The base's primary mission is to support air operations for the Atlantic region and to support United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) missions in South America and Central America.
Homestead Air Reserve Base was commissioned on March 8, 1941. The base's first organized unit was the 5th Air Base Group. Three months after commissioning, the group's strength grew to 1,000 officers and 4,500 enlisted personnel.
The first assigned unit was the 305th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), which arrived on June 15, 1941. The personnel and equipment of the 305 were transferred to the 306th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) and constituted by Third Air Force.
The next unit assigned to Homestead was the Homestead Air Reserve Base which is located in northwest Miami-Dade County. It was initially opened as a full-fledged Air Force base in the early 1940s but converted into an Air Force Reserve base in 1951. It was named for the nearby community of Homestead, which thrives on the sugar cane and fruit industries.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami, Florida. The hurricane ripped through the Homestead Air Reserve Base and caused structural damage to the base. The damage was so severe that it forced the base to decommission the property.
The base was renamed Air Force Reserve base in 1994 and is now home to Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command (AFRHC), the 907th Airlift Wing, 437th Airlift Wing, 482 Fighter Wing, and Headquarters AFRC Test Directorate.
Homestead Air Reserve Base is an essential installation for the United States Air Force Reserve. It is home to a variety of fighter and rescue units. The facility also provides valuable training and readiness support to other Air Force Reserve units throughout Florida.
The base also operates as an essential part of the U.S. military's Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). It provides executive jet aircraft to carry high-ranking leaders and their staff elsewhere in the hemisphere when air transportation is required.
Homestead Air Reserve Base's population is a little more than 2,000. It is a census-designated place and an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The base is nestled in the middle of the Homestead metropolitan area, with a population of about 44,000.
There are many amenities on the base. These include a fitness center, basketball court, bowling alley, golf course, and tennis courts.
Apart from its runway and flight line, Homestead Air Reserve Base offers a limited amount of temporary lodging for those in need. These accommodations are only available to military personnel and their guests and emergency workers, and their families.
Open to visitors
It is open to visitors year-round on Mondays through Fridays only, with a reservation required by calling (786) 415-7058.
The U.S. military provides military tours to Homestead Air Force Base for those who have a government-issued I.D. and have been vetted through a background check process before they can be approved for entrance into this restricted area.
From aircraft and fighter jets to tanks and missiles, visitors can see a variety of aircraft and weapons used by America's armed forces at this base tour location. Visitors will also be able to participate in an interactive exercise that simulates what it might be like if they were deployed overseas.
Things to do and see nearby
Homestead Miami is a great place to visit even if you're not staying for an extended period. You will find plenty of art galleries in Homestead Miami, where local artists can buy art pieces. If you want to know more about art, then this is your chance to learn more about it in person!
There are plenty of natural and outdoor attractions here. Hiking is a popular way to explore the natural beauty of the area. Kayaking, birding, wildlife viewing, backpacking, picnicking, and horseback riding are also popular activities.
The historic downtown district offers an old-time feel with antique shops, cafés, and restaurants lining both sides of the street as you walk through it.
Homestead is also home to Everglades Holiday Park, a one-of-a-kind theme park on 5000 acres of the tropical landscape; we highly recommend this attraction for families with kids!
- From I-95 South, take exit 8A to Ives Dairy Road
- Take a left onto Ives Dairy Road
- Take a right onto S.W. 120th Avenue and then another right onto S.W. 136th Street
- Pass through the gate to enter Homestead ARB
- Military I.D. Cards: (786) 415-7058
- Base Operator: (305) 224-7000
Perhaps this is only a quick overview of this famed airforce base and its missions and attractions. To learn more and pop in the next time, you are in the neighborhood. Talk about fighter jets, armors, airshows and drills, and a history as rich as the diverse operations here—it will be an excursion worth writing home about.