Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Camp Pendleton Marines Return from Iraq, Hand Over Command to East Coast Team

The leadership of Regimental Combat Team 5 will arrive back at Camp Pendleton late tonight.They have handed over command of the Marines deployed in AlAnbar Province, Iraq.KPBS reporter Alison St John

Camp Pendleton Marines Return from Iraq, Hand Over Command to East Coast Team

The leadership of Regimental Combat Team 5 will arrive back at Camp Pendleton late tonight. They have handed over command of the Marines deployed in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more. About 350 Marines are expected back on base tonight. Regimental Combat Team 5 operated out of Fallujah. They have spent the last year training Iraqi Security forces in a region stretching from western Baghdad to Ramadi. 

First Lieutenant Etsoban Vickers says thousands of Marines have returned to Camp Pendleton over the past few months, and tonight's return home marks a changing of the guard in Iraq.

Vickers: That's like the final command piece -- they bring the flag back with them -- so now the west coast units have given the command over to the east coast combat teams.

Vickers says Marines from the Regiment Combat Team 6 from Camp LeJeune in North Carolina will take over command for the next year. Some units from Camp Pendleton will deploy to support them. However about 40,000 Marines are back on base in north San Diego county. Most of them are not expecting to be re-deployed to Iraq before next year.

Alison St John, KPBS News.