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Twentynine Palms, California
Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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Cortez, military working dog, Provost Marshal’s Office, bites Staff Sgt. Charles Hardesty, kennel master, PMO, during a demonstration at the Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School Safety Fair at the MCCES barracks, May 15, 2015. The event was held to brings awareness to how Marines can be safe during the "101 Days of Summer." (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/ Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

MCCES Safety Fair teaches, entertains students

15 May 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School representatives held their biannual Safety Fair at the MCCES barracks parking lot, May 15, 2015.

Approximately 3,000 Marines took the opportunity to learn about safety in an entertaining environment.

“I put this on for my Marines because they need to learn about safety,” said Retired Lt. Col. Joice Teters, director of safety, MCCES. “[They can] learn without looking at a PowerPoint, then they are able to enjoy themselves while learning what they need to know.”

A variety of personnel operated booths from several organizations, such as the Substance Abuse Control Office, Provost Marshal’s Office K9 unit and representatives from around the local community. The representatives taught the Marines where they can go for entertainment while staying in a safe environment and how to avoid dangerous situations throughout the summer months.

“We were able to get [representatives] from SACO, who used ‘beer goggles’ to show how alcohol affects your motor skills, as well as a fencing club, and tattoo safety booth from the local community,” said Lt. Col. Speros Koumparakis, commanding officer, Communications Training Battalion, MCCES. “The event showed how to be safe while still having an entertaining time.”

MCCES held the event to prepare for “101 Days of Summer,” a Marine Corps-wide installation initiative to increase safety during the summer months.

“During that time, we want Marines to be more vigilant and keep safety in mind,” Koumparakis said. “Marines are not the only people who try to have fun during the summer.”

Alongside the fencing club and PMO booths, there were booths from motorcycle stunt riders, local law enforcement, and other agencies from the community. The Marines learned how alcohol affects their motor skills by running a small course in pedal cars while wearing beer goggles. They learned about a few basic fencing techniques from the Twentynine Palms Fencing Club as well as safety information from booths from local law enforcement and the Combat Center Fire Department.

“We have about 30 to 35 different groups out here teaching these Marines about safety,” said Gunnery Sgt. Bruce Spencer, safety chief, MCCES. “Safety is the main idea behind this fair, and I believe it is important, especially for our students, to interact with the community.”

Being out of the classroom gave the students of MCCES a refreshing learning experience.

“This is a fun experience,” said Pfc. Marcus Bains, student, MCCES. “Being able to get out of the traditional classroom and learn is great.”

The Safety Fair has been a biannual event for eight years. MCCES will continue to hold this event to promote safety as a priority for young Marines.
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms