Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A drill instructor, center, supervises the training of a new class of Marines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Emotions run high as recruits are officially declared Marines. The ceremony, which occurs directly after a feared multi-day hike that marks the pinnacle of their training, coincided with the Marine Corps' birthday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Keegan Ramirez, 6, and his mother, Emma Ramirez, 28, attend a Tim McGraw concert at the base. Emma's husband is away on deployment. She is pregnant and may deliver while he is overseas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Sgt. Ricardo Ramirez, 29, lost his hand in an accident in 2006 but lobbied successfully to keep his infantry job. Ramirez has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Recruits take part in a training exercise that calls for them to hold their rifles high overhead. In addition to recruits completing part of their basic training, more than 38,000 military family members live on the base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A mock battle in "Jafarani" -- an entire village built at Camp Pendleton to look like an Afghan town.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A Marine "shot" during a mock battle is dragged into a ditch by a role player acting as an Afghan army member. The training exercise was supervised by commanders.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Marines and family members of Marines pay their respects at the close of a ceremony held for 17 Marines killed in action.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A drill instructor, left, shouts commands to recruits during a morning training exercise. The base, established in 1942, spans more than 125,000 acres.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Marines welcome home members of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment as they return from service in Iraq, much of it in Fallouja, where U.S. forces met great resistance from insurgents. Thousands have trained at Camp Pendleton and served in Iraq or Afghanistan, or both.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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Camp Pendleton | A decade of service in Afghanistan and Iraq

Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, marks 10 years since Marines from Camp Pendleton first landed in the Afghanistan desert, the first conventional U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Nearly every facet of the base has changed over the last decade as Marines deployed to Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and back to Afghanistan in 2008. New construction has transformed the look of the base; there’s a new Wounded Warriors barracks and a five-story, $450-million hospital under construction.

“We’ve never really stopped,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who led troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Loomis documents life at the iconic Marine Corps base 10 years after the war began.

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