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Sgt. Darren Westmoreland, military working dog handler, K-9 Unit, Provost Marshal’s Office, demonstrates the capabilities of Baby, MWD, K-9 Unit, PMO, during the Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills Combined Arms Exercise for Spouses at Del Valle Field, Oct. 14, 2015. The K-9 Unit demonstrated the capabilities of several of their dogs during the event. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/ Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

Combat Center hosts annual LINKS CAX for spouses

14 Oct 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills program held its 11th annual Combined Arms Exercise for Spouses at Felix Field, Oct. 14, 2015.

CAX for Spouses started in 2004 by Combat Center volunteers looking to help the families of the Combat Center better understand the Marine Corps. When the program began the deployment training exercise known as an Integrated Training Exercise was known as the Combined Arms Exercise. The volunteers of L.I.N.K.S believed having a CAX of their own would help the Combat Center families better understand their Marines and sailors.

“Every year we hold the L.I.NK.S. CAX so that the spouses of the Marines and sailors can understand why they do things the way they do,” said Amber Bilderain, program manager, L.I.N.K.S. “It can be hard, especially for spouses who are new to the Marine Corps or Navy, to understand all the different aspects of being a Marine or sailor.”

During this year’s CAX for spouses, participants received the opportunity to witness a colors ceremony, gained knowledge on the Marine Corps’ customs and courtesies, and learned about different vehicles used by 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

“Marines and sailors are taught all of this information through basic training and the schools they attend,” Bilderain said. “The families don’t always receive all that information, which makes it difficult for them to understand why things are done a certain way. If you’re new to the Marine Corps, it can be overwhelming.”

Those who participated in this year’s L.I.N.K.S. CAX learned about the Marine Corps rank structure, some of the history of the Marines Corps, as well as some of the different programs available to them while moving duty stations or when their spouse is deployed.

“Being able to come out here to see all of these things really helps us to understand what our spouses do from day to day,” said Diana Brooks; wife of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Derrek Brooks; Chemical, biological, radiological and Nuclear officer; 3rd LAR. “All of the information taught here is perfect for those who are new to the base or the Marines Corps.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms