Former Castle Air Force Base, California [Closed 1995]

Former Castle AFB
The former Castle Air Force Base, located in Atwater, California, is currently known as Castle Commerce Center. Castle was one of 40 former Air Force installations selected for closure under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program; the base closed September 30, 1995.
 
Castle Today
Air Force One at Former Castle AFB. 
Air Force One touched down one more time at former Castle AFB, Calif. as it was retired into the Castle Air Museum.

Since closure, the Air Force Real Property Agency has had tremendous success with environmental remediation and property transfer at Castle. The cleanup is nearly finished. The Air Force has transferred all 2,777 acres to public ownership, where assets such as runways and other infrastructure can be optimized to strengthen the local economy with jobs and commerce.

Most of the property was transferred to the County of Merced, the Local Redevelopment Authority for Castle. The federal government received 649 acres for a federal penitentiary and another 186 acres was sold.

The airport, home to one of the longest runways in the western United States at 11,802 feet, is open 24/7 for general aviation purposes. The county operates the airport as Castle Airport, Aviation Development Center. Aviation-related businesses operating at Castle include Gemini Flight Support and Sierra Academy of Aeronautics.

A total of 1,834 people work at 42 businesses and institutions on the former base. Selected other businesses include Big Creek Lumber; TCW (industrial contractors); Hoffman Securities (electronic security systems such as alarms and video); UC Merced (an administration building); and Maria's Taco Shop. Offices of the Merced County Department of Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development are also located there and the former base hospital is now Bloss Memorial Hospital.

The United States Penitentiary, Atwater is barely visible in the distance from the raised vantage point afforded by one of the former landfills. This high security facility houses about 1,402 male inmates. An adjacent, minimum security satellite facility, known as Atwater Camp, houses 135 male prisoners. The penitentiary and camp provide about 350 federal jobs in security, healthcare, and education, among other categories. 
Recent News and Videos
Apr. 7, 2016
Ecological monitoring no longer needed at Castle

Past Articles:
Air Force dismantles groundwater treatment plant at Castle

Green Businesses Sprouting at Closed Former California Air Force Bases

Air Force completes public transfer of former Castle AFB

Document Review
Final, Five-year review - fourth, five-year review report 
- March 2014 - Size: 8.86MB

Environmental Cleanup: An Unqualified Success
Environmental cleanup site at former Castle 
Environmental cleanup site at former Castle AFB, now Castle Commerce Center.
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