EDEN PRAIRIE (WJON News) -- Members of the Minnesota National Guard Red Bulls are preparing to deploy to the Middle East.

On Thursday the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls” and their family members and friends will gather for a deployment ceremony where more than 550 Soldiers of the division’s headquarters will deploy as part of a regularly scheduled deployment.

The soldiers are representing 216 communities throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Colorado, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas.

The Red Bull Soldiers will first go to Fort Cavazos, Texas, for a month of pre-mobilization training in preparation for their ten-month-long deployment to the Middle East.

They are expected to return home from the deployment in December 2024.

For 46 percent of the departing Soldiers, this will be their first deployment. This deployment will be the second for 28 percent of the Soldiers, the third deployment for 16 percent of the Soldiers, and the fourth deployment or more for 10 percent of the Soldiers.

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2018 Red Bulls at Fort Cavazos
2018 Red Bulls at Fort Cavazos
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The division’s Arden Hills headquarters’ most recent deployments include Kuwait from 2018-2019 in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Iraq from 2009-2010, leading the Multi-national Division-South to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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