Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will visit Camp Pendleton on Friday, according to the Department of Defense. He's also slated to go aboard the USS Peleliu, which is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters the reason for the visit:
“Consistent with our recently issued strategic guidance and budget proposals, the department will continue to prioritize big deck amphibious assault ships such as the Peleliu because of the flexibility they provide commanders to move Marines and supplies ashore...
"In November 2001, the Peleliu conducted the deepest insertion of ground forces in Marine Corps history to launch the first Marines into Afghanistan. On its most recent deployment, in August 2010, the Peleliu provided relief to victims of flooding in Pakistan.”
Little said as part of the visit, Secretary Panetta will hold an “all-hands call” where he will chat with the troops. Panetta will also lunch with Marines and junior enlisted Sailors. The Secretary will round-out his visit with an aircraft operations observation, and he'll stop by the medical bay.