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Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses Marines and sailors at the Dunham Amphitheatre aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Nov. 15, 2016. Carter visited the installation to observe a combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX), meet with Combat Center leadership, and address Marines and sailors stationed aboard the installation. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dave Flores/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Dave Flores

Combat Center hosts Defense Secretary Ash Carter

21 Nov 2016 | Lance Cpl. Dave Flores Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Combat Center hosted Defense Secretary Ash Carter Nov. 15, 2016. Carter visited the installation to observe a combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX), meet with Combat Center leadership, and address Marines and sailors stationed aboard the installation.

The Combat Center is the Marine Corps’ largest combined arms live-fire training facility, encompassing more than 1,100 square miles of training area. As such, installation plays a large role in ensuring Marines remain a force in readiness.

“This is important in our strategic history, because we have focused the better part of 15 years, out of necessity, on counter insurgence,” Carter said. “Now, we are moving back to full spectrum warfighting and that is what we face once again today in our extraordinary Marine Corps.”

After commenting on the future of the Marine Corps, Carter went on to thank the service members for what they do aboard the installation.

“As the holiday approach I want you to convey to your families, on my behalf as well as the leadership of the country, the tremendous gratitude that we owe to those in uniform,” Carter said. “I tell people this all the time, you [those in the Department of Defense] get to wake up to do the noblest thing, which is protecting their fellow citizens and leave a better world for their children.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms