With the deepest harbor in the south Atlantic and a strategic East Coast location, Charleston has benefited from a significant military presence since its founding in 1670. The Charleston region is home to Joint Base Charleston, one of twelve joint facilities operated by the Department of Defense; the U.S. Space & Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SPAWAR), one of the Navy’s only two cyber mission engineering centers; and nearly all U.S. Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Homeland Security agencies.



$10.8 billion

annual economic impact


active duty, civilian and contract civilian personnel


military retirees

Source: University of South Carolina (2017 study)



Joint Base Charleston

Joint Base Charleston

Air Base and Weapons Station is a logistics, transportation, training, and engineering hub comprised of 20,000 non-contiguous acres and 34 miles of active rail. As the largest C-17 air base on the East Coast, the base's 53+ tenants include U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, and other DoD missions - all working together.

The 628th Air Base Wing provides installation support and expeditionary Airmen to combatant commanders and 60+ federal agencies in support of combined operations. The 841st Transportation Battalion expedites the movement of military cargo and is the U.S. Army’s busiest military terminal battalion.

Joint Base Charleston also includes the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Command complex. With 3600+ students and 480 faculty, the Training Center educates enlisted personnel and commissioned officers on the design, operation, and maintenance of naval nuclear propulsion plants.

Redux Contemporary Art Center

SPAWAR Atlantic

SPAWAR Atlantic is a highly classified, cybersecurity engineering facility that designs, acquires, engineers and sustains the systems, sensor connections, cyber network infrastructures and knowledge management services needed by the U.S. Navy and other federal agencies.

Capabilities include C4ISR: command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, as well as, IT, information operations, information assurance, business IT, enterprise information systems, and space systems.

SPAWAR employs 3,700+ and supports an estimated 100 local defense contractors.

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