March Air Reserve Base is one of the oldest military camps established in the United States, with its history beginnings dating back to 1918. It is located in the southern part of the state, between Moreno Valley and Riverside. During the past century, it was one of the most strategic points on the Western side of the United States in the Cold War. The name was given after Peyton C. March Jr., the chief’s son who was killed in a car crash 2 weeks after he was commissioned. The base was initially named Alessandro Flying Training Field.
The base is one of the first American ones and was raised as an early anticipation of the United States government of joining World War I. The general idea of the US Army was to build a force in the air and this is how the construction plans were approved in 1917. The initial staff was no larger than 4 people. It grew in time and reached a few hundred individuals by March 1st, 1918, when the base was opened. The development plans moved on and as new establishments were raised, the first troops got there in April. The initial objective of the camp was to train and prepare pilots for the upcoming missions. After the war ended, the base went down in a pale shadow.
The attacks of Pearl Harbor were the triggers that brought it back to life in World War II. The Americans quickly found out they needed a more important air force, therefore they reestablished multiple camps in the country, including March Air Reserve Base California. Within a few years, the development plans enlarged the base two times. It was then able to host not less than 75,000 troops. As this war ended too, the camp was again deactivated and functioned in a stand-by mode.
During the Korean War, it hosted multiple aircrafts fighting in the Asian areas. As a matter of fact, 6,500 tons of bombs were dropped by the planes lifting from this base. The Vietnam war was not as active for the troops there. Most operations and objectives were transferred to various camps located in Asia. After the Cold War reached to an end too, the only role this base played was in humanitarian missions in countries like Somalia or Haiti.
There are about 20 units at March Air Reserve Base these days. Most of them are part of the 4th Air Force Units and the 452 AMW Units groups. There are also 17 more brigades and squadrons inhabiting the area as tenant units. As for the high headquarters, you can count the US Air Force, the Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Reserve Command.
The housing system is highly influenced by your role at the base. You might get the chance to purchase a new home for a very low price or rent an expensive one. If you are deployed there for a short time, you will most likely be hosted at one of the designated camps.