The cost of living is high to very high in southern California to include San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Cost of utilities, groceries, transportation, housing, private education, entertainment and health care are above the national index.
San Diego County is a high-cost area, with the high cost of housing being at the top of the list. Do come financially prepared! Bring enough money to cover expenses such as food, rent deposits, and temporary lodging, whether it is on base or off base, and for which you will be reimbursed when you settle your travel claim with Disbursing. For money related issues, you can make an appointment with the Personal Financial Management Specialists at Marine & Family Programs 760-725-6098/6209 or see a budget counselor at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) 760-725-5337/7497.
Pass & ID Section
Navy Pass & ID
Bldg 23194 is open: Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This location is by appointment only, no walk-ins allowed They can be reached at: 760-763-6476/6471.
All Pass & ID Offices provide DEERS enrollment, identification card and base vehicle registration services. Wait time can be long at the Pass &ID offices; making an appointment can drastically cut down on your wait time. Please click here to view the paperwork requirements and frequently asked questions. You can also make appointments.
Base Access Information
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton recently implemented the Defense Biometric Identification System, a new Physical Access Control System.
This new system focuses on access control procedures to ensure the protection of Active Duty personnel, residents and civilian employees. These policies are intended to help Marines accomplish their mission and keep families aboard Camp Pendleton safe, while allowing access to authorized personnel, contractor & vendors and sponsored visitors.
DOD issued ID card holders will automatically be enrolled in DBIDS after their first ID scan upon entering Camp Pendleton. DOD issued ID card holders may also sponsor visitors by using the Sponsored Visitor Request Roster.
All unescorted visitors are required to obtain a DBIDS credential/pass in order to gain authorized access to Camp Pendleton. Unescorted visitors must be sponsored or on official business. Visitors will have their identity proofed & vetted, and be issued an appropriate DBIDS credential/pass at no cost. Visitors must obtain a DBIDS credential/pass at the Camp Pendleton Visitor Center (Bldg. 20255T). Contractors & vendors on official business must obtain a DBIDS credential/pass at Base Access Control (Bldg. 41501T).
For Information, Forms, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions or to Sponsor a Visitor, please visit the Provost Marshal Office website listed above.
Defense Service Network Dialing Instructions:
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense. Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The Camp Pendleton DSN operator number is DSN 365-4111. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is "The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base" with the responsibility of providing housing, training facilities and logistical support for the Fleet Marine Force elements and other units assigned here. In addition, the base conducts specialized schools and other such training as the Commandant of the Marine Corps may direct.
Major commands are Marine Corps Base, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, elements of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and many tenant units (Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, ACU-5, Naval Hospital, the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA), Weapons Field Training Battalion, Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, and the Deployment Processing Command Reserve Support Unit - West). For more information please visit:https://www.pendleton.marines.mil/
On March 10, 1942, the Department of the Navy announced the purchase of approximately 130,000 acres, the "Rancho Margarita y Las Flores", located between Los Angeles and San Diego. Following the purchase of the vast rancho, the new West Coast Marine Corps Base would be named Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, in honor of MGen. Joseph Henry Pendleton. Camp Pendleton was declared a "permanent" installation in October 1944, and in 1946, General Vandergrift stated that the base's future role was to be the center of all West Coast Marine activities and the home of the 1st Marine Division, with a peacetime strength of 12,500. The Corps has broadened its mission capabilities since the 1980's, as "amphibious" became "expeditionary", combining infantry, armor, supply and air power. Over the years, Camp Pendleton has demonstrated its successful training and effectiveness in the United States Marine Corps through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, humanitarian efforts in Somalia and Haiti, and the war on terrorism worldwide. The base is separated into camps, each numbered to identified their physical location within the base.
Southern California is a highly populated area that continues to grow at a very rapid pace. Camp Pendleton area is so large that it borders several cities and three counties. Camp Pendleton is directly north of the city of Oceanside, CA with a population of 176,193 people. San Diego County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the south and southeast, has a population of 3,337,685. Riverside County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the east, has a population of 2,423,266. Orange County, which borders Camp Pendleton to the north, has a population of 3,190,400. While Southern California is vastly populated, it gives our service-members options and varied opportunities of living, either be city living, beachfront living, or country living and all these opportunities offer plenty of recreational options for the service-members and their families.
Pendleton has a population of more than 42,000 active duty Marines and Sailors, with approximately 27% of family members living on base and 73% living off base.
Camp Pendleton is located in North San Diego County, in Southern California. The base is adjacent to the City of Oceanside, a military town, by the Main Gate in the south. The City of Fallbrook borders our base to the east, right outside the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station Gate. The City of San Clemente borders our base at the most northern part, the San Onofre area. The size of Camp Pendleton is comparable to the size of the state of Rhode Island. The cost of living is high in San Diego County. The mild climate and beautiful scenery attracts a lot of new residents and tourists to our area each year.
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton occupies approximately 125,000 acres, with more than 17 miles of coastline, in northwestern San Diego County. Less than 20% developed, Camp Pendleton stands as an ecological buffer between the heavily urbanized areas that abut the northern and southern borders of the Base. Within Camp Pendleton, tidal estuaries, riparian corridors, coastal plains, rolling hills and canyons, and mountains that rise in elevation to 2,700 feet above sea level provide essential habitat for over 1,100 species of flora and fauna, to include 18 federally listed threatened and endangered species and a free roaming herd of bison.
A diverse array of training occurs within this natural setting to promote the combat readiness of the Marines and other military personnel who call Camp Pendleton home. Camp Pendleton is the only West Coast military installation where comprehensive air, sea, and ground assault training is routinely executed. Camp Pendleton’s environmental programs work in support of the military training mission and seek, through proper management, to protect and sustain the Marine Corps continued ability to train on lands that are vital to National defense. By complying with environmental requirements and effectively stewarding the resources in its care, Camp Pendleton can help to ensure that the training opportunities, resources, and landscapes enjoyed by today’s Marine will be available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Welcome to Southern California and Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, the site of the Corps' largest amphibious assault training facility, encompassing 17 miles of prime coastline and 125,000 acres. The Marine Locator phone number is 760-763-3989..
From San Diego International Airport
The United Service Organization is in Terminal 2 of the airport and is open 6 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year. The facility offers active-duty members, their family members and retirees referrals for shuttle service to Camp Pendleton, directions to base and hospitality services. The facility contains a television lounge and sitting area, video games, movies, Internet service, an ATM, showers, coffee and refreshments. For more information call 619-296-3192.
From Los Angeles International Airport
The USO is across from terminals 1 and 2 at Bob Hope Hollywood USO at LAX, 203 World Way, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90045. The facility has a television lounge, sitting area, Internet service, showers and refreshments. For more information call 310-645-3716.
Camp Pendleton is located about 42 miles north of the San Diego Airport, Lindberg Field and about 88 miles south of the Los Angeles International Airport, LAX. Driving directions to Camp Pendleton are fairly easy due to the base being located off of Interstate 5 (I-5), which runs up and down the entire west coast. When driving towards' Camp Pendleton on I-5, you know you are close when you enter the city of Oceanside, CA. The Camp Pendleton exit is clearly labeled and will take you directly to the front gate of the base.
At the front gate be prepared to present your DOD I.D. card and a copy of your orders to the sentry. If you are driving your POV aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, you will need a current driver license along with the vehicles' current registration document and proof of insurance for that vehicle.
Traveling from the South
If you plan on traveling from the southern part of the country, you will probably enter the San Diego area via Interstate 8 (I-8). As you enter the city via the I-8, you will want to veer right on to Interstate 15 (I-15) north. You will drive for about 6 miles before you encounter California 52 (CA-52). You will want to go west on CA-52. After about 4 miles, you will encounter Interstate 805 (I-805). Go north on I-805. After another 4 miles, you will merge with I-5 and this will take you the last 24 miles to the Camp Pendleton exit.
Traveling from the North
Traveling from the northern part of the country, you will probably enter the North County San Diego area via Interstate I-5. As you enter the city via I-15 south, you will encounter California 78 (CA-78). Veer right on CA-78 west. You will take CA-78 about 18 miles before you run into I-5. Veer right on I-5 north. You will take I-5 north for the last 5 miles to the Camp Pendleton exit.
If you have any problems with directions, please feel free to contact our office at 760-725-5704. You can also contact the 24hr duty at the IPAC INBOUND 760-725-6271.
Oceanside is quickly becoming the area's major rail transportation hub. Commuter rail services connect Oceanside's Transit Center with Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego using the COASTER, Surfliner, or AMTRAK and there is commuter services to Los Angeles Union Station or Downtown San Bernardino via METROLINK. There are currently 12 stops along the Orange County: L.A. to Oceanside Line, and 14 stops along the Inland Empire - Orange County: Oceanside to Riverside Line. Both of these lines run multiple times throughout the week, and also have limited weekend run times. Oceanside Metrolink is located at: 235 So. Tremont Ave., off Mission Avenue. For more information about METROLINK call 800-371-5465. For information on the COASTER and NCTD call 760-966-6500 or visit their website at GoNCTD.com. For information on AMTRAK you can visit AMTRAK.com.
The Amtrak also runs the Orange County: L.A. to Oceanside Line for monthly pass holders.
In addition to train routes, two separate routes provided by North County Transit District serve the Camp Pendleton with Flex buses from the School of Infantry to Del Mar to the Naval Hospital to Mainside to the Oceanside Transit Center and many areas in-between.
Greyhound does not go directly to the airport from Oceanside, but they do have offices in the Oceanside Transit Center and also service routes that start/end at Oceanside Transit Center. For Greyhound’s recorded schedule, call 760-722-1587. To talk to a Greyhound representative, call 800-231-2222.
Marine Corps Community Services recently partnered with Lyft to offer a new “Base Mode” option which is special category for individuals requesting rides into and out of the base, connecting them to drivers with access on and off the installation. To learn more about this visit the Camp Pendleton MCCS website.
Transportation Incentive Program
The Department of Defense Instruction 1000.27 establishes a mass transit benefit program for outside the National Capital Region. In accordance with this Instruction, the Department of the Navy has implemented the Transportation Incentive Program for DON employees to help reduce their daily contribution to traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as expand their commuting alternatives. Effective January 1st, 2020, DON transit benefit participants are eligible for transit benefits up to $270.00 per month (parking fees are not included) for specific pre-approved commuter mass transit transportation costs not to exceed actual expenses.
TIP is designed to pay for mass transit costs incurred by personnel in their local commute from residence to permanent duty station. Participants must accurately claim an amount that reflects their actual commuting cost. Failure to do so will result in a fraudulent certification on the application and is subject to criminal prosecution. This program is a benefit, not an entitlement; thus, there is no retroactive reimbursement.
Currently, there is no base sponsored transportation on this installation. North County Transit District operates various routes of public buses that serve the base and there are also the options of taxis, Lyft, and other private services or shuttles. Please visit GoNCTD.com for more information or contact the installation Information, Referral, and Relocation Specialist at (760) 725-5704 for additional information.
There are private transportation providers on base known as Liberty Shuttles, that act as transportation providers for on base movements. These are private entities and their services come at a cost. You can get more information once you arrive to your command as to the phone number for the shuttle that serves your camp or area.
Directory Assistance: 1-800-253-1624