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Camp Pendleton's 3/5 to Return Home

By Alicia Dean and R. Stickney
|  Friday, Mar 25, 2011  |  Updated 8:52 AM PDT
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The unit of Camp Pendleton-based U.S. Marines that has seen the most casualties than any other Marine Corps unit in Afghanistan is headed home.

The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment started operations in the Sangin District of Afghanistan in October. According to our media partners The North County Times, the unit will be headed home in just a few weeks.

A change of command ceremony is planned at Camp Leatherneck, the Marine's main base in the southern Helmand province. The II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, North Caroline will be taking over command of that volatile area.

Despite the constant threat 1stLt. Schueman says members of the 3/5 haven't waivered in their resolve for a moment even during the worst firefights imaginable.

"Every square inch of where we were was getting raked by enemy PKM fire but it didn't even phase these guys," said Schueman. 

That courage under fire has earned them a lot of respect from top leaders like MajGen Mills who said the commitment of each Marine and sailor putting their lives on the line each day is one of the most important weapons in the fight for Sangin.

MajGen Richard Mills,Commanding General of NATO Regional Command Southwest (RC-Southwest) will also relinquish his command in the region and return home.

“They’re the greatest generation we’ve ever raised,” Mills said. “They’re volunteers, they know the threat, they don’t have to be here. Ninety-nine percent of their friends don’t come over here and yet, they have the courage to take the step forward and do the job that has to be done. I stand in awe of them."

The 3/5, nicknamed "The Dark Horse," has faced heavy losses while deployed. The paper reports 29 members have been killed, 175 wounded.

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