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Pendleton Marines to be Deployed, Again

Several hundred marines and sailors from the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton are scheduled to leave Saturday for Iraq . For many of them, it will be their third deployment. KPBS re

Several hundred marines and sailors from the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton are scheduled to leave Saturday for Iraq . For many of them, it will be their third deployment. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

This is the beginning of a major deployment of around 25,000 marines from Camp Pendleton who will relieve the second Marine Expeditionary Force based in Camp LeJeune. Master Sergeant John Cordero who expects to be deployed later this month, says the focus of this deployment is different from previous ones

Cordero: "Our focus now will be on mentoring and training the Iraqi security forces, whereas before like in 2004 our mission was primarily to fight the insurgency over there. It's really the Iraqi security forces that need to step up and fight the insurgency over there and we need to take more of a supporting role."

The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment , which was involved in fierce fighting in Fallujah in 2004, is headed back to Al Anbar province in Western Iraq. Alison St John KPBS news.