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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Base Guide

San Bernardino County in the beautiful Southern California region is the home to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. The facility spans over one thousand miles of desert, ideal for a combat training facility and Communication and Electronics schools. The weather is calm most of the year, allowing for recreation after training.

Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms History

The calm, sunny weather in the area drew the military to this site over eighty years ago in the 1940s when they used the site for glider training before the decision to train fighter pilots on this site instead.

After World War II, the expansive area became a bombing range. By the early 1950’s it was put in the hands of the Marines, who founded their Headquarters Training Center here, which eventually became a Marine Corps Base. Just before the 1980’s it was given the designation Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center where the focus is now active combat training for the Marines.

Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Surrounding Area

Twentynine Palms, also known as a desert oasis, is not only the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center site, but also the headquarters of Joshua Tree National Park.

The surrounding city and landscape are decorated with natural wonders, culture and art. All it takes is one visit to see why families of service members and non-service members alike would want to live and enjoy the sand and skies here in the San Bernardino Valley in Southern California.

The outdoorsy will be enamored with this area. Day trips from the base can lead to Joshua Tree National Park, 49 Palms Canyon Trail, Mojave National Preserve, Big Morongo Canyon National Preserve, and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Golf courses and pristine views abound on the way to the urban area of Palm Springs.

Mission and Units

Operational force readiness is the main goal of The Combat Center at Twentynine Palms. Carrying out firing arms training and training for missions in urban areas, the complicated nature of this training requires a facility that can offer resources and updated training to today’s service members. Major units at this site include but are not limited to:

  • 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. Command
  • 23rd Dental Company, Command
  • 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. Command
  • 3D Light Armored Reconnaissance Bn. Command
  • 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. Command
  • 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines
  • 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
  • 7th Marine Regiment

In-Processing and Check-In

All arrivals to the Twentynine Palms Facility should present themselves to the Combat Center and proceed to the Installation Personnel Administration Center in Building 1459 for details.

Only Communications and Electronics personnel/trainees should go directly to the Customer Service Center to report. Navy and hospital personnel should report according to their orders and have orders in hand at the time of check-in.

Twentynine Palms Child Care

The Twentynine Palms base has various childcare options. Child Development Centers on base include Stepping Stones in Building 1089 and New Horizons in Building 694. Both have standard business hours of Monday through Friday from 6:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon.

Costs vary based on income to help families find reasonable care options for young children. Reach out to the Child Development Center for more information.

Family Child Care programs offer flexibility in a private setting to care for children as young as six weeks old in a low ratio, nurturing environment.

Twentynine Palms Housing

The Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and the local community provide residences for over 2,300 homes and apartments spread out over ten communities for families and single service members. The Family Service Center in Building 1003 is the best place to report for those staying long term who may bring a family. Single service members will be granted housing based on needs and availability.

Before arrival, reach out to the Housing Office to ensure any prerequisites are met and documents gathered to shorten your wait time. Wait times can be as short as one month to close to a year, depending on the season and demand.

Other housing opportunities can be found off-base in Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms and local RV Parks, including the Twilight Dunes RV Park. Other private rental options may be available, for all housing requests, make sure to mention if pets are allowed.

Related: Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator

Twentynine Palms Commissary

The Commissary at 29 Palms offers convenient business hours and accepts the Military Star Card as well as SNAP payments for nutritious food. The commissary also participates in the YES! savings program, offering shoppers the best value for their money.

Shoppers will note that labels for the Nutrition Guide Program are found on products at this commissary. Shoppers will find fresh flowers and fresh cut fruit at this store so that visitors may enjoy their shopping excursion.

Del Valle Drive, BLDG 1025
Twentynine Palms,CA92278
(760) 830-7572

PCS and TDY Lodging

The Twentynine Palms Facility has two inns for incoming travelers and those seeking temporary lodgings. Both are walkable to and from necessary locations on base, including the commissary.

The Inns of the Corps Desert View facility is an award-winning lodging option with over 30 rooms available, some allowing pets. This site can be called at (760) 830-6583.

The Inns of the Corps Mountain View facility has standard amenities and allows for the comforts of home. It has over 70 rooms and is a new, modern facility. This inn can be reached at (760) 830-1050 for reservations.


Service members flying into the area will likely arrive at Palm Springs Airport. The Morongo Basic Transit Authority (MBTA) will be the only option for transportation to the base from there. The bus has regular service to the base and is about an hour away.

Service members who fly into Las Vegas or Los Angeles will still have a nearly four-hour travel distance to arrive at the base. Keep your receipt for any costs incurred in order to reach the base.

If driving into the area, one can take I-40 toward Barstow and then use National Trails Highway to the main gate. From I-10, following signs toward Joshua Tree. When you see Adobe Road, follow signs toward the main gate. Once at the main gate, present a valid ID, and if driving, a driver license and insurance, as well as registration. The Visitor Center is open during regular business hours.

Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

All drivers on base at 29 Palms must have a current driver’s license, either from California or the home state. However, drivers in the service member’s family must get a California license and registration for their vehicle within the first month of relocating to California.

To drive in California, the driver must be able to show a valid driver’s license and insurance. If under 25 years of age, proof of a Driver Improvement Course recognized in the state of California, and if military, a military ID. To be registered in California, the vehicle must also pass a smog test and show proof of the result.

Motorcycle drivers must prove they have passed a Motorcycle Safety Course in order to register their motorcycle. Safety equipment for motorcycles must be worn at all times, including a helmet.


Schools in the Morongo Unified School District support the Morongo Basin area for all Kindergarten through 12th grade students. There is one school found on the installation at 29 Palms, called Condor Elementary, which is also part of MUSD.

Schools in the MUSD District include but are not limited to:

Colleges and Universities

Copper Mountain College and National University serve those searching for higher learning at 29 Palms utilizing the Marine Corps Community Services Education Center. The Marine Corps Community Services Education Center can be found at 1530 6th Street. For detailed information about programs offered and tuition assistance for service members, reach out to (760) 830-6881.

  • Copper Mountain College (760) 830-6133
  • National University (619) 563-7340

Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide


Information & Referral
1526 7th Street
Career Resource Office
Twentynine Palms, CA 92278-8150


Important Twentynine Palms Contact Numbers

  • Adult Education Center (760) 830-6881
  • Twentynine Palms Education Center (Child Development Center and Adult Education Center) (760) 830-6881
  • Commissary (760) 830-7572
  • Housing (760) 830-6611
  • ID/CAC Card Processing (760) 830-5365
  • School Liaison (760) 830-1574
  • Temporary Lodging (760) 830-6583
  • Youth Program (760) 830-6440

Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide


About the author

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Kena Sosa is an award-winning author, filmmaker and percussionist. She
earned her BA from OLLU and her MBEGT from SMU. She published two
award-winning children’s books. Kena has written for CBS/DFW Local and
Multicultural Review Magazine. She was the Guest Editor for the Fall/Winter
2023 ChildArt Magazine issue. Kena has written for Recon Media since 2023.