Overview of MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), also known as 29 Palms, is the United States Marine Corps' largest base. It is located adjacent to the city of Twentynine Palms in southern San Bernardino County, California, just North of Joshua Tree National Park, but in the middle of the Mojave Desert. . 

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Base Overview / Mission

29 Palms Training Ground
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The 29 Palms base is currently home to the largest military training area in the nation (and the largest US base in the world), and consequently, the largest training program. The program known as Mojave Viper has become the model of pre-Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment training. The majority of units in the Marine Corps will undergo a month at Mojave Viper before deploying to Iraq or a mixed training venue using the Mountain Warfare Training Center for Afghanistan. Live fire exercises, artillery, tank, and close air support training are used for training, in addition to the sprawling "Combat Town," a 2-acre fabricated Middle Eastern village, complete with a mosque, native role-players, an "IED Alley," and other immersive touches.

The base commands have a two-fold mission:

Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC):  Manage the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Program (MAGTFTP) and conduct service level Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) combined arms training to enhance the combat readiness of the operating forces and support the Marine Corps’ responsibilities to national security.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC):  Provide a standard of excellence in managing facilities, services, and support to the operating forces, and families in order to ensure readiness of the tenant and resident commands aboard the Combat Center.

Visit the official website and phone directory for more information. 

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Base Information

29 palms map
google maps of southern CA - 29 Palms. Google

The city of Twentynine Palms is a community of over 26,000 people in the middle of the Mojave Desert between Los Angeles and the Colorado River. Twentynine Palms has a reputation within the Marine Corps for its relative desolation and isolation, due to the harsh desert climate and the remote nature of the base. 

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is located in the Mohave Desert which stretches from approximately Interstate 10 to Interstate 40.  The Combat Center is three-quarters the size of Rhode Island and is located one hour north of Palm Springs, Ca.

The Combat Center is located approximately 60 miles from Palm Springs Airport (PSP). The only public transportation from the airport to the Combat Center is the Morongo Basin Transit Authority bus. 

Southern California offers many opportunities for off-duty activities, from the beaches and surfing to skiing in the mountains not far northwest from the base.

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Population/Major Units Assigned

29 Palm Marines
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The population of 29 Palms is the largest Marine Corp Base in the world.  It includes 12,500 active duty, 24,000 family members, and another 21,000 DoD/Contractors. Because Southern California is a popular retirement location, 29 Palms has about 1,200 retirees in the area.

The major commands aboard the Combat Center are:

Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School

7th Marine Regiment (REIN)

Combat Logistics Battalion -7

MWSS 374 - Marine Wing Support Squadron

1st Tank Battalion,  

3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion

Marine Air Control Group 38

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron One (VMU 1),

Delta Co. 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion

29 Palms Naval Hospital

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC)

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Living on Twenty Nine Palms, CA USMC Base

29 Palms

All on-base housing units were privatized under the Public-Private Venture (PPV). Married and single parent military personnel reporting to Twentynine Palms for permanent duty are asked to report to the Joint Family Housing Office, located in Bldg. 1003 for verification of orders pertaining to assignment or non-assignment of quarters, and if quarters are not assigned, for processing through the Housing Referral Service which is required prior to executing any commitment of private or rental purchase of housing. For more information call (760) 830-6611.

The housing facilities available at Twentynine Palms are located in dispersed sections of the Combat Center as well as off the Combat Center. There are 15 family housing areas on and off of the base, which include 2,167 home and apartment units. The 1,567 units located aboard the base are managed and maintained by Lincoln Military Housing. The 600 units located 4.5 miles from the base are managed and maintained by the government.  For temporary living quarters for unaccompanied TDY / PSC members, there are BOQ and BEQ facilities as well on space available basis.


Schools attended by children living aboard MCAGCC fall under the Morongo Unified School District (MUSD). There are no DOD schools.

The emphasis on learning requires an outstanding instructional staff. Teachers are encouraged to develop and maintain their career skills and are assisted in doing so. For post-graduate study, advanced classes are offered locally through Chapman and National Universities, California State University at San Bernardino.

Child Care

Children, Youth, and Teen Programs consist of two Child Development Centers (Bright Beginnings and New Horizons), Family Childcare, Supplemental Programs and Services, and School Age Care Youth and Teen Oasis Center.

The Bright Beginnings Child Development Center offers full-time care and hourly care to children 6 weeks old to 3 years old and can safely accommodate up to 110 children. The Center is open Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with an extended hours option of 5:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.

New Horizons Child Development Center accepts 3 and 4-year-old full-time children and also provides care for school-age children in Kindergarten. There is a part-day and full-day Pre-School Enrichment Program for 3 and 4-year-old children Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Hourly care is provided for these age groups.


The MCCS Teen Program gives Combat Center teens a place to enjoy arcade games, music, TV and just hang out. The Teen Program is for authorized MCCS patrons between 13 and 18 years of age (still in school). The Teen Program meets at the Youth Activity Center, Bldg. 692. Call (760) 830-3227 ext. 269 or 830-3312.

MCCS Youth and Teen Recreation gives children, ages 6 through 12, something to do on Saturdays. This program is also available for special programs. Activities are open to children of MCCS-eligible patrons.

Full-Time Medical and Dental

The Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital is a small community type hospital which offers inpatient care, Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum services in “Desert Beginnings,” Adult Medical Care Clinic (BAS for Head Quarters Battalion and the Marine Corps Communications School). Primary outpatient care is provided in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Also, Mental Health Services, General Surgery, Orthopedics, and Optometry are provided. Ancillary services are supported by Pharmacy, Laboratory and Radiology Departments. Rehabilitation treatment is available in a newly remodeled Physical Therapy Department. Emergency Medicine is served by an Emergency Medicine Department which is open for emergency medical care 24 hours a day.

The hospital is not a walk-in clinic. In most cases, you can call the appointment line at 830-2752 and obtain a same-day appointment. To obtain an outpatient appointment, or to cancel an appointment at the hospital call 830-2752 during normal working hours.

The 23rd Dental Company provides routine and emergency care for all military personnel assigned to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Emergencies are seen at any time. There is 24-hour clinic coverage seven days a week.

Base Phone
Phone 760-830-6344
Phone (DSN) 312-230-6344
Fax (DSN) 312-230-8323

USMC Base - 29 Palms

The biggest base in the military has a price. There is not much located immediately in the area as far as local entertainment, but within a few hours drive to the North is Las Vegas, to the West is Los Angeles, and to the Southwest, San Diego. If you get stationed at 29 Palms, get off base and enjoy Southern California.