WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon says about 16,000 U.S. troops will go into Afghanistan in the first wave of the new surge approved by President Barack Obama.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman announced Monday that about 1,500 Marines from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina will leave for Afghanistan later this month. Military sources have said the first troops are expected to arrive by Christmas.
After the first of the year, the Marines begin sending another 6,200 from Lejeune and Camp Pendleton in California. The Army will also begin sending in the first of its forces - a training brigade from Fort Drum, N.Y. Whitman said about 4,100 support forces from various places will also deploy early. Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed the deployment orders last week.