Located close to Goldsboro, Seymour Johnson AFB is named in the honor of a Goldsboro native pilot – Seymour Johnson. The base is operated by the Air Force and is one of the widest military bases in North Carolina.
The base is spread over 3300 acres. It was built while the United States were preparing for an almost certain entrance in World War II. The base was opened in the spring of 1942 and included the headquarters, a professional and advanced technical school and a technical training command for the Air Force. It took less than a year for the Air Force to realize that one of its military fields was not deeply considered. In 1943, the base was given a new objective and that was preparing and training specialized personnel for multiple missions overseas. By the end of the same year, a new mission was assigned – training cadets for technical officers in the Air Force. Among the “professors” of this school, the 75th Training Wing was the most important one. Now, believe it or not, Seymour Johnson was never part of the Air Force. Instead, he was just a local native who needed a job and joined to test various planes. He died in 1940. A plaque mentioning him can be seen as you enter the base.
When World War II ended, Seymour Johnson AFB lost most of its missions, except for the one that implied training troops, whether they were preparing for the continental operations in America or the European fields. In 1947, due to the low success rate, the base was closed. It took almost a decade for the authorities to reactivate it. Once back on track, it was part of most upcoming wars led by the United States, including the Vietnam War, the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. During Operation Desert Storm, the hosted units were among the first ones to be sent to Kuwait.
These days, the base is better known for the coastal protection by overflying the surrounding areas. It was also involved in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Seymour Johnson AFB currently hosts the 4th Fighter Wing,\ with its subdivisions, such as the medical group, the maintenance group or the operations group. Other than that, it is also the home of the 567th Red Horse. It hosts a couple of reserve units too.
The Air Force has decided to contract the Picerne Military Housing system to deal with the housing at Johnson AFB. There are currently over 4000 homes for old or new employees, as well as their families. The system has a very simple purpose – finding the right home for every troop’s preferences and necessities. For more information and especially if you are about to get there, you need to directly contact the service. Most of the homes are renovated, therefore the system is as complete as the privatized one, only way cheaper and with multiple advantages. Other than that, the temporary guests can opt for hotels or inns.