- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - About 2,400 Marines and sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit are leaving North Carolina for an eight-month deployment in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and waters off northeastern Africa.

Marine Corps spokesman 1st Lt. Andrew Bolla says the units begin leaving Friday in a series of departures over the coming week.

Units include squadrons from New River Air Station and the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point. Also deploying is the 1st Battalion 6th Marine Regiment from Camp Lejeune, which includes attachments of artillery, reconnaissance, amphibious assault vehicles and support units based at Camp Lejeune.

The servicemen and women are deploying on the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde, and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall.