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Marines return from seven-month deployment in Afghanistan

About 450 Hawaii Marines will return to Kaneohe Bay tomorrow after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, officials said.

About 150 of the Marines and sailors are with Lima Company and 300 Marines and sailors are with Kilo Company and Weapons Company. All are part of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

More than 1,000 Marines and sailors are part of the unit, nicknamed “America’s Battalion.”

The base’s three infantry battalions rotate one after the other to southern Afghanistan. The 2nd Battalion left for the country in November.

The 2nd Battalion replaced the 3rd Battalion in Nawa district in central Helmand province, a poppy-producing region where profits have financed militants.

The 3rd Battalion, which deployed from Hawaii in May, lost at least three Marines on the deployment. One Marine died “while supporting combat operations,” the Marine Corps said; another was swept away in a river; and a third was shot in the neck while on a patrol.

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