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Kaneohe Marine unit heading for Afghanistan


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POSTED: Friday, October 31, 2008

More Kaneohe Marines are bound for the war front.

Tomorrow more than 250 Kaneohe Marines and sailors will leave for Afghanistan to serve as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan. They will be led by Col. Duffy White, commander of the 3rd Marine Regiment. Also included in the deployment is Kaneohe's Combat Logistics Battalion 3.

The Kaneohe unit will replace Task Force 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and continue the combined effort with the government of Afghanistan in its fight against insurgents and in training and mentoring the Afghan National Police.

They will be in the Middle East along with more than 700 other Marines from White's 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which left for Iraq in August. This is the 1st Battalion's third Iraq deployment.

Also preparing to leave for Afghanistan next spring are another 700 Marines from White's 2nd Battalion, which returned from Iraq in August. During the seven months in Iraq, the 2nd Battalion lost three Marines, including its commanding officer, Lt. Col. Max A. Galeai, 42, of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

The other two killed in Al Anbar were Capt. Philip J. Dykeman, 38, of Brockport, N.Y., the commanding officer of Fox Company; and Cpl. Marcus W. Preudhomme, 23, of North Miami Beach, Fla., an administrative clerk.

On the Army side, more than 100 soldiers from Schofield Barracks' 8th Military Police Brigade were to be honored today during a ceremony at Hamilton Field. The brigade will be based in Baghdad and will partner with Iraqi police throughout central Iraq.

More than 3,500 Schofield Barracks soldiers assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team are moving to Iraq for a 12-month deployment. They will be joined by another 1,000 soldiers assigned to the headquarters staff of the division, led by Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen. Thirty-six soldiers serving with the 3rd Brigade and other Schofield Barracks units died during the brigade's first Iraqi combat tour.

It was its second overseas deployment. The first was to Afghanistan in 2004. Fifteen soldiers from the 25th Division's 3rd Brigade were combat casualties from January 2004 through June 2005.

In Kuwait the 2,200 citizen soldiers from the Hawaii's 29th Combat Brigade and its supporting elements - the Army Reserve's 100th Battalion and Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Fires Brigade - will assume control of several U.S. bases in Kuwait from the Ohio Army National Guard's 37th Brigade Combat Team in early November.

On Tuesday the 29th Brigade Combat Team left Fort Hood, Texas, where it had spent two months completing its mobilization training and certification.