I just had to.

        Reply
        1. TopTenz Master
          TopTenz Master at |

          It is so much easier to kick me when I’m down. 😉 And in the spirit of of a good jest I will not even delete this comment.

          Reply
  17. al-Mundane
    al-Mundane at |

    Did we have a secret space shuttle named “Orbiter” that nobody’s ever heard about?

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    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Egads, it keeps getting worse. Fixed.

      Reply
  18. Randal
    Randal at |

    Nice list – it’s amazing just how many remote places you can plop down a military base when the need arises.

    Had a few chuckles, too. For Anderson AFB, did you mean “Space Shuttle Orbiter” (no italics)? I don’t recall a shuttle by the name “Orbiter”; was Anderson just an emergency strip? Also, you wrote “5-13-43” in the Wake Island entry when the attached picture shows “5-10-43”. Sorry for the nitpicks!

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Fixed the Space Shuttle error and they 13 typo. Thanks for keeping us in order. We hope toptenz.net is not cast to such nether regions for our author’s mistakes.

      Reply
  19. Bob
    Bob at |

    Hate to go all pedantic on you (not really, this is one of my bugbears), but they’re venomous, not poisonous.

    I just hate seeing nicely crafted posts with things like that in the middle of them.

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    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Thanks for the correction. We had a lot on this list.

      Reply
  20. xspook
    xspook at |

    I was stationed on 2 of these. What was surprising to me was the Navy had me complete overseas screening to get stationed in Winter Harbor, Maine.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      I would like to submit 3 punch lines for you comment, but first I want to thank you for your service to our country. In all seriousness: Thank you for helping to keep this great nation safe.

      The top 3 things that could have prevented you from being shipped off to the middle of nowhere:
      1. Perhaps some Altoids were in need.
      2. Quit dating the daughters of Generals
      3. Never invite the President to pull your finger.

      Hmmm…those were funnier in my head.

      Thank you for coming, please tip your waiters, people.

      Reply
    2. Ken
      Ken at |

      I had to be overseas screened to be stationed at NAS Fallon Nevada.

      Reply
  21. Peter Boucher
    Peter Boucher at |

    Bouvet Island !!

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  22. nogod
    nogod at |

    why did you write “why they put bases there is a mystery” and then write in each entry in the list an explanation for why the bases are there and what they are used for? very strange.

    Reply
  23. Gregory Lawhorn
    Gregory Lawhorn at |

    Regarding Wake Island, it’s true that it’s “off the coast of Honolulu.” About 2,300 miles off the coast. Which is like saying that Iceland is off the coast of Norway, and Florida is down the street from Los Angeles.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Thanks, Gregory. We have made the correction. I loved your analogy too.

      Reply
  24. Bob R
    Bob R at |

    40 years ago, I was stationed at Fort Greely, Alaska. I’m not saying it belongs on this list, but it was pretty isolated. To get to the nearest McDonald’s, you went out the main gate (well, there was only one gate) and turned right. Then you stayed on that road until you hit your first traffic light and turned left. McDonald’s was 3 miles down on the right. Total distance: about 110 miles.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Hi, Bob. Thanks for the addition to the list. You must have had one major craving for a Big Mac to make that trip. 😉

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Greely,_Alaska

      Reply
  25. Jessy
    Jessy at |

    Even though I was born and raised in Australia, I had no idea about no. 5 =p

    Reply
    1. terence munroTerence Munro
      terence munroTerence Munro at |

      Dont know where in Australia you’re from but Pine Gap is the most contreversial base in Oz. It was threatened with closure during the Whitlam years but after he was kicked out of office the Liberals renegotiated with their American masters and maintained the status quo.

      Reply
  26. Kristina
    Kristina at |

    What about kwadajlin (sp) atoll in the Marshall islands?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwajalein_Atoll

    Reply

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