With war clouds gathering over the Pacific, the U.S. Congress authorized construction of the Sacramento Air Depot in 1936. The new depot would support air operations on the West Coast, as well as provide a staging area for aircraft and material bound for the Pacific. In 1939, the installation's name changed to McClellan Field in honor of Major Hezekiah McClellan, a pioneer in arctic aeronautical tests. Throughout most of its history, McClellan was one of only four air depots in the U.S. charged with overhauling and repairing military aircraft.
Aircraft flying over McClellan
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World War II
In December 1941, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, P-40 fighters as well as B-26 and B-17 bombers began arriving at McClellan to be armed and prepared for immediate shipment overseas. During this time, most of the military aircraft that headed to the Pacific Theater were prepared at McClellan. 

The Cold War
Throughout the Cold War, McClellan was an installation of the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and later the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) with the overhaul facility being known as the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. During the 1950s and 1960s, the base also hosted the 552d Airborne Early Warning Wing, operating RC-121 and EC-121 Warning Star aircraft. McClellan remained one of four AFMC centers, managing those weapon systems assigned through the depot modernization effort of the late 1960s and early 1970s. With development of technology repair centers in the command, McClellan assumed worldwide responsibility for the maintenance and management of electrical components, communications, electronics systems, fluid drive accessories, and tactical shelters. Employment at McClellan remained high throughout the Cold War and in 1967 peaked at 26,326 military and civilian personnel. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, McClellan functioned as the main depot for overhauling the Air Force's F-111, FB-111 and EF-111 aircraft, as well as the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. It also hosted a tenant WC-135 unit and supported the sophisticated electronic Operation Red Flag at Nellis AFB Nevada. 

Base Closure
After the Cold War ended, McClellan's closure was announced in 1995 by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission as part of the Department of Defense's efforts to downsize, consolidate, and streamline operations. On July 13, 2001 The Air Force officially closed McClellan Air Force Base after 65 years of operation. For its employees and the people in the surrounding communities, the event marked the end of one era and the beginning of another as the former base began its conversion from an active military base to a vital business park.

Contact Info

AFCEC Public Affairs
Western Region Execution Center
3411 Olson Street
McClellan, CA
Phone: (916) 643-1250 Ext. 232

McClellan Environmental
Regulatory Contacts


Local Redevelopment Authority

County of Sacramento
Department of Economic Development

700 H Street, Room 7650
Sacramento, CA
Phone: (916) 874-5220