CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Another 7,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune have received deployment orders to ship to the Persian Gulf region, a base spokesman said Thursday.
Approximately 4,000 Marines from the 2nd Force Service Support Group and 3,000 from elements of the 2nd Marine Division will leave from Wilmington in coming weeks, Staff Sgt. Jay Connolly said.
Connolly would not say when the deployment would take place or specifically where the final destination would be.
The orders Thursday came a day after a force of 7,000 Marines and 5,000 sailors embarked ships for the Persian Gulf region in the largest deployment from Camp Lejeune since the Gulf War.
Officers and sergeants with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade flew by helicopter Wednesday to ships waiting in the Atlantic. Combat troops had been aboard the ships since Jan. 10.
And in California, between 3,000 and 4,000 members of the 1st Marine Regiment left Camp Pendleton on Wednesday in desert camouflage for an undisclosed destination in the Middle East.
Some 60,000 U.S. troops are already in the Gulf region and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has signed orders for an additional 67,000 to go over the next few weeks. The size of the U.S. force arrayed against Iraq could reach 250,000.
According to orders at Camp Lejeune Thursday, units deploying from the 2nd Force Service Support Group will include the Medical Battalion, Supply Battalion, Headquarters Battalion, Transportation Support Battalion, Maintenance Battalion, 8th Engineer Support Battalion and the Military Police Battalion.
Marines from 2nd Marine Division will include the 2nd Tank Battalion, Assault Amphibian Vehicle Battalion, Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and a contingent from the 10th Marine Regiment, Connolly said.