KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow)- It was an emotional morning for hundreds of marines and their families at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Monday as they exchanged tearful farewells.
The soldiers will be in Australia for the next six months, training alongside defense forces of the Australian army.
"We're hoping this mission further bolsters the partnership between the U.S. and Australia," said Capt. Chris Richardella.
"We're very excited for our son with this particular deployment because it's something very different and new for the marines, to be going into Australia," said Alexia Jurschak, mother of 2nd Lieut. Greg Jurschak.
For many of the soldiers, this deployment will not be their first. Over half of the company are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, including Staff Serg. Sergio Hernandez.
"I was deployed three times to Iraq and one time to Afghanistan. It's always hard to leave the family but you sort of get used to deploying," said Hernandez, who will be leaving behind his wife and one-year-old son.
"At first it's a little hard, you know, with the family stuff, but they're my motivation, so they keep me going."
In addition to their training, the troops are prepared to conduct contingency missions for humanitarian efforts or disaster relief. They will be returning in October, an event many are already looking forward to.
Be sure to watch our broadcast on KHNL at 5:30 tonight for the full story.