Eglin Air Force Base is located near Fort Walton Beach and Destin in the Florida panhandle.
The government established Eglin AFB in the 1930s as a bombing and gunnery range. When World War II broke out, Eglin - bordered by undeveloped forest and the Gulf of Mexico - was selected for aircraft and bombing test missions. To this day, Eglin continues that mission, making national headlines in 2003 for the successful detonation of the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast, aka Mother of All Bombs). Eglin also develops and tests new missiles, such as the JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile).
Just outside Eglin's main gate stands the Air Force Armament Museum, the only facility in the United States dedicated to showcasing Air Force weaponry. The exhibit includes planes, guns, bombs and missiles from throughout Air Force history. Visitors can also view a short film about Eglin's role in developing new weapons.
Much of the undeveloped land around the base is referred to as the Eglin Reservation. Keeping the area free of homes and businesses is important to the base's mission of weapons testing. The forest also provides a home to wildlife, including numerous Black Bears. Some public access is available for hunting, fishing, biking and other outdoor activities.