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Eden Prairie, MN (KROC-AM News) - A deployment ceremony is planned Thursday in the Twin Cities for members of the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division "Red Bull."

Families and friends of the citizen soldiers have also been invited to gather before more than 550 members of the division depart to prepare for an overseas deployment.

"The 34th Infantry Division has a long and storied history of faithful service to our nation," said Army Maj. Gen. Charles Kemper, 34th Infantry Division Commander. "We are blessed to have highcaliber citizen-Soldiers from each of your communities filling our formations to carry on that proud tradition of selfless service. They are well trained and will execute their mission with vigor."

MN National Guard photo
MN National Guard photo
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A news release says the Minnesota Guard members, along with soldiers representing 216 communities in 12 other states, are leaving this week for Fort Cavazos in Texas where they will undergo a month of additional training. Following that, the soldiers will begin a 10-month deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East. They are expected to return home in December.

34th Red Bull Infantry Division
34th Red Bull Infantry Division
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The National Guard says this will be the first deployment for about 46% of the departing soldiers. This will be the second deployment for 28% of the unit, 16% will be participating in their third deployment, and about 10% are preparing for their fourth deployment.

Minnesota National Guard photo
Minnesota National Guard photo
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The Red Bulls' most recent overseas deployment occurred in 2018 and 2019 when the National Guard unit was sent to Kuwait. The 34th Infantry Division's previous deployment was also in the Middle East in 2009 and 2010 when the Minnesota soldiers served in Iraq.

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