CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - Three San Diego-based warships will deploy for seven months, starting Tuesday.
The USS Boxer, an 844-foot amphibious assault ship, will be followed by Green Bay, an amphibious transport dock, and Comstock, an amphibious dock landing ship, a Camp Pendleton spokesperson said.
The ships are part of Camp Pendleton's 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
About 2,200 marines and 1,800 sailors will be aboard the three ships. Their mission will be to provide humanitarian aid, support operations overseas and combat piracy.
A California couple, Jean and Scott Adam, and another couple from Washington state are believed to be held hostage by Somali pirates, who seized the 58-foot sailboat Quest in the Indian Ocean last week.
The 13th MEU, also known as the "Fighting 13", was the first Marine unit to take action in Iraq in 1990, boarding two Iraqi tankers whose crew violated United Nations sanctions.
The Boxer is sixth in its Wasp class and was named for a British ship captured by the United States in the war of 1812.
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