Hurrying up so that our guys can come home.
In a rapid-fire deployment, about 5,000 U.S. Marines will arrive this month and travel to Iraq in July, the military said Tuesday.(Thanks Beth)
The deployment occurs in the fierce heat of summer and under an extraordinarily tight schedule, with troops expected to land in the war theater a few weeks after receiving orders.
''We'll be pushing them through the theater and getting them up north'' into Iraq, said Army Col. Gary McKown, who oversees U.S. troop movements into Iraq from this desert base south of Kuwait City.
The Marines, who had yet to receive official deployment orders Tuesday, will be among the units traveling into Iraq in July, relieving about 15,000 war-weary soldiers from the Army's 1st Armored Division and 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
In April, both Army units had their stays in Iraq extended by three months after a pair of insurgent uprisings spread deadly turmoil across the country, requiring U.S. troops to take over a swath of Iraq formerly occupied by its coalition partners.
Military officials have identified the incoming Marine units as the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the 24th MEU from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The Marines will be followed by 3,600 soldiers from the U.S. Army's South Korea-based 2nd Infantry Division. Those soldiers will pass through Kuwait after the Marines, McKown said in an interview with The Associated Press.