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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A departure ceremony will take place this weekend for over 1000 members of the Minnesota National Guard as they prepare for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East.

A news release from the Minnesota National Guard says about 1100 soldiers from Task Force 1-194 will participate in the mission to support Operation Spartan Shield, which basically covers all US military operations in the Middle Eastern region.

“This task force will bring together Soldiers from several units across the state,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Helgestad, commander of Task Force 1-194. “Our Soldiers are well-trained and ready for this mission and I’m confident they will represent the State of Minnesota well.”

The National Guards says the members of the Task Force come from 9 nine different units based at locations across the Twin Cities, along with central and northern Minnesota. Following the departure ceremony Sunday afternoon, the soldiers will be headed to Fort Bliss in Texas for additional training.

The departure ceremony will be live-streamed on Facebook Sunday at 1 PM.

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