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CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — After more than a week of preparation, Marines and sailors from III Marine Expeditionary Force are on their way to Pakistan for a humanitarian relief mission.

An advance group of more than a dozen servicemembers from throughout 3rd Marine Logistics Group departed from Okinawa for Pakistan on Wednesday morning.

The almost 200 remaining Marines and sailors are to leave Okinawa for the earthquake-shattered portion of the country by week’s end, a Marine spokesman said.

The deploying group includes the Bravo Surgical Company from 3rd Medical Battalion as well as Marines and sailors from various units throughout III MEF.

Marines in the group are to provide support to the surgical company, including communications, motor transport, command and control, utilities, engineer capabilities and water production.

The group is to provide medical care in one of the hardest hit areas near Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.

After the Marines, sailors and all their gear arrive at the site, the surgical company should be set up and able to begin seeing patients in six hours.

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