Do Foreign Countries Have Military Bases in the United States?

An F35 fighter aircraft at Luke Air Force Base. (Photo by Dirk Waem/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images)

A viral video with more than 17,000 likes on Instagram claims that eight foreign nations maintain military bases on U.S. territory. “We all know that the United States has military bases all over the world, right? But which countries have their bases on American soil?” the video asks. “Germany has a base in Virginia. Italy maintains a training base in Texas. The Netherlands has one in Arizona. Singapore operates a base in Idaho. The United Kingdom has four bases located in Nevada, California, Georgia and South Carolina.”

The video is misleading: The U.S. is not home to any independent foreign military bases. However, some U.S. military bases host detachments of foreign militaries, and many are used to train foreign military personnel—predominantly pilots.

One of the most prominent locations for foreign military training is Texas’ Sheppard Air Force Base, which hosts the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT). First opened in 1981, the ENJJPT program provides pilot training for 14 NATO member nations, such as Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey, with the goal of improving the standardization and interoperability of the treaty organization’s air forces. Upon graduation from the program’s 55-week course, pilots undergo country-specific training in either their home countries or at other bases in the U.S.

Dutch pilots, for example, trained specifically on the F-16 fighter aircraft for more than three decades at Morris Air National Guard Base in Arizona, and now utilize Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base to train on the newer F-35 aircraft. Similarly, the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) XVII Test and Evaluation Squadron, which was established to help bring F-35 aircraft into service, is based at Edwards Air Force Base in California. British forces also train at California’s Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Liggett, and the RAF’s No. 39 Squadron—which operated the RAF’s unmanned aircraft program—was based out of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada until July 2022, when it was disbanded.

A number of non-NATO allies also train pilots in the U.S. Singaporean airmen are stationed at Idaho’s Mountain Home Air Force Base as part of the 428th Fighter Squadron, an integrated training unit. Under the Peace Carvin V program, Singaporean pilots train and qualify on the F-15 fighter aircraft at the base alongside their American counterparts.

Unlike most other foreign nations, the German military does maintain a permanent presence in the country, though not in a combat capacity. The German Armed Forces Command, located in Reston, Virginia, serves as the administrative and logistical hub for all German military activity in the U.S. and Canada, such as coordinating pilot training and running Germany’s Liaison Office for Defense Materiel USA/Canada. “The facilities in Reston support the German soldiers based or deployed (e.g. training) in the U.S. (about 1000),” a spokesperson for the German embassy told The Dispatch Fact Check in an email.

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