an AA [anti-aircraft] military base


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

could a native speaker please tell me which of the following sounds better or is generally accepted:

1. An anti-aircraft military base
2. A military anti-aircraft base
3. An air defence (military) base
4. An anti-aircraft army base

Or are all of them equally correct and usable?

Thanks in advance.
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I've never heard any of these. I was in the US Air Force (years ago).

    "Anti-aircraft" describes a weapon. A "base" is a place where military people live and work. It isn't a place where weapons live and work.

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    None of these are at all common in British English, where the usual term is simply anti-aircraft base. In fact, "military" is superfluous - it couldn't easily be civilian could it?

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Keith, do you understand ngrams? Do try looking at this before you call "anti-aircraft base" "usual".
    Google Ngram Viewer
    When I say "usual" I mean "complies with usage". It doesn't mean the same as frequent or common. If you're talking (as Xander 2024 is) about this uncommon type of military establishment, then of course it won't be a commonplace expression that you have to use, but you do want one that complies with usage.

    Okay, what if I replace the "base" with a "training facility"? Does "an air defence training facility" sound good?
    Yes, but that's a different question, not the same thing as an anti-aircraft base. An anti-aircraft base is an active armed facility for shooting down aircraft (with guns or missiles). A training facility may not be armed at all - it might be simply have classrooms, simulators and unarmed planes.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Xander2024, the use of "anti-aircraft base" in any English text in the Google Books database is so vanishingly rare that it could reasonably be considered non-existent, and certainly not "usual" in any normal meaning of that word. If you are talking about a military base whose sole function is to mount anti-aircraft guns or missiles then you could reasonably call it an "anti-aircraft base". That would be an unusual base, but it is, I suppose, possible. I once served on a station which had been the home of Bloodhound missiles, intended to engage bombers at long range. But it had never been called an "anti-aircraft base". It was an RAF station that was the parent station of a Bloodhound battery.
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