About 2,300 Marines and sailors are returning to their North Carolina base after spending seven months aboard Navy ships and training with allies in the Middle East.
Most members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit of Camp Lejeune stayed aboard ships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. The troops and their equipment are returning to the coastal base Monday and Tuesday.
About 50 Marines from the unit were sent to Iraq to help maintain aircraft. But the rest of the unit's deployment more closely resembled its routine before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unit spokesman Gunnery Sgt. Bryce Piper said the unit's activities were similar to traditional peacetime deployments.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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