The airport's surprisingly large size (almost 3 km by 3 km, about half the size of O'Hare in Chicago) is explained by the fact that it was built during World War II to support German submarine operations from the nearby base in Lorient.
It is also known as Base Aéronavale de Lann Bihoué and one of the French Navy bases, currently hosting:
* 2 combat flottilles (11F, 17F) equipped with Super-Etendard suitable to fly naval and land combat and recce missions and nuclear deterrence missions
* 1 interception flotille (12F) equipped with Rafale F1 (12F) assuring the air superiority
* 1 airborne radar flottille (4F) equipped with E-2C Hawkeye to secure the fleet airpicture and to control the airtraffic
* 1 training/mission preparation unit
These units also form the airwing which is assigned to the aircraftcarrier "Charles de Gaulle".