Washington (CNN) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed an order Friday to deploy the first wave of troops to Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama's new strategy, a defense official confirmed to CNN.
The troops from the Army and Marines will be the first of 30,000 that are to be sent to Afghanistan by summer under the plan announced by Obama this week.
An official announcement is not likely before Monday, the officials said.
Approximately 1,000 Marines are expected to deploy this month, military officials told CNN previously. The Army may not deploy the first soldiers until at least March, Army officials said Friday.
Testifying before a congressional committee, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this week that a "significant" number of troops will arrive in the spring and summer, with the final troops moving to Afghanistan by late summer or early fall.
Meanwhile, the White House said Obama would meet with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, on Monday. Both are expected to testify before Congress next week.
– CNN's Mike Mount contributed to this report
i do not like sending troops, but i will flow with public....i still think it is a wrong step....rusians left, all left...poor nation, what do we get, other than pamogranade, and poppy...i do not need poppy...nor we....yes to pamogranade fruits...they are good..first fix health care with public option...do not listen to nasty GOP commericials, nor republicans...they messed our nation...god bless....
Start deploying AFTER the holidays. Obama watsed 3 months so what's a few more weeks. Let the troops enjoy the holidays with their families.
Thank you to all of our military HEROES! Folks, think about sending these troops care packages. Many sites you can go to such as....AnySoldier.com.....They do so much for us and we need to show our appreciation for what they do.
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS, KEEP THEM SAFE, AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
This war, like Iraq and Vietnam will end up with NO results except more American casualties. At least John McHAWK is happy... except that he wants NO time line!
T made a big mistake... I thought I had voted for change!
Obama's administration seems more and more to be a combination of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. God help us!
When rushed on the job, an Atlanta filmmaker I knew would say, "We can do it now or we can do it right." Maybe, instead of being rushed, Gates is getting it right.