A video posted to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Facebook page this week shows the military ships going through some big seas as it crosses the Atlantic Ocean, heading towards the U.S. after uncertainty about whether the Marines and sailors would be home before Christmas.
The 2,300 troops with the 24th MEU based at Camp Lejeune will make it back before Christmas. However, the military says the troops nearing the end of their deployment remain focused.
“The goal is to enjoy the reunion as it is one of the great benefits of our expeditionary lifestyle — renewing those things we love and enjoy best about family, friends and life in the United States,” said Col. Frank Donovan, the commanding officer of the 24th MEU. “It’s vitally important we take the time to sit down and discuss the positives and potentially negative aspects of our return to the United States and reunion with our friends and families.”
The deployment, which began in March, was unexpectedly and indefinitely extended last month because of tension in the Middle East.
Tensions in the Middle East have delayed the return of thousands of Marines and sailors to Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point and New River.
The 2,300 members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit were supposed to return home in the next couple of weeks.
The MEU deployed in March and the Marine Corps says they will remain in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility until further notice. A news release says "their continued presence in the region is a prudent measure" for the military to respond to any crisis, if needed.
Earlier this month the 24th MEU sailed through the Suez Canal.