(CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.) — A Marine unit is returning Saturday to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina after the longest at sea Marine deployment in 40 years.
“Approximately 270 Marines and Sailors with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and 30 Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 22 are scheduled to return and see their family and friends,” a military statement said.
Another 960 Marines and Sailors from the same Marine Air Ground Task Force will return to Camp Lejeune on Sunday.
The 2,300 Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Bataan and two other ships were forced to deploy three months early in late March of last year to support operations in Libya and were under the impression they would be at sea for the usual six to seven months. Instead, the deployment turned into one of the longest deployments on record for a Marine Corps unit — ending after more than 10 months at sea. While deployed the unit also participated in training in Djibouti as well as bilateral training with Spanish and Romanian Marines.
The remaining sailors will continue to their home port of Norfolk, Va. They are expected to arrive Tuesday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Ray Sanchez, Zayn Nabbi, Euan McKirdy and Angela Dewan, CNN