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 Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC), 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.
Source: University of South Carolina (2022 study)
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.
Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic delivers information warfare solutions that protect national security, providing systems engineering and acquisition to deliver mission-critical capabilities to naval, joint and national warfighters. NIWC accomplishes its mission through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR), cyber and information technology capabilities.
NIWC employs 3,700+ and supports an estimated 100 local defense contractors.