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Marine Headquarters Unit Returns From Afghanistan

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Aired 3/18/11

More than 100 Marines return to Camp Pendleton from Afghanistan this morning. They are the vanguard of a larger number of Marines who will be coming back to the base in the next few weeks.

More than 100 Marines return to Camp Pendleton from Afghanistan this morning. They are the vanguard of a larger number of Marines who will be coming back to the base in the next few weeks.

The Headquarters unit of the Ist Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton were some of the first to deploy to Afghanistan 12 months ago. Their return marks the beginning of a wave of Marines returning to San Diego.

The group was based in Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province and supported efforts to disrupt insurgent activity in Marjah. They also gathered information on grievances among local tribal networks and threats on the ground for the US infantry forces.

Later this month, members of the Third Battalion, Fifth Regiment are expected to return to Camp Pendleton, after six months in Afghanistan. The regiment suffered some of the heaviest casualties of the war during the first few months of their deployment, while combating insurgent strongholds in Sangin.

An estimated 20,000 Marines are deployed in Afghanistan -- about half of them are from Camp Pendleton.

Homecoming ceremonies for the first wave of the headquarters unit will be held on the North County base this morning.

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