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Hastings, MN (KROC-AM News) - A sendoff ceremony was held Saturday for about 150 soldiers from Minnesota National Guard units based in southeastern Minnesota.

The members of the 434th Chemical Company headquartered in Red Wing and Hastings are preparing to deploy to Kuwait. According to the National Guard, their mission will be to provide chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense, with the soldiers trained to respond to multiple hazards in the event of the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction.

“I am proud of the members of this unit and their willingness to go above and beyond to prepare for this mission,” said Capt. Andrew Duitsman, commander of the deploying troops. “We have had almost two years of training leading up to this event. I am confident in the abilities and professionalism of these Soldiers.”

In-person attendance at the deployment ceremony in Hastings was limited to close family members.

Members of the unit were recently called to active duty to participate In Operation Safety and helped with the security mission in the Twin Cities in the days leading up to and following the Derek Chauvin murder trial that led to his conviction for causing the death of George Floyd.

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