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Brig. Gen. George W. Smith, Combat Center Commanding General, and Sgt. Maj. Matthew Brookshire, Combat Center Sergeant Major, attach battle streamers onto the base's organizational colors during the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Combat Center Aug. 24.

Photo by Sgt. Heather Golden

Combat Center anniversary celebrated with ceremony

31 Aug 2012 | LCpl. Ali Azimi

The month of August marked six decades of service for the Combat Center.


On Aug. 24, the Combat Center celebrated the event at the installation’s Sunset Cinema.

The rows of seats spanning the large theater were filled with active duty and retired Marines who have served throughout the 60 years the Combat Center has been in service.

These VIPs were some of the first Marines to arrive at the Combat Center and helped build it from the ground up. They were first to set up shop in the desolate desert and set the foundation for what would one day become the premier combined arms training facility in the Marine Corps.

The honored guests were given front row seats to the ceremony, including the 20-minute Combat Center 60th Anniversary video, featuring several of them.

Preceding the video presentation was an invocation, colors re-dedication and remarks by Brig. Gen. George W. Smith, Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.

Smith spoke to the Marines and veterans in the crowd about his pride in the Combat Center and the Marines stationed there.

“I can only imagine what the future holds for the next 60 years,” Smith said.

Since its early beginnings in 1952, the base has grown to be the largest in the Marine Corps.

Its reputation as the nation’s premier pre-deployment training center has been spread throughout not just the Corps, but the world.

Militaries across various nations have gone to great lengths to travel to Twentynine Palms to use the unique training environment the Combat Center provides.

There are presently approximately 14,000 permanently stationed service members aboard the Combat Center.

This “crown jewel” of the Marine Corps will continue to prepare Marines and other service members for any conflicts that may lie ahead.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms