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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Hundreds of Minnesota National Guard soldiers will soon be heading home after spending almost a year overseas.

Precise arrival dates have not been announced, but the Minnesota National Guard today says over 700 members of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment based in Mankato will return to the state in the coming weeks. The soldiers left Minnesota last June for training at Fort Bliss in Texas and then traveled to the Horn of Africa in July.

The deployment included soldiers assigned to the Battalion's B Company, which is headquartered at the Rochester Armory. Units based in Winona, Albert Lea, Faribault, and West St. Paul are also called to active duty for the mission and were joined by military units out of Iowa and Illinois.

“Our Soldiers successfully accomplished their mission while facing numerous challenges including a global pandemic,” said, the task force commander. “We were one of the first to deploy in this new normal, and our Soldiers handled it with discipline and professionalism.”

Minnesota National Guard photo

A news release says the Minnesota unit's mission was providing force protection in Somalia, Kenyon, and Djibouti in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel and the Combined Joint Task Force to ensure the success of the East Africa Response Force.

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