|Location: Homestead, Florida
Total Acreage: 2,938 Acres
Closed: March 1994
The predecessor to the former Homestead AFB was Homestead Army Air Field, which was activated in September 1942. Initially, Homestead Army Air Field served as a staging facility for the Army Transport Command, which was responsible for maintaining and dispatching aircraft to overseas locations. In 1943, the field mission was changed when the Second Operation Training Unit was activated to train transport pilots and crews.
In September 1945 the airfield was hit by a severe hurricane resulting in extensive damage. The cost of rebuilding and the anticipated post-war reductions-in-force led to the base being placed on an inactive list in October 1945. In 1953, the federal government re-acquired the Homestead facility along with some surrounding property and rebuilt it as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base.
On Aug. 30, 1990, former Homestead AFB was placed on the National Priorities List, which brought it under the federal facility provisions of Section 120 of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. On Aug. 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck south Miami-Dade County,with 175-mph wind gusts, generating a 13-foot storm surge in Biscayne Bay. As a result of the destruction, former Homestead AFB was recommended for realignment by the U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1993. One-third was transferred to Air Force Reserve Command to accommodate the 482nd Fighter Wing.
All property was transferred prior to preparation of the 2006 BRAC Master Plan. The remaining environmental requirements were included in a regional Performance-Based Remediation contract.
The area is home to two national parks, Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park. Biscayne National Park, located seven miles from the base, is unique among American parks because 95 percent of it is underwater. The park consists of approximately 172,971 acres of prime marine habitat, including the beginnings of the long coral reef that flanks the Florida Keys for 200 miles. Everglades National Park covers 1,509,000 acres and comprises the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.