Behind-the-scenes look at MCAS Camp Pendleton - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Behind-the-scenes look at MCAS Camp Pendleton

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Over the years, many have been to MCAS Miramar to enjoy the Miramar Airshow.

But, tucked miles deep within Camp Pendleton, protected by military police and wire fence, there's another Marine Corps Air Station not open to the public. Now, CBS News 8's Nichelle Medina goes behing-the-lines and gives a rare look inside at the work that goes on there.

Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton is home to Marine Aircraft Group 39.

In 1997, Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Todd Miller said it's the hub of aviation for the Marine Corps. From the control tower to the cockpit, it's a carefully crafted operation that's about more than helicopters.

"Firefighters, fuelers, air traffic controllers, maintainers, and weatherman around the station allow squadrons to train when they go overseas to places, like, Afghanistan and Iraq," Lt. Colonel Miller said.

On any given day, the airfield is buzzing with activity, from Ospreys and Hueys to Cobras, which are all stationed there. Inside its hangars are HMLA-267's where you'll also find mechanics and technicians hard at work grooming aircraft for training and other potential operations overseas.

For right now it's training, but the Stingers are preparing to deploy, so support from the Air Station is key.

"They provide us with all the facilities it takes for us to fly and maintain these helicopters. They provide us with our fuel. They provide us with the means to store our explosive ordnance, they also provide the air traffic control," said Major Michael Kappelmann.

It comes down to teamwork and experience that Lt. Colonel Miller knows is valuable to the next generation of Marines.

"At least a third of the Marines that we have working here at the Air Station are about 21 years of age and younger," Lt. Colonel Miller said.

Whether here or overseas, the work doesn't stop. Marines, sharpening their skills in an area known for supporting the few and the proud. 

"The region is a good host to the military and Camp Pendleton is no exception," said Lt. Colonel Miller.

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