Lejeune unit leaving for Middle East

CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) — About 2,200 Marines and sailors began shipping out Tuesday from Camp Lejeune for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

Unit spokesman Captain Clark Carpenter says the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is completing it loading of ships at sea and at docks in Morehead City.

The MEU will be based on three ships that are part of the Norfolk-based Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group, which includes three guided missile ships and a submarine.

A unit from the new Marine Special Operations Command is included in the deployment. The Unit is also taking tanks, Harrier jets and Cobra attack helicopters, which are based aboard the helicopter carrier Kearsarge.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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