California's two senators and Rep. Scott Peters, D- San Diego, Wednesday introduced legislation to prohibit the closure of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as the USMC reviews its two recruit training locations for possible relocation.
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla joined Peters in the legislation, which follows the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The act states that the Marine Corps is reviewing its recruit training locations in San Diego and Parris Island, South Carolina.
"Over the years, more than one million Marines have graduated from the program," Feinstein said. "The base has been a strategically vital location for the Marines since before World War II and should continue to serve as such. San Diego is home to a robust military community with a rich history of service. There is no reason to relocate this important training center."
The San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot has served as the recruit training center for the western United States since 1923, training nearly 18,000 Marines every year.
In May, the base graduated its first class of female Marines.
The depot is part of a larger presence in the region: Seven military installations are located in San Diego County, including three Marine Corps bases that are home to nearly one-third of all active-duty Marines.
"San Diego's Marine Corps Recruit Depot represents the past, present and future of our city's rich military history and tradition," Peters said. "This bill will protect this facility and ensure San Diego continues to provide world-class Marines ready to fight our nation's battles.
"MCRD's location, proximity to other Marine Corps and Navy facilities, and connection to a vibrant defense industry in the region underscore why San Diego remains an ideal location to support initial training for the Marine Corps," he said.
Padilla cited the region's history with the Marine Corps as another reason to keep the facility open.
"It would be a great disservice, not only to our Marines, but to the security of our country, to close this training camp that trains and develops all recruits west of the Mississippi," he said.
The San Diego Military Advisory Council, an organization that advocates for the San Diego military community, expressed its support for the legislation in a letter.