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USS Peleliu, Camp Pendleton Marines To Deploy Monday

Three ships and expeditionary Marines will from Camp Pendleton will deploy Monday to the Middle East and Western Pacific, the Navy said today.

The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group is led by the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu, commanded by Capt. Mark Sakaguchi.

The force also includes the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay, dock landing ship USS Rushmore, and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Also deploying will be elements of Fleet Surgical Team 1, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Assault Craft Units 1 and 5, and Beach Master Unit 1.

Their departure comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and Encinitas resident Glen Doherty were killed amid demonstrations in Benghazi over a film that protesters believe blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad. Also, rumblings of a possible Israel strike on Iranian nuclear sites have increased.

The 4,000 sailors and Marines who will be deploying recently completed nine months of training, according to the Navy.

The Peleliu returned from its most recent deployment in December 2010, and the Rushmore did so in April of that year. The Green Bay's most recent deployment ended almost a year ago.

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