Marine Training Center has powerful ally

As the federal government eyeballs even the military as a place to cut costs, some locals wondered if cuts might hit the Bridgeport area Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.

Probably not, said Rian Gamble, community outreach for the center.

“We are training Marines at full capacity, with some 16,000 to 17,000 a year coming through, doing everything from mountain medicine training to high altitude training, and more,” he said.

The top minds in the military increasingly believe many of the wars of the future will be fought in mountainous terrain, and the importance of the center has never been stronger.

On top of it, the center has long been under the watchful eye, and protection — of U. S. Congressman Buck McKeon, who just recently also became the chair of the powerful Armed Services Committee.

That’s likely to help, not hurt, the center, should there be any future talk about closing military bases.

And, said Gamble, the center is about one percent of the entire budget for the Marine Corps, not a likely target for saving money.

On the other side of the coin, the Marines stationed at the center are a critical part of the economy of northern Mono County.