Modified: Mar 06, 2007 12:12 PM

Two N.C.-based Marine battalions going to Iraq

The Associated Press
CAMP LEJEUNE -- Two Marine battalions will begin leaving their base in North Carolina this week for duty in Iraq, officials said today.

The 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment and 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment -- about 1,800 troops total -- both are assigned to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. They are scheduled to begin departing Wednesday, with about 300 Marines in the initial wave.

The deployment is part of a planned rotation of Marine Corps troops that began in January to replace California-based Marines.

A force of about 4,500 Marines already has deployed to Iraq as part of the rotation.