Beale Air Force Base, Marysville
Beale Air Force base is spread over 23,000 acres and is home to 11K3 9th Reconnaissance Wing, the U.S. Air Force group responsible for In^h-altitude reconnaissance flights. All remaining operational U-2 .|>y planes are based here (even though such planes may be temporarily based outside the United States for various missions). It was also Iho last operational base for the U-2’s successor, the SR-71 Blackbird, milil the SR-71 was retired in the mid-1990s due to cost and the fact lli.il many SR-71 missions could be handled by unmanned drone air-‘ i.ill, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Drones have the advantage of hi’ing able to hover over an area for days at a time (manned craft such I. the U-2 merely overfly an area once on a mission) and there is no n\k of a pilot being killed or captured if the drone is shot down or suf-lir. mechanical failure.
Marysville Map Photo Gallery
What’s There: Unfortunately, Beale just doesn’t look that exciting from I ho outside. There is a control tower, several aircraft hangars, numer. other support buildings, and other structures normally associated
Beale Air Force Base with an Air Force base. There is a long runway, and maybe your best chance to see something secret in progress is when a U-2 takes off on a reconnaissance mission.
Key Facilities: I nside a large pyramidal structure is a phased array warning systems radar known as PAVE-PAWS. This system keeps track of airborne and space-borne objects approaching North America from the Pacific Ocean.
Getting a Look Inside: Group tours may be arranged on weekdays through the base public affairs office; individual visitors are discouraged. Information on each member of the tour group must be furnished and all visitors are subject to background checks.
Unusual Fact: Beale is named for the founder of the U.S. Army’s Camel Corps, Lieutenant Edward Beale.
Getting There: Beale is located approximately 40 miles north of Sacramento. From Interstate 5, take Highway 70/99 north until it splits and then continue on Highway 70 toward Marysville until you see the exit for Beale Air Force base.
Roads to Beale Air Force Base.