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3 Virginia-based Navy ships to depart this week

Monday - 3/26/2012, 1:21pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. - Three of the Navy's Virginia-based amphibious ships are set to deploy this week.

Thousands of sailors aboard the Iwo Jima, Gunston Hall and New York are to depart Tuesday from Norfolk Naval Station and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek for a tour that will last at least six months.

The ships will patrol the Navy's Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas, which include parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Accompanying the sailors will be the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on the deployments, which the Navy says are part of the regular rotation of forces.

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