Doctors and medical corpsmen from Camp Pendleton's 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are working in the Southeast Asian nation of East Timor where they have treated at least 500 people, a unit spokesman said.

Sgt. Scott Biscuiti said a medical team of 14 corpsmen and four doctors have seen a steady stream of patients since arriving Oct. 14.

Many of the patients being treated haven't seen a doctor in years.

Oceanside native Chief Petty Officer Norman Delacruz, a corpsman, is a part of the team that is seeing as many as 100 patients a day, Biscuiti said in a written release.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit left San Diego a few weeks ago for a deployment throughout the Western Pacific.

The unit, which includes several thousand sailors and Marines, also has taken part in a joint exercise with the Australian and East Timor militaries.

It remains uncertain if the unit will wind up in the Middle East. In past Pacific cruises, expeditionary units have been redirected to the Middle Eastern region and seen its troops deployed into Iraq and Afghanistan.

The San Diego-based USS Bonhomme Richard is the primary ship on the deployment.


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