Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility, encompasses more than 125,000 acres of Southern California terrain. Camp Pendleton is one of the Department of Defense’s busiest installations and offers a broad spectrum of training facilities for many active and reserve Marine, Army, and Navy units, as well as national, state and local agencies. As the most comprehensive West Coast training facility, Camp Pendleton is one of the Department of Defense's busiest installations.

Camp Pendleton contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California. The ecosystem includes beaches, bluffs, mesas, canyons, mountains and Southern California’s only free-flowing river. There are more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, some of which are either threatened or endangered. Wildlife and habitat protection is a top concern of all who live, work and train at Camp Pendleton.

The base was established in 1942 to train U.S. Marines for service in World War II. By October 1944, Camp Pendleton was declared a "permanent installation" and by 1946, it became the home of the 1st Marine Division. It is named after Marine General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who long advocated setting up a West Coast training base for the Marine Corps. Today it is the home to myriad Operating Force units including the I Marine Expeditionary Force and various training commands.

Here is the official website of Camp Pendleton.

Location/Driving Directions

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is located approximately 42 miles from downtown San Diego in North County and 82 miles south of Los Angeles. Located approximately 42 miles from downtown San Diego in North County and 82 miles south of Los Angeles, California.

Coming from San Diego, take Interstate 5 North, towards Los Angeles. Once in Oceanside, take the Camp Pendleton exit which will lead you to the Main Gate.

At the LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, the United Service Organization (USO) is located in Terminal 2 of the airport and is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year. The facility offers active-duty, their family members and retirees referrals for shuttle service to Camp Pendleton, directions to base and hospitality services. The facility contains a television lounge and sitting area, video games, movies, Internet service, ATM, showers, coffee and refreshments. For more information, call (619) 296-3192 or (619) 235-6503 DSN 524-1629.

If coming from Los Angeles, take Interstate 5 South, towards San Diego. Once in Oceanside, take the Oceanside Harbor Drive exit and make a left to the Main Gate.

Main Phone Numbers

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps; photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler L. Main

Base Operator/Base Information (760) 725-4110/4111 DSN: 365-4110/4111

BILLETING OFFICE ( Marine Manor) (760) 725-3718/ (760) 725-3451/ (760) 725-3732 Fax: (760) 725-3221 DSN: 365-3718

Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA (760) 385-4921

Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital, Human Resources (760) 725-1337 Fax: (760) 725-1049 DSN: 365-1337

CDC Browne (Wire Mountain) (760) 725-2817 Fax: (760) 725-2640

CDC San Onofre (760) 725-7311 Fax: (760) 725-0124

CDC Stuart Mesa (760) 725-9954 Fax: (760) 763-0095

Central Appointments (760) 725-4327

Child Care (760) 725-7631

Dental (Branch Clinic-13 Area)(760)725-5578 or (760)725-5879

Dental (Hospital) (760) 725-1200/1205

EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) : (760) 725-5363 DSN 365-5363 Fax: (760) 725-9507

Family Child Care Program (760) 725-7631 Fax: (760) 725-7097

Family Housing Office (On Base Housing) (760) 725-6246/ (760) 725-6257/1-800-843-2182 Fax: (760) 725-5559

Home Education Program, K-8 (760) 723-7072 or (760) 723-6758

Housing Referral Office (Off Base Housing) (760) 725-6246/6310 or 1-800-843-2182 Fax: (760) 725-5559

School Liaison Officer (SLO) (760) 725-6513 / (760) 725-6514 DSN: 365-6513

School-Age Care Program (SAC) (760) 725-2102

Population/Major Units Assigned

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

The Base is home to the I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group and many tenant units, including Marine Corps Installation-West, 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Wounded Warriors Battalion-West, Marine Corps Air Station at Munn Field, Marine Aircraft Group 39, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego’s Weapons & Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps and Army Reserve Forces, the Navy’s Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Hospital and 1st Dental Battalion.

Pendleton has a population of approximately 37,000 active duty Marines and Sailors, with 27% of family members living on base and 73% living off base.

Temporary Lodging

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton offers two lodging facilities for it’s guests. Ward Lodging, Building 1310, offers comfortable rooms with queen beds, private baths, telephones, coin-operated laundry, color televisions, in-room coffee service, VCR and a daily continental breakfast. Of 88 units, 36 are equipped with fully stocked kitchenettes. Kitchenette rooms are $80 per day. There are 24 deluxe rooms that are $70 per night and 28 standard rooms that are $65 per night. Reservations can be made by telephone, fax or in writing.

Active-duty personnel transferring to Camp Pendleton on official orders have priority when making reservations. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.For more information, call (760) 725-5304/5194 and fax (760) 725-5609.

The second facility, South Mesa Lodge, has 69 rooms of which 21 are suites with kitchenettes. The suites have two queen beds and a pull-out sofa, microwave, refrigerator, stove top burners, coffeemaker and all utensils and cookware. The cost is $147 nightly. The remaining 48 rooms are Deluxes which are equipped with the choice of two queen beds or one king, a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. The cost is $92 nightly. Formore information, call (760) 763-7805/7806/7807.

Transient guest quarters are available at Camp Pendleton at the following locations: Building 210440 (Del Mar TQ) and at Building 1341 and 1342 for all enlisted and officers. No children permitted, and Building 1751 (VIP Qtrs), reservation are managed by Base Protocol. Military personnel and DoD civilians reporting to Camp Pendleton on TAD/TDY orders are required to report to the Billeting/Bachelor Housing Office, as hotel/motel charges will not be reimbursable if Transient Quarters are available. PCS personnel may utilize Transient Guest Quarters up to 10 days if the Base TLF (Ward Lodging) is not available.

Room rates vary from $22 to $50 a night. Retired and active duty personnel on leave may stay in Transient Quarters Billeting on a space-available basis. Space-availability check in time is after 4:30 p.m., strictly on a day-to-day basis, and is usually best during the winter months and on federal holidays. Permanent Party Officers personnel will be permitted to reside in Transient Quarters with the highest priority if PCS orders are presented showing permanent assignment to Camp Pendleton. To receive the discounted rate, you must be in a bachelor status and not receiving BAH. The Director, Billeting/Bachelor Housing Department, Billeting Manager, or the Assistant Billeting Manager must approve all room assignments for permanent party personnel.


Govt housing aboard Camp Pendleton. Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

More than 6,736 housing units are available for Camp Pendleton personnel, with more currently under construction. It is strongly advised that those service members who qualify for BAH with dependent rate apply for government quarters at this time. Eligibility for assignment begins with a control date that may be the date of detachment from the last permanent duty station. Call (760) 725-6246/6310, DSN 365-6246/6310 or (800) 843-2182 for more information.

Military personnel reporting to Camp Pendleton must register with the Base Housing Office, Building 200011, prior to making a rental agreement or purchasing a home in the civilian community. Normally, personnel who wish to reside off base are permitted to do so.

For Marine Corps and Navy E-6 through E-9, there is only one SNCO designated building. It is in the 62 Area (San Mateo), Building 62574, with 46-bed spaces. All unmarried and geographical bachelor SNCOs should contact their unit for assignment to quarters. If quarters are not available, SNCOs have the option to apply for Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

Bachelor or Enlisted Quarters for Marine Corps and Navy E-5 and below are located throughout Camp Pendleton under the operational control of area and unit commanders. There is mandatory assignment to BEQs for unmarried E-5 and below service members.


Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

There are five public elementary schools aboard Camp Pendleton. Three of the schools (North Terrace, Santa Margarita, Stuart Mesa) are from the Oceanside United School District and offer classes K-5. The other two schools (Mary Fay Pendleton, San Onofre) are from the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District offering K-6 and K-8 respectively.

North Terrace Elementary School serves students from Wire Mountain Public Quarters #1 and South Mesa. Contact them at (760) 757-4343. Santa Margarita Elementary School serves students from Wire Mountain Public Quarters #2, part of PaciUc View housing and South Mesa East. Contact them at (760) 430-7110. Stuart Mesa Elementary School serves students from the Stuart Mesa housing area. Contact them at (760) 430-3331.

San Onofre Elementary School serves the San Onofre housing area and Trailer Park. Contact them at (760) 723-7085. Mary Faye Pendleton Elementary School serves the De Luz Housing, O’Neill Heights housing, San Luis Rey housing, Naval Weapons Station, and the Naval Regional Medical Center area. Contact them at (760) 723-7080. To register a student, the parents must deliver the child’s immunization record, birth certificate and transcript, or previous school address, to the school the child will be attending. Call the Base Housing Office for more information on the appropriate school for your area or contact the Base School Liaison at (760) 725-6513.

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District wants all on-base families interested in home schooling to be aware that a Home Schooling Facility is available at Mary Faye Pendleton school on base. This Home Schooling program runs for grades K-8 and children from all on-base family housing areas are eligible to enroll. Any student on Camp Pendleton, in San Diego County or Riverside County can join with an interdistrict transfer. A child does not have to live within the district's normal attendance boundaries.

Five accredited colleges operate on-base programs including: Central Michigan University, Central Texas College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Palomar College, and Park University. Courses and degrees are available from the certificate level through the graduate level. Classes are offered throughout the installation normally on accelerated term schedules. Advisement and financial aid information is available through the schools. A full-range testing program is available to base personnel and others associated with the base through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Program and College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Tests include credit by examination, ACT, and SAT certification examinations, and more. Independent study courses are offered through catalogs and include more than 100 institutions throughout the United States. Most courses may be applied toward degrees.

Child Care

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

In order for children to be enrolled in any of the child development centers on Camp Pendleton, they must be up to date with all required immunizations and have all the necessary paper work completed and on file at the center.

Following is a list of programs offered and fees for each at the CDCs aboard Camp Pendleton:

* Full Day Childcare for ages 6 weeks to Pre-Kindergarten
* Before/After School Care
* Half Day Kindergarten
* 2 Day Enrichment Program - 3 Day Enrichment Program - 5 Day Enrichment Program
* Hourly Care
* Family Child Care (FCC)

Waiting time for infant spaces in the Child Development Centers can be as long as 12+ months. Family Child Care subsidy available for children under three years of age. Care for children with special needs is offered for infants through school-age children. Children with special needs must be evaluated for appropriate placement and be registered with the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP).

Hours of operation of the CDCs are Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

School-Age Care (SAC) Program serves four Elementary Schools aboard Camp Pendleton. SAC is no longer offered at San Onofre. The Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Children, Youth and Teen Programs (CYTP) provides on-site before and after school child care for children in grades 1-6 (at most locations) attending four elementary schools aboard Camp Pendleton (San Rafael is shuttled to North Terrace). Sites are open from 6:00 am until school time and dismissal time until 6:00 pm. In addition, full day care is provided on school-in-service days. Fees range from $33-$161 bi-monthly per child depending on total gross family income. Arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor play, field trips, homework clubs and enrichment programs are featured. Each site has limited enrollment on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who qualify. Waiting lists are then established according to family's qualification priority. For more information, contact CYTP Resource & Referral between the hours of 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.

The Youth Center aboard Camp Pendleton offers self-directed recreational programs for youth, ages 11-18, who are still in High School.

Medical Care

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (NHCP) is located approximately 12 miles from the main gate.

The Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton’s health services phone line is (760) 725-HELP (4357) Inpatient and outpatient services are available for active duty service members, their family members, and all other eligible TRICARE beneficiaries. The services include internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat), cardiology, pulmonary, audiology, urology, optometry, ophthalmology, gynecology, gastroenterology, allergy, obstetrics, dermatology, orthopedics, sports medicine, mental health, general surgery, nuclear medicine and emergency services.

Outpatient primary care is provided for active-duty personnel at branch clinics located throughout the base and for active duty family members and other eligible TRICARE beneficiaries at the Naval Hospital and the 31 and 52 Area Branch Medical Clinics and the Family Medicine Clinic Oceanside. The hospital is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed on Sunday and federal holidays. Refills can be called in to (760) 725-HELP (4357), option #4, and picked up at the Naval Hospital, Pacific Plaza, or the 13, 21, 31, 52 Area Branch Clinics. The patient ID card is required. In case of an emergency, an on-base ambulance service is available by calling 911. The Naval Hospital Emergency Room is available at the hospital on a 24-hour day.

Full dental care, including oral surgery and orthodontics, is available for dependents at two SmileCare clinics, one in Mainside, Building 1377 and one in PaciUc Plaza, Building 20845. All military insurance is accepted. Call for an appointment at Mainside, (760) 385-0096 or PaciUc Plaza, (760) 430-4445.

Upon arrival at Camp Pendleton, families should bring their medical records to the Outpatient Records Desk, located just inside the hospital entrance closest to the outpatient parking lot. All patients are required to show proof of eligibility for medical care, and must be listed in the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) computer. Enrollment in TRICARE Prime can be accomplished by visiting the TRICARE Service Center, or calling (888) TRIWEST (874-9378). All active dutymembers are required to enroll in TRICARE Prime during in-processing.