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Empty cells

Regimes fall. Soldiers march on. But the headquarters, the air strips and bases often remain behind. Sometimes for decades, and sometimes in disrepair. 

Here, fenced enclosures lay open at the abandoned "Camp X-Ray" detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2014. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
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Eyeing the past

During World War II, the US operated a base on Balta in the Galapagos Islands. In 2015, you could still find one of the hundreds of buildings, ultimately redecorated by locals. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images
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Closed for business

A closed barber shop sits in the nearly deserted US Camp Adder, now known as Imam Ali Base, in 2011 in Iraq. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Bombed out

After Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was deposed in 2003, the Hussein era's once-mighty Al-Rashid army base served as a makeshift playground to local families.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images
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Sweet dreams

Built during World War II in Norfolk, England, the Wendling base was closed in 1961. Some 40 years later, one of its bunkhouses still stood, if barely.  

Published:Caption:Photo:In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
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Ghost town

At Wünsdorf, a German village and stronghold of the Cold War era in Soviet-controlled East Germany, a statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin sits outside of a military base that once was home to 75,000 soldiers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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Drained

An empty swimming pool still stands in the officers' building at Wünsdorf. The military camp reportedly was the Soviets' largest base outside of Russia.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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Slab City, US

Here, on 630 acres of desert in California's Imperial Valley, RVers and others literally set up makeshift homes on concrete slabs that once comprised the foundation of Camp Dunlap, a US Marine Corps base built during World War II and closed in the 1950s.  

Published:Caption:Photo:J. Emilio Flores/Corbis via Getty Images
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Former atomic weapons site

A bullet-riddled structure sits near an abandoned airstrip on the former Salton Sea Test Base, once an atomic weapons testing site in 2005 near Salton City, California. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Getty Images
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Locked up tight

This abandoned bunker complex once belonged to the Soviet military on the Brdy reservation in the Czech Republic. It's seen here in 2007. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Kurt Vinion/Getty Images
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Parting words

In 2014, the US military left its storage buildings, but didn't leave without issuing instructions when it prepared to drawdown at the forward operating base Shank in Afghanistan.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Locked away

This is a view of a bunker inside the former Soviet base Brdy, in the Czech Republic. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Kurt Vinion/Getty Images
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Faded beauty

Built during World War I, Fort Ord in California's Monterey County was home to as many as 50,000 soldiers during its World War II heyday. By the 1990s, it was tagged for closure; its facilities, like this swimming pool, allowed to go to waste. 

Today, much of the grounds have been drafted into service by California State University, Monterey Bay.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Juanita Turner/Getty Images
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In exile

In March 2018, the Pentagon announced plans to raze the now-neglected Camp X-Ray.

Published:Caption:Photo:Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
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Left behind

In Libya in September 2011, a month after a civil war toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi, weapons abandoned by forces loyal to Gaddafi were spotted at a desert military base. 

Published:Caption:Photo:John Cantlie/Getty Images
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Explosive quiet

This is another view of the abandoned Libyan military base. Barrels of gunpowder sit in the no man's land. 

Published:Caption:Photo:John Cantlie/Getty Images
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Grounded

A moth-eaten Antonov An-2, a single-engine Cold War workhorse built by the Soviet Union (and still used by North Korea), is seen in 2015 at Bulgaria's former 26th Reconnaissance Air Base. Dobrich was closed in 2001.  

Published:Caption:Photo:NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Obsolete, again

The Italian island of Lampedusa housed a radio-navigation station, turned US Coast Guard base, turned NATO base. When NATO closed the facility in the 1990s, Italy converted it into a migrant detention center. That use, too, eventually passed.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Giles Clarke/Getty Images
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Lonesome road

A coyote roams a runway at the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, California. The facility was shuttered for good in 1999, about a year after this picture was snapped. The former station is now a multi-use complex with housing and shopping.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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Empty stands

An abandoned volleyball court still remains in front of Camp Survivor in 2010 in Guantanamo Bay.

Published:Caption:Photo:The Washington Post
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Into the woods

Built for the Royal Air Force during World War II, the Woodbridge station near England's Rendlesham forest became a key Cold War-era base for the US Air Force. The US left in the 1990s, but a supposed UFO landing there in 1980 kept Woodbridge on the map, literally, as this trail marker indicates.

Portions of the former base are currently used by British forces, though they're once again targeted for closure.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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Still life

This pastoral scene, captured in 2016 at the former Greenham Common Royal Air Force station in Berkshire, England, is a far cry from the early 1980s, when 35,000 gathered to protest the World War II-era base's Cold War transformation into a US hosting ground for nearly 100 nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

The facility was closed in the 1990s.    

Published:Caption:Photo:Julian Herbert/Getty Images
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Unmanned

As seen in 2016, all is quiet and dark at the control tower near Greenham Common's former cruise-missile alert and maintenance area.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Julian Herbert/Getty Images
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Survivor

This painted map of the US is one of the reminders of the World War II partnership between the US Air Force and the Royal Air Force at the Bungay base in Suffolk, England. Bungay closed in the 1950s. 

Published:Caption:Photo:In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
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Cavernous

In the late 2000s, the United States considered but ultimately passed on setting up an anti-missile radar system in the abandoned Brdy Soviet military base in the Czech Republic.

Published:Caption:Photo:Kurt Vinion/Getty Images
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Shattered glass

Another reminder of the Soviet Union's far-reaching military presence in Eastern Europe could be seen in 2011 in Paldiski, Estonia, at the site of an abandoned Soviet base.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Josef F. Stuefer/Getty Images
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In the sand

In 2011 in Iraq, the boot prints of US soldiers were about the only things left after the Americans headed out and turned over the former Camp Adder to local forces. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Dust everywhere

This was the interrogation room of the abandoned Camp X-Ray"detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as photographed in 2014. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
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No swimming

A ladder leads up from a swimming pool, now empty, in Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq in 2006. Built by the British, various forces fought over the key military base before its abandonment.

Published:Caption:Photo:Getty Images
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The detainee hospital facility is shown

The detainee hospital facility is shown at Camp X-Ray in 2007.

Published:Caption:Photo:Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
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Dust and decay

Furniture sits on the porch of an abandoned office building on the American Forward Operating Base Shank near Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan, in 2014. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Closed down

Camp X-Ray was used in 2002 and 2003 to hold prisoners of war captured during the earliest days of the US-led war in Afghanistan. Always intended to be temporary digs, the camp gained notoriety for allegations of detainee mistreatment. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
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No one home

A barrack molders at a former Soviet Army military base in Mirosov, near Plzen (Pilsen), western Bohemia, in 2007.

Published:Caption:Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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No signal

Abandoned furniture and a satellite dish lie next to blast walls in Camp Adder in Iraq in 2011.

Published:Caption:Photo:Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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