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Camp Pendleton Marine Unit Among Last Deployed To Afghanistan

Photo credit: DVIDS

Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo and Sgt. Maj. Douglas E. Berry salute the colors as the national anthem plays during I MEF (Fwd)'s reactivation ceremony at Camp Pendleton Oct. 23, 2013.

The I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), based at Camp Pendleton, will be the last major Marine Corps command to deploy to Afghanistan as the war winds down.

On Wednesday, I MEF held a special reactivation ceremony at Camp Pendleton in preparation for its year-long deployment in early 2014.

The I MEF will take over command of Regional Command-Southwest from the Camp Lejeune-based II MEF (Fwd), according to I MEF public affairs.

Regional Command-Southwest is made up of Helmand and Nimroz provinces in Afghanistan.

Stars and Stripes reports this deployment is significant in many ways:

The deployment will include the Afghan elections in spring of 2014 and installation of the new government, the transition away from coalition-led regional commands, the disposal or return home of more than a decade’s worth of equipment, and the shuttering of Camp Leatherneck.

Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, commanding general of I MEF (Fwd), said at Wednesday's ceremony:

“I think we all understand that we are about to embark on a historic deployment. There are many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us, but we are very mindful as mentioned earlier today about all the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.”

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