Kaneohe Marines, sailors deploying to Afghanistan

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly 200 Kaneohe-based Marines and sailors are on their way to Afghanistan Monday.

A deployment ceremony wrapped up Sunday night for members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363.

They're heading to the Helmand province for about seven months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Marines and sailors will help the country with stabilization, security and counter-terrorism efforts.

The commanding officer said it's been a long journey for the unit especially after one of their pilots died when a helicopter crashed into the Kaneohe sand bar during a training mission back in March.

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