“Their extension comes at the request of [International Security Assistance Force] and with the approval of [Defense Secretary Robert Gates],” said Maj. David Nevers from the Pentagon. “This will afford the MEU the opportunity to continue building on the tremendous success they have achieved during their tour there.”
The Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based, 2,200-strong MEU deployed to southern Afghanistan in March for what was to be a “one-time, seven-month” assignment, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in mid-January as news of the unit’s deployment was released.
The month-long extension means Marines and sailors with the MEU will return home in early to mid-November, Nevers said. It does not apply to about 1,000 members of the Twentynine Palms, Calif.-based 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, an infantry battalion deployed to southern Afghanistan earlier this year to train Afghan forces.
More on the Marines in Afghanistan.