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Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Hundreds of members of the Minnesota National Guard are preparing for a major overseas deployment.

A news release says more than 550 citizen soldiers assigned to the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" will depart for the Middle East in February. The deployment is expected to last about 10 months.

MN National Guard photo
MN National Guard photo
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"I am extremely proud of our Red Bull Soldiers, and I know they will continue to add to the division’s long and storied history,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General. “Red Bulls have defended our state and nation for more than 100 years, and this deployment will assist our allies and partners in building security in the region.”

The soldiers and their families will gather in the Twin Cities this weekend for Family Preparation Academy to get them ready for the extended period of time away from their homes and their loved ones. The news release says the Guardmembers come from more than 200 communities in Minnesota and surrounding states.

photo courtesy Minnesota National Guard
photo courtesy Minnesota National Guard
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34th Infantry Division Commander Major General Charles Kemper says the division headquarters commands and controls Task Force Spartan from Kuwait and is deployed across seven partner nations in the region. The Red Bulls' most recent deployment to the Middle East was in 2018 and 2019.

TRIBUTE: 29 U.S. Service Members From Minnesota Killed During the War in Afghanistan

After 20 years of war, 29 men and women from Minnesota made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan while serving our country during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Scroll through the photos below and pay tribute to our fellow Minnesotans who served with valor.

The information below comes from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Gallery Credit: KROC News

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