ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - About 1,100 Minnesota soldiers will be deployed to the Middle East for a nine-month mission, the Minnesota National Guard announced Wednesday.
Sunday afternoon, Task Force 1-194 will take part in a deployment ceremony, which the Guard will stream live on its Facebook page.
The task force includes soldiers based in Brainerd, Camp Ripley, Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, East St. Paul, Detroit Lakes, Crookston and Cottage Grove.
The National Guard says the soldiers will first travel to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training prior to heading overseas.
Lt. Col. Jacob Helgestad, the commander of Task Force 1-194, said his soldiers from the various units are ready for the nine-month mission. The soldiers will deploy in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The National Guard has more than 13,000 total soldiers and airmen in 58 Minnesota communities.
In a statement to FOX 9, a National Guard spokesperson said the deployment will have "no effect" on the Minnesota National Guard's ability to support Operation Safety Net, which will provide additional security for the Derek Chauvin trial that begins this month.
"The deployment of Task Force 1-194 is part of the national rotational plan for National Guard units to support overseas deployment requirements. The deployment of Task Force 1-194 has been a planning variable for Operation Safety Net since its inception, and will have no effect on the Minnesota National Guards ability to support that state mission or any other potential missions that we may be called to support," said LTC Scott Hawks, of the Minnesota National Guard.
Here are the units deploying as part of the task force:
- 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor – Brainerd
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor – Camp Ripley
- Company A, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor – Sauk Centre
- Company B, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor – St. Cloud
- Company C, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor – East St. Paul
- Company A, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry – Detroit Lakes
- Company B, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry – Crookston
- Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion – Cottage Grove
- Company G, 134th Brigade Support Battalion – Camp Ripley