CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - More than 2,200 Marines and sailors from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to Camp Pendleton early Thursday from a seven-month deployment, base officials said.
The returning troops spent the deployment in the Western Pacific, Middle East and Horn of Africa with the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor, according to MEU's public affairs office. The ships and their combined crews of about 1,700 are scheduled to pull into Naval Base San Diego Friday morning.
While away, the MEU participated in training exercises with various host nations.
"We were able to sharpen our skills while strengthening partnerships with our hosts," the MEU commanding officer, Col. Michael R. Hudson, said in a statement.
"From survival and jungle training in Cambodia and Malaysia to full-scale raids and live-fire exercises with counterparts throughout the Middle East and Horn of Africa, this deployment employed all the capabilities of our air-ground logistics team."
Hudson said the ships were able to put the Marines at three or four places at once at times during the deployment.
Though most of the MEU returned by helicopter or landing craft early Thursday, a small number remain aboard the ships returning Friday.
The ships are currently on a "Tiger Cruise," in which family and friends join the sailors for the ride home from Honolulu.
The 847-foot-long Makin Island is completing its maiden deployment, which began Nov. 14 and included several months in the Middle East over the winter.
The ship is named after a Pacific Ocean atoll raided by Marines in August 1942 during World War II. It is now known as Butaritari.
Five people were injured in a three-car crash in the Rolando area on Sunday after an apparent road-rage incident. It happened about 1:30 p.m. on University Avenue at College Avenue, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Another successful Comic-Con is in the books. The four-day pop culture convention came to an end Sunday, but even in its final hours was packed with things to see and do.
Vince Velasquez allowed two hits over seven innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 5-0 Sunday for a doubleheader split.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for San Diego County inland valleys, mountains, and deserts. The warning is valid for Monday morning through Thursday evening
A man stole a brand-new luxury car out of a Kearny Mesa dealership's lot and led police on a lengthy chase down San Diego freeways on Sunday.
San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing and so is the superhero-themed fashion! Celebrities like Sarah Paulson, Sonequa Martin-Green and Camila Mendes, among many other stylish ladies, rocked a bevy of leather, nylon and pleather to attend the annual comic book convention.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a man who died Saturday morning on a sidewalk in Old Town.
A suspected drunk driver was shot by sheriff's deputies after leading them on a pursuit across North County freeways Friday night, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.