MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- All hands aboard the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif., now have access to an on-base commissary and Marine-Mart, the first of its kind at MCMWTC.
The 12,166-square-foot commissary has a stock assortment of more than 4,500 items and provides fresh produce, fresh meats, frozen foods and grocery sections for the 3,000 active-duty military personnel, retirees and family members aboard MCMWTC.
“Col. Norm Cooling, former commanding officer of MCMWTC, was an active proponent of this facility,” said Wendy Matuszak, store director. “During his tenure, he did everything he could to ensure that the Marines stationed at this very unique and remote base had a commissary.”
The 3,600-square-foot Marine-Mart, which is included in the facility, shelves other household items such as health and beauty aids, personal items, electronics, gifts and souvenirs.
In addition, patrons may request fresh fruit and vegetable trays and any grocery or meat item not regularly stocked in the Bridgeport Commissary but available at the Fallon Commissary in Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., by special order. Most orders will be filled within 48 hours.
“The long anticipated new commissary offers the installation well known products at reasonable prices,” said Sgt. Maj. James C. Kirkland, MCMWTC sergeant major. “It’s selection, quantity and quality are comparable to those at grocery stores and Wal-Mart approximately 30 minutes from our housing and 60 minutes from the training center.”
Operated by the Defense Commissary Agency, commissaries sell products at average savings of more than 30 percent compared to commercial prices.
“A military family can save 30 percent or more on their grocery bill by shopping at the commissary, and even more on items along the perimeter of the store,” Matuszak said.
The commissary is located in the Lincoln Military Housing Area, Coleville, Calif., 25 miles north of the training center and about a 30 minute drive up state highway 395. The Lincoln Housing Area serves as the only on-base military family housing area for MCMWTC.
“Location will always remain the key factor that is most appealing to MCMWTC,” Kirkland said. “Having the commissary within a walking distance for families during the harsh winter months makes a huge impact on both safety and family welfare.”
Those aboard MCMWTC will find familiar faces and neighbors at the commissary, as well as friendly and courteous employees dedicated to meeting the needs of the Bridgeport and MCMWTC communities.
“I love it when I get to spend time at Bridgeport,” Matuszak said. “There is a feeling of community there; it’s the commissary where everybody knows your name, and that’s a good thing.”