Pendleton Field | Basic information and description (2023)


Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the West Coast's Premier Marine Force Training Base and is responsible for providing housing, training facilities and logistical support to elements of the Fleet Marine Force and other units designated herein. In addition, the base conducts specialized schools and other training that may be directed by the Marine Corps commander.

The main commands are Marine Corps Base, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, elements of the Marines 3rd Aircraft Wing and many rental units (Marine Corps Air Station Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, ACU-5, Naval Hospital, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity Center (MCTSSA), Field Weapons Training Battalion, Field Weapons Station Fallbrook Naval Weapons and Marine Corps Reserve Support Unit Deployment Processing - West). For more information, please visit:


On March 10, 1942, the Department of the Navy announced the purchase of approximately 130,000 acres, the "Rancho Margarita y Las Flores", located between Los Angeles and San Diego. After purchasing the massive ranch, the new West Coast Marine Corps base would be named Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, after MGen. Joseph Henry Pendleton. Camp Pendleton was declared a "permanent" facility in October 1944, and in 1946 General Vandergrift declared the future role of the base as the center of all West Coast Navy activity and home to the 1st Division of the Marine Corps, with a peacetime strength of 12,500. The Corps has expanded its mission capabilities since the 1980s, when "amphibious" became "expeditionary," combining infantry, armor, supplies, and airborne forces. Over the course of two years, Camp Pendleton demonstrated its training and effectiveness in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, on humanitarian efforts in Somalia and Haiti, and in the War on Terrorism in all. The base is divided into camps, each numbered to identify their physical location within the base.


  • More than 42,000 active employees;
  • More than 38,000 members of military families live in simple apartment complexes. With a daily population of 70,000 military and civilians;
  • More than 77,000 military retirees live within a 50 mile radius of Camp Pendleton with full privileges of the base's recreational facilities, butler, currency exchange and medical services.

Southern California is a densely populated area that continues to grow very rapidly. The Camp Pendleton area is so large that it borders several cities and three counties. Camp Pendleton is located north of the city of Oceanside, California, with a population of 176,193. San Diego County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the south and southeast, has a population of 3,337,685. Riverside County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the east, has a population of 2,423,266. Orange County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the north, has a population of 3,190,400. Although densely populated, Southern California offers our military many opportunities and diverse living options, whether urban, coastal or rural, and all of these opportunities provide many recreational opportunities for military members and their families.

Pendleton has a population of more than 42,000 active duty Marines and Sailors, with approximately 27% of family members living on base and 73% off base.

Demographics Population
DOD population 42.000
family members 38.000
retired 77.000
civilian employees 3.900
Reserve Components (USMC, Navy, Army) 23.500
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Camp Pendleton is located in northern San Diego County in Southern California. The base is next to the town of Oceanside, a military town, near the main gate to the south. The town of Fallbrook borders our base to the east, directly across from the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station gate. The city of San Clemente borders our base, the San Onofre area, in the northernmost part. Camp Pendleton is comparable in size to the state of Rhode Island. The cost of living in San Diego County is high. The mild climate and beautiful landscape attract many new residents and tourists to our region every year.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton covers approximately 125,000 acres with more than 17 miles of shoreline in northwest San Diego County. Less than 20% built-up, Camp Pendleton stands as an ecological buffer between the heavily built-up areas bordering the base's northern and southern limits. Within Camp Pendleton, tidal estuaries, river corridors, coastal plains, foothills and canyons, and mountains rising to 2,700 feet above sea level provide essential habitat for more than 1,100 species of flora and fauna, including 18 endangered and state threatened. species and a herd of free-roaming bison.

A variety of training is conducted in this natural setting to promote combat readiness for the Marines and other service members who call Camp Pendleton their home. Camp Pendleton is the only military facility on the West Coast that routinely conducts comprehensive air, sea and ground attack training. Camp Pendleton's environmental programs are designed to support the military's training mission and, through proper management, seek to protect and maintain the Marine Corps' continued ability to train ashore, which is critical to the nation's defenses. By meeting environmental needs and effectively managing the resources under its care, Camp Pendleton can help ensure that the training opportunities, resources and landscapes that the Navy possesses today are available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Welcome to Southern California and Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, home of the Marine Corps' largest amphibious assault training facility, spanning 17 miles of shoreline and 125,000 acres. The sea locator phone number is 760-763-3989.


From San Diego International Airport
The United Services Organization (USO) is located in Terminal 2 of the airport and is open 365 days a year from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. The facility provides active duty members, their families and retirees with recommendations for transportation to Camp Pendleton, directions to the base of operations, and hospitality services. Facilities include a TV room and lounge, video games, movies, internet service, ATMs, showers, coffee and beverages. For more information, call 619-296-3192.

From Los Angeles International Airport
The USO is located across from Terminals 1 and 2 at the Bob Hope Hollywood USO at LAX, 203 World Way, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90045. The facility features a TV room, lounge, internet service, showers and snacks. For more information, call 310-645-3716.

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Camp Pendleton is approximately 42 miles north of San Diego Airport, Lindberg Field and approximately 88 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport, LAX. Getting to Camp Pendleton is fairly easy as the base is off Interstate 5 (I-5) which stretches along the west coast. Take I-5 toward 'Camp Pendleton and you'll know you're close by as you enter the city of Oceanside, California. The exit from Camp Pendleton is clearly marked and takes you directly to the base's main gate.

Be ready to show your DOD ID at the front door. Map and a copy of your orders to the guard. If you are driving your POV aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, you will need a current driver's license along with your current vehicle registration document and proof of insurance for that vehicle.

arriving from the south

If you are traveling from the southern part of the country, you will likely enter the San Diego area via Interstate 8 (I-8). When entering the city from I-8, turn right onto Interstate 15 (I-15) North. You will drive approximately 6 miles before reaching California 52 (CA-52). You must head west on CA-52. After approximately 4 miles you will find Interstate 805 (I-805). Go north on I-805. After another 4 miles, merge onto I-5 and this will take you the last 24 miles to the Camp Pendleton exit.

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traveling from the north

If you are coming from the northern part of the country, you will most likely enter the northern area of ​​San Diego County off Interstate I-5. Entering the city from I-15 South, you will find California 78 (CA-78). Turn right onto CA-78 West. You will travel approximately 18 miles on CA-78 before getting onto I-5. Turn right onto I-5 North. Take I-5 North for the last 8 km to the Camp Pendleton exit.

If you have trouble with directions, please contact our office at 760-725-5704. You can also contact the 24 hour on-call service at IPAC INBOUND 760-725-6271.

Train options:

Oceanside is fast becoming the region's premier rail hub. Commuter trains connect Oceanside Transit Center to the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego via COASTER, Surfliner, or AMTRAK, and there are commuter trains to Los Angeles Union Station or downtown San Bernardino via METROLINK. There are currently 12 stops along theOrange County: LA for Oceanside Line, and 14 stops along theInland Empire - Orange County: Oceanside to Riverside Line. Both lines run several times during the week and also have limited operating hours at weekends. Oceanside Metrolink is located at: 235 So. Tremont Ave., near Mission Avenue. For more information about METROLINK, call 1-800-371-5465. For information about COASTER and NCTD, call (760) 966-6500 or visit For information about AMTRAK, visit

Amtrak also operates theOrange County: LA for Oceanside Linefor monthly subscription holders.

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The bus option:
In addition to the train routes, two separate North County Transit District (NCTD) routes serve Camp Pendleton with Flex buses from the School of Infantry to Del Mar to the Naval Hospital to Mainside to the Oceanside Transit Center and many areas in between.

Greyhound does not drive directly to Oceanside Airport, but has offices at Oceanside Transit Center and also service routes that begin/end at Oceanside Transit Center. For recorded Greyhound programs, call 760-722-1587. To speak to a Greyhound representative, call 1-800-231-2222.

Marine Corps Community Services recently partnered with Lyft to offer a new "Base Mode" option, which is a special category for people who request rides on and off base and share them with drivers with on and off base access connect the terrain. Visit the Camp Pendleton MCCS website for more information.

Transport Incentive Program:

Department of Defense Order 1000.27 establishes a program to encourage public transportation outside the National Capital Region. According to this instruction, the Department of the Navy (DON) implemented theTransport-Incentive-Programm (TIP)for DON employees to reduce their daily contribution to traffic congestion and air pollution and expand their commuting alternatives. Beginning January 1, 2020, DON Transit Benefits participants are eligible for up to $270 per month in Transit Benefits (excluding parking fees) if certain pre-approved transit costs do not exceed actual spend.

The TIP is intended to cover the bulk transportation costs incurred by personnel traveling from their place of origin to a permanent service station. Participants must claim an exact amount corresponding to their actual travel expenses. Failure to comply will result in fraudulent notarization of the application and will result in criminal prosecution. This program is a benefit, not a right; therefore there is no retrospective refund.


There is currently no base-sponsored transportation at this facility. The North County Transit District operates several public bus routes serving the base, and there are also options for taxis, Lyft and other services, or private buses. Visit for more information or contact the Information, Referral and Facility Relocation Specialist at (760) 725-5704 for more information.

There are private base transportation providers known as Liberty Shuttles that act as transportation providers for base movements. These are private companies and their services are chargeable. You can get more information about the phone number of the bus serving your camp or area once I get your command.

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contact information

Directory inquiries: 1-800-253-1624


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