Staff Sgt. Dennis Dodge, watch officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, charges a hill carrying an M240G medium machine gun during a conditioning hike aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story on Sept. 27, 2013. The evolution was designed to test the unit’s combat readiness and the Marines followed up the hike with values-based training before they were bussed back to Camp Allen for additional moral builders: barbeque and games. (Photo by Sgt. Scott McAdam)
Camp Allen, home to Marine Corps Forces Command and two Marine Corps Security Force Regiment FAST companies, is located in Norfolk, Virginia. Situated in the far southeastern corner of the state and comprised of seven cities — Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton — the Hampton Roads area has a combined population of nearly 1.7 million people.
Predominately a Navy town, Norfolk is home to the largest naval installation in the world. Still, Hampton Roads is truly a joint forces dream. With local Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard bases and installations, it’s a military melting pot. Nearly 3,500 Marines reporting to 10 local Marine commands call Hampton Roads home, with 1,400 of them based locally at Camp Allen.